Well, to put it simply, this week was really hard. Which was great, because it helped me to learn how to rely more fully on our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ. This past wek we were watching `The Lamb of God`with a less-active member and I began thinking about how I´ve come to know my Savior over these past 6 months. I considered how I learned about his love for the people in Kansas and how I learned to love them as well. I considered how His Atonement has been applied in my life. It´s been amazing to see how, in those moments of desparation and depair, I´ve been able to call upon our Father in Heaven in prayer, and relief has come through our Savior. I don´t understand how it works, but I know that it does. The Atonement is so so real.
It´s in this manner that I wish to write this week. I´ve been struggling with the language, horribly, and at times I really feel like I´ll never get it. I know I will, but like we all know, sometimes in the moment it´s much more difficult than it is when you look at it before and after. Through all of this, a lot of time has been spent on my knees pleading with our Father for things that I desparately need. For saftey, comfort, security, and a knowledge that I can actuallybe a missionary, when I can´t communicate with these people. Every time I have petitioned the Lord and, in patience, waited upon His response, the empty gaps in my feelings have disappeared. I have felt that I can and will one day be able to feel side by side with my brothers and sisters in Brazil in this great work and not simply like I´m playing catch-up.
In that respect, the other thing I learned this week is that fluency does not necessarily determine ability. Yes, I´m still struggling with the language, but we had a rather telling experience with one of our investigators, Taceiane (I think is how you spell it) this week. She´s been having some major reservations about being baptized and is struggling to accept what we have to offer. We went over with the president of the Sociadade De Socorro (Relief Society), and spoke with her. At the end of the lesson, I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to her. I can´t say that I opened my mouth and that this long speil burst out using words I don´t even know etc. etc. etc. No, I simply used what few words I could to describe my love for the gospel. Though my speech was limited, I felt the power of the Holy Ghost flowing through me as I spoke, and the whole room seemed filled with it´s influence. Still, she hasn´t been baptized, but it after I finished my simple but sincere testimony, I knew that she felt something, and she recognized that she did. I´m learning quickly, that no matter the part, if you can´t fill it, the Lord will, if we are willing to cover all that we can.
Thank you all for your prayers. I´ve felt them. I know the gospel is true and though this ´valley of the shadow of death´has been extremely hard, it has also been extremely rewarding.
Elder Trent Evans
P.S. Tender mercy? I totally have zero jet lag from the plane ride. Huzzah!