Tudo bem? Tá tudo bem aqui no Brasil, especialmente aqui na Missão Brasil Fortaleza! Eu amo esse chamado e eu não trocaria ele por nada!
(All good? Everything is good here in Brazil, especially here in the Brazil Fortaleza Mission! I love this calling and I woudn´t trade it for anything!)
To be frank, speaking, thinking, and writing is almost becoming more easy in Portuguese now. Reading, I sitll have a few struggles, but I can understand what´s being written. Kind of funny, the other day I was conversing with a lady in the street and I had one of those "out of body experiences." I realized that as I was speaking Portuguese to this lady that I really wasn´t thinking about it at all. It was just happening. It was super cool. My language skills are improving daily and I´m really quite thrilled with the progress that I´ve made.
News of the week: Aluizio is the greatest ever. He gave the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting yesterday and he blessed the sacrament last week. I´ve just been able to see firsthand the promise that the Lord makes us in D&C 18, that our joy will be great with even one soul that we bring unto Him. Aluizio has been such a fulfillment of that promise. He´s killing it as a member of the church and last week he and Regylani said "we want to serve a couples mission." Yeah. Blessings are raining down on that family. I love them to death.
Also, this week we should have 5 baptisms! Five! Cinco! We´re teaching this amazing family that I talked about a few weeks back. This time they´re prepared, they´re happy, and they´re soooooo thrilled to enter in the Kingdom. We did a pre-interview with them the other day and we asked them what they thought about having a living prophet and the dad held up the Book of Mormon and said "Because of this book I know we have a living prophet!" More blessings? Com certeza.
This week I´ve been really searching for spiritual experiences and having one every single day. I had one in particular that had a very profound impact on me personally. We had an awesome exchange with the Zone Leaders last Friday and into Saturday. As we came home Élder Tribino told me that the father of our family of 5 may have to leave sometime in between now and the 4th of April to go to Receife for work. I wasn´t particullarly scared about that and I had faith that we wouldn´t have a problem. As we were out working that day I felt the need to have a little fast for them but I put off the feeling because I had already fasted twice that week and I didn´t really want to do it again. The next contact we did I felt like I was trying to speak through water, more or less. The meaning was lost from everything I said and all of the people we taught for the rest of the day seemed to gain nothing from my words. I felt like I was running into a brick wall and it was refusing to give way. As we returned home I thought about what happened and I thought "why on earth do I not have the Spirit with me?" and as we knelt down to pray I had the strong feeling to fast again. Suddenly, I realized what had happened. I had received a prompting from the Spirit to fast, even despite my confidence in the family. But, I ignored it and because of that, the Spirit left. I knelt and begged forgiveness and began a slightly shorter fast immediately. The Spirit returned but with a warning that if I don´t keep the commandments I won´t have the Spirit in any form. When we think of commandments, oft times we think of those we find in the scriptures. The Ten Commandments, the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, etc. But at the same time, it applies to the little things too. Follow the Spirit in all things. Without doubt, we will be asked to do things we don´t want to. We may have to leave Kansas. We may have to drop investigators. Understandably, these are missionary perspectives here, but we, at one point or another in our lives, will be asked to do something that we just plain don´t want to do. But, when we put our trust in the Lord, there is always a good reason for it. I really didn´t want to fast, but I did, and the Lord filled me emough with the Spirit that I was able to finish the day strong. Yes, we will be called upon to do hard things, but He will always support us when we are in His way.
Até mais! Com muito amor,