Monday, June 9, 2014
The Church is true, the Gospel is true, and Christ lives!
Sometimes in the mission, you have huge downs that turn into huge ups, and once the dizziness fades, you find yourself in a place higher and holier than before. Due to a ton of opposition from other people and from the Adversary, I kinda snapped last Monday. All of the pressure came to a head and after a surprise visit from the assistants to inspect our apartment, I told my companion that I wanted to be transfered, among other things. I´ll skip this part because it´s not very encouraging for you all. But, after a couple interviews with the zone leaders, I was back on the road to recovery, regaining my excitement (animation). But it wasn´t until Thursday that I reached a new level of animated (It sounds strange in English, but it makes sense in Portuguese). President Pinho gathered the entire mission together (259 missionaries) for one last grand conference (like King Benjamin). I saw my old companions (Elder Aguiar from Salvador, Elder Almeida from Fortaleza, and Elder Paiva from Recife) and all of my missionary friends, including Elder Sharp, who arrived the MTC with me. I have pictures to send you, but it might not want to work today, but we´ll see. The Multi-Zone Conference was the following: •Photos of the Mission (I forwarded this to you) •President Pinho addressed us in a training session •We watched "Ephraim´s Rescue" as a mission (really good!) •Commentary on the Film by President Pinho •Lunch and Dessert •Birthdays for April, May, June and July (I got a present!) •Video made by the Assistants •New Program of the Mission for June and July •Testimonies of the Missionaries who will finish mission soon I´d like to share just some of the things I learned from the Training Session (I have to translate it for English right now, so excuse the weird wording): •Elder Russell M. Nelson - "Don´t ask God to change the circumstances, but ask him to change your attitude or perspective." •God counts the steps we take in the mission, especially when we walk by faith. •There has to be pain because it is only through pain and sorrow that we can change •Elder Monte J Browe - "Our greatest blessings in this life and the future will come through our disposition to make the sacrifices that the Lord asks of us. It is only through sacrifice and the faith it produces that we can reach happiness in eternity." •Which disposition do I need to give everything to God? (In relation to temple covenants) •Why am I here? To baptize people, but more importantly, to change ME. •Everything I do should result in missionary fruits (baptisms). •A mission results in a fulness of joy. And my notes on "Ephraim´s Rescue": •You always have to be worthy and prepared to help others using the Priesthood •You should always be willing to administer blessings •The Lord will help those who help themsleves and continue on with faith •We should stay clean and worthy before the Lord • We have to avoid letting Satan (or the natural man) destroy our mission and worsen our perspectives. •We have to always carry and spread joy wherever we go. •We must be obedient immediately and follow our leaders humbly •We are pioneers for other people. So this meeting was really important for me, and I learned so much from the Holy Ghost. It was a spiritual feast. And because I didn´t give up, and because I made the decision to keep working with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, we had six people in the church yesterday, and as of yesterday, we have 11 people in ONE family that have a strong desire to follow Christ and be baptized. Despite the baptism of Raquel falling through, and a transfer without success, finally we will have great success, as I will be staying here in Palmares for one more transfer and administering to the wonderful people here. Serving a mission is just blessings! It´s changed my life so much. I hope to continue changing the lives of others in the process. I love you all so much! The Church is true, the Gospel is true, and Christ lives! Until next week, Elder Richins