Monday, July 28, 2014
Never, never, never give up on anything!
So, I´ve learned a HUGE lesson over the last 3 months: never, never, never, never, NEVER give up on ANYTHING. Don´t give up on the mission. Don´t give up on the members. Don´t give up on the lunch calendar. Don´t give up on your companion. Don´t give up on your leaders. Don´t give up on yourself. And above all, don´t even think about giving up on God. I´ve seen so many people here, and back in the States, giving up on one or all of these things. It´s one of Satan´s favorite traps: to make us lose hope for someone or something. When we lose hope, we make room for doubt which just leads to suffering and sorrow. For a lot of time, I had given up on a few of the above things (I´ll assure you that it was never the last one). But thanks to a new companion, a change in leadership, and most importantly (and vitally), a change in perspective, I gained more hope. I grew, in the space of just a week, to really truly love this area. My heart began to ache as the transfer calls drew near. But I knew that whatever happened would be inspired. Thankfully, I will stay here in Palmares, with Elder J. Barker, at least until 2nd of September! When that day comes, I will (probably) have just 12 months in the mission! Can you believe it! Super trunky! I´m going to try not to think about it! So, I did have a birthday party after all! After I emailed you all, we did some grocery shopping. My birthday lunch was hotdogs and doritos: A good American lunch! We also bought pizza. I was the only one who had money at the time, so I bought it, but I didn´t have to help pay for the next one. My companions made my birthday awesome. And a family of recent converts threw me a surprise birthday party disguised as a family home evening. They made me TWO cakes, and sang for me, and they shared the spiritual message. It was really great! The candles (they had to go a long way to find them) didn´t work, so they gave them to me (it´s a big 1 and 9). I´m going to use the rest of my birthday money to buy a new shoulder bag (hopefully this one will last longer), and new shoes (super cheap but super durable; I just hope they will have my size!) About Gabriel and Guilharme, the two kids who showed up to sacrament meeting.... WE BAPTIZED THEM!!!! After more than four months, we finally had a baptism! My first in Palmares! It was so great! So Gabriel (age 12) and Guilharme (age 8) are super elect! They had already been going to church with their aunt Rita, but they weren´t baptized until now. They already knew everything, so we retaught everything during the week. There were so many miracles that made this baptism happen. I´m so happy for them! It was the greatest feeling when I baptized Gabriel. I love being a missionary! This church is so true! About Juvinal and Magda... They are having problems. Juvinal wants SO BAD to be baptized! But they need to get married and between their work schedules, and (maybe) a lack of desire on her part, they can´t seem to make it to the city hall with us. We missionaries can´t give marriage counsel, so we are just going to keep teaching, but at Magda´s pace. We need to keep them together! I want so bad for them to be sealed! Be sure to keep them in your prayers! Well, I´m going to close my letter here, because I´m going to try to send a picture. Tomorrow, I´ll see if my package arrived (thanks a lot!). I know that this Church is true! I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves us and that He suffered and died for us, and that, thanks to Him, we will be perfected one day. I know that God is my Heavenly Father, and that He called Thomas S. Monson to be our prophet. I love this gospel! This Church is true, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Have a great week! I love you all! Elder Richins