Monday, August 11, 2014
We went to the temple on Tuesday!
This week was really good! We went to the temple on Tuesday! It´s been little more than six months since I´ve been there, so it was needed! The session was so good! Elder Pinheiro (my last companion) was there! It´s been so long, it felt like the first time all over again (and it was in Portuguese, which didn´t help! I actually felt really nervous). But it was so good! I felt so close to the Savior! I was able to sit in the celestial room and just breath, and meditate a little about God´s love for us and His great plan of happiness. Going to the temple is literally taking a little time out of our busy schedules to visit our Father in Heaven, to sit with Him and just be in His presence. It was very refreshing! I just want to go back! After the temple session, we went to the Loja do Templo (Temple Shop, or Distribution Center). It´s in the same building as the Church Headquarters in Brasil. It was cool knowing that President Monson and the apostles could well have been in the same building! So, I bought some DVDs to aid in our teaching, and a white tie for baptism (mine disappeared), a Temple magazine to show investigators, and a couple other things I needed. I also bought the Old Testament Seminary DVD. It´s not only really helpful for teaching, but it´s also really helping my study. And it reminds me of Seminary with Mom! In my spare-time Bible study, I´m in Isaiah. My companion has an interview with the President today, so I´ll have lots of time to read. I think I´ll finish it. I love Isaiah so much! There´s so much about the Atonement, life of Christ, Great Apostasy, Restoration, Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, missionary work, temples, and the last days! I´m hooked! I´m also really enjoying Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon. The more I study these materials, the more I grow as a missionary and as a servant of the Lord! There´s so much to learn! I made a new friend! Our new zone leader, Elder Brelaz! He´s from Manaus, Amazonas. He´s really cool! We are going to hang out in Utah after our missions! I´m meeting so many people, here in the mission! Having good friends truly is part of God´s plan of happiness! So, I put Juvinal´s and Magda´s names in the temple and the very next day, when we went there, they said that they were getting better! Since then, we´ve been seeing progress! I think we might just save their marriage! Jaqueline and her kids weren´t baptized yesterday because Jaqueline´s boss switched her day off. Next week, she will definitely be baptized! Her friend, Maria, who is less active, and gave us the referral that led us to teach Jaqueline the first time, is really excited for her, and we will try to help her return to church so that she and Jaqueline can support one another. Kelly needs a lot of help. I can´t explain much, but her situation is really bad. But every time we talk to her about the Gospel, she feels better. We find her on her breaking point and leave her calmer and glowing. There is still hope for her! There´s a young man named Breno that we are working with. His two brothers were baptized but don´t affiliate with the Church. His friend, Mykail, was also baptized, but has the desire to return to the church. So, we are helping Breno to prepare to be baptized on the 17th. We went there with Adilson, a 17-year-old recent convert, who´s also a good friend of mine. We taught about the Gospel and Temple Work. I asked Breno if he has a loved one who passed away. He told us that his older brother died recently. As we explained about temple work and about the spirit world, Breno begun to cry. Adilson explained to him that he could see his brother again and that death is not the end. Adilson also had a death in his family within the past few months, and, although he hides it, I think it was hard on him. So this experience really touched Adilson. He didn´t want to make the visit with us. He was really busy that day, but we conviced him to do just this one visit. On the way back to his house, I told him that he would baptize Breno. Yesterday, Adilson bore his testimony about the experience and about what I said. When I said it, I didn´t even think much of it. But now, I can see that even the little things that we do or say can really affect people! In the case of both Breno and Adilson, just an inspired question, or an uplifting thought, put the Gospel in the first priority. I´ll always remember to watch what I do, because it´s just as easy to hurt people as it is to help them. There´s also Weverson. He´s Vanessa´s brother. He´s really excited to be baptized! He wants it so badly! The only thing that is stopping him is his mom. Because of an anti-Mormon in our area, she went from loving the missionaries, to banning us (and any member of the Church) from visiting her or Vanessa. The anti-Mormon left, so there is hope. We gave Weverson the permission slip, so he´ll be getting the signature today. Please keep him in your prayers! I know that his baptism will not only reactivate his sister, but also excite all the youth in the ward to do more missionary work! Well, I have to go! We need to head to Santo Amaro for the interview! But I want you to know that this Work is true. I have no doubts about it! God exists! He is not dead, nor does He sleep! He loves us and wants the best for us! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, a God Himself, to suffer and die so that we may overcome spiritual death. And Christ lives. Because of him, we will live again, too. I bear witness of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. I love you all and have a great week! Elder Richins