Monday, September 29, 2014
I'm just so glad to be here and to be in this work!
What a week! So many things happened! First off, I have to let you know about what´s going on with my health, because i´ve been spending a lot of money lately... So my stomach problems got really worse this last week. I went to the hospital on Tuesday. Then I went to a gastrologist (?) on Thursday, and a laboratory on Saturday to do some tests. Then, on Saturday night, after a baptism (I´ll explain below about the baptism), we were walking home and the pain got worse than it had ever been. We went home, and, after an hour, we were driven to Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, the best hospital in São Paulo (I think). There, they gave me some pain medicine, and conducted some more tests, including an ultrasound and some kind of x-ray that looked like a CAT scan. They found nothing, but we will return to the laboratory tomorrow to do more tests. All of the doctors said that I´ve probably got an inflamed intestine. But President Dalton knows about all of this (he stayed up all night, waiting to take us home from the hospital Sunday morning at 5.) and he´s already giving me a blessing. I didn´t want to tell you this, because I don´t want any of you to freak out, but you need to know why I´ve been using my personal card so much! Well, it´s because I need to buy medicine (it´s not expensive enough for me to get reembursed), and I have to buy food for a special diet. And I´ve already used all of my mission money (and almost all of my emergency fund) getting to and from the doctor´s. I´m really sorry about it! I´m trying the best I can, but I can´t really do anything! :( We stayed home (President´s orders) on Sunday, and the Sisters brought us our lunch, and the Elders from Vila Natal came and administered the sacrament to us. We didn´t have bread, so we used chocolate crackers (all we had!). But I´m anything but discouraged! I´m actually really excited, despite having to miss so much work. I´m just so glad to be here and to be in this work! Saturday, after we got back from the laboratory, we went to city hall for Juvenal and Magda´s wedding! It was so great! They were married legally, until death! And later that afternoon, they were baptized! Now, for a long time, Juvenal had not spoken so much as a word to his brother because they had had a falling out. This conflict brought Juvenal and Madga very close to separating. But just as he was leaving his house to go to the baptism, Juvenal felt, in his heart, that he needed to talk to his brother. So he went there and made up with his brother and his family. They didn´t even know about the wedding. Juvenal and Madga showed up late to their baptism, but they brought with them a lot of family members, including their daughter, Laura. The baptism was so great. They were baptized by a brother who was bishop in the ward where they first went to church. It was such an amazing feeling! Now there is an entire family open to the Gospel. Madga´s baby girl will now be born and raised in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are so many reasons to rejoice! So, there´s something I learned in last Wednesday´s Multizone Conference. It´s President Dalton´s keys to making and accomplishing goals. They are as follows: Deadline Realistic Etched in Stone Always Reviewing Measurable Supreme Being Using these six keys, we can make and accomplish great goals, from key-indicators in the mission field, to preparing for an exam in college, or improving performance in a career. But I would like for us, as a family, to make a goal using this six steps. The goal is as follows: To bring two families to Christ, one being a less-active or inactive family and the other being a nonmember family, before October 2nd, 2015. As I come to the halfway mark in my mission, I was thinking a lot about what I can do to thank and also to support my family. This is what the Spirit told to me I should do. Because I can´t think of any gift greater than this, to help my family experience the thrill of bringing people to Christ. To accomplish the goal about the less-active family, you will need to do some visits, maybe bring people to church. This half of the goal will only be accomplished when every member of the less-active family has returned to church, and (if eligable) the temple. To accomplish the goal about the non-member family, you will need to help find and teach a family. You will need to help the missionaries follow up with them, help them feel welcome in the ward, and help them be baptized and confirmed and progress toward the temple. This half of the goal will only be accomplished when every member of the family is baptized and confirmed and firm in the church. In order to find and teach these two families, you have three great resources: The Missionaries - The missionaries will help you with the teaching. They also have an Area Book full of possible families, and they have their current investigators. They know lots of ways to find and teach people. Through Family Home Evenings and other meetings, they can teach you how to use Preach My Gospel and how you can help them! The Bishop - As you already know, the bishop will help you with integration. He can help you not only with the teaching and finding, but with helping the two families feel at home. He also knows, by way of revelation, which family is ready to be brought back to the fold of Christ. The Holy Ghost - Of course, in order to find these two families, you will need to, as a family, pray for inspiration from Heavenly Father. He knows all of His children, and will guide you two those who are prepared to hear your message. Through the Holy Ghost, you will know exactly what to say and when to say it. As an ordained servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I promise to you that this goal is very much possible. Please, do not wait! Use the six keys from President Dalton! The deadline is October 2nd. The goal is very realistic. Write the goal down in many places where you can see it and be thinking of ways to accomplish it. And do not change it! Every day, look and your goal and think about what you have done so far, and what you could do to get closer! Always study the scriptures and pray for inspiration! You can measure it by reporting to me about experiences, lessons, people going to church, and keeping commitments! I´ll ask about it every week from here on out! And don´t forget to have faith in the Supreme Being, that He will help you! God and Jesus Christ will be at your side as you embark on this great endeavor! Just have faith that you can do it and that these families are waiting for you. I want you to know that I know that you can do it. I know that you already have work, previous callings, etc., but nothing compares to sharing the temple blessing with two families who really need it! Just think of the joy we have as an eternally sealed family. Don´t you want to share that with the world? This is your opportunity. As a missionary, I´ve learned that, under the direction of the Spirit, I can make certain promises. I promise that working hard to meet this goal will strengthen our family and make our lives better, as well as benefit the entire Joplin Second Ward, even the whole world! Imagine if every year, we brought two families to Christ, bringing one back, and bringing another for the first time. This work will change the world. I testify that the Lord is calling you to embark in His service. I testify that the adversary is working harder than ever to destroy us and our mission, as individuals, and as a whole. Just look at what he is trying to do to me! But I testify that we will win, that nothing can stop in the way of this work. We are the rock cut from the mountain without hands, as spoken in Daniel 2. We, as a people, under the direction of our prophets and apostles and our King, Jesus Christ, will bring this world the truth of the Gospel and the temple blessings. I testify that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. I testify that God is our Heavenly Father. I testify that this world is His world and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His only true and living church. I say these things in the name of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen. I love you all and have a great week! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Palmares Estaca Casa Grande Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos