Monday, February 23, 2015
I presented my decision to the Lord, and He confirmed it with a warm sensation in my heart, that I should stay and finish my mission.
Last Sunday, I gave a talk in church about overcoming despair and discouragement. Tuesday was transfers! I´m still with Elder Sharp and still in Interlagos! The only change in our district is our district leader, Elder Medina, 26 from Peru. Cool fact: he has more time as a full-time missionary, than as a member (non-full-time-missionary). We had a special musical number, a quartet (including Elder Sharp and Elder J. Barker) with me on the violin, and a pianist. We played "I´ll Go Where You Want Me To Go". It was awesome! I said good-bye to many loved missionaries who are going home this week. Among them are Elder J. Barker, my old companion, and Sister Farnsworth, from our stake! It was hard to say good-bye, but I know that we´ll all meet up again, at least on facebook. After the transfer, President pulled me into his office for an interview to prep me to receive revelation in the temple. Then, we took the train and a bus to the temple. We saw the new film! It was such a great session. As I sat in the celestial room, I opened with a prayer, read my patriarchal blessing, then my mission call, then I prayed again. I presented my decision to the Lord, and He confirmed it with a warm sensation in my heart, that I should stay and finish my mission. On the way home, we ran into 10 Americans! First was a missionary from the Rio de Janeiro mission about to go home, second was a brother who had served in Goiania, and was visiting the temple. Third was a sister missionary from Rio also about to go home, and fourth and fifth were her parents. We met with them in the Walmart (I developed some photos). Six through nine were two couples of senior missionaries, one of which might be my distant cousin! There´s Richins in his family and he´s from Utah (near Box Elder, or something like that). One of them lived in Joplin for a time! We talked a lot and got a picture with them. They teach self-sufficiency trainings to missionaries before they go home. The last American was a nonmember who respects Mormonism, but does not have a religion. He used to work in O´Fallon, Missouri, where my vitamins are made. What a small world! On Wednesday, we had a tri-ward family home evening (we have one every week). On Thursday, we went to see Doctor Carmen. The doctor gave me more medicine and we are waiting to see if the drops are really taking a positive effect. My "up moments" are higher, and my "down moments" come a little more frequently, but I feel more hope. This week, I want to start working again. On Friday, we had a ward social about unity. It was pretty good! We had a miracle yesterday at church! Diane, a recent convert who works at the nursing home, convinced her boss to take two patients and another worker to church. One of these patients (Cristiane) is a less-active sister whose records need to be moved from Parque Pinheiros (no one knows she´s here), and the other (Maria Ducarmen) asked to be baptized! She just leaned over and asked what she needs to do to be baptized in our church. We marked her for the 7th of March. I feel really good about this! And, the other worker who came, Carol, brought her husband and two kids to church! And the boss, Ivanilson, stayed for priesthood meeting, and felt the spirit so strong! He was crying, and asked for a Book of Mormon so that he could study it this week in preparation for next week! We will go back to the nursing home this week to do a service project, and I want to take Bishop there. Diane´s son, Lucas, will have his interview with Bishop to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood. All of these blessings came because Sister Anhanha called us to tell us that Diane was moving from Jardim Campinas to our ward. Just imaginewhat would have happened had we not followed the Lord´s commandment to teach all the recent converts! Junior and Melissa, a less-active couple we are working with, are progressing well. Junior is going to switch jobs so that he can go with Melissa to church on Sunday. We also met Camila, a young woman who had gone to church in the past, and also received the missionary lessons. She showed up on Sunday, was introduced to us, and we will visit her today, to help her be baptized this Saturday. That´s our goal, I´m stoked. Alessandra will get her baby this week! And Davi went camping with the youth during Carnaval. Alexandre, a recent convert, lost his brother last week. His brother died in a shoot-out with a police officer. He apparently was a major drug dealer. We are going to work even harder to help Alexandre stay true to the faith and get ready to serve a mission. We are also helping another recent convert, Milton, prepare to leave to serve his mission this spring. Today, we will go to Santo Amaro to drop off Elder J. Barker´s tie that I made. It´s really cool. I forgot the adapter, so I´ll send you pictures next week. I´m going to play the violin in sacrament meeting next week! I love you all and I know that Jesus Christ lives! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos