Monday, April 6, 2015
What a Holy Week this was!
What a holy week this was! To start off, we had a great meeting as a mission after the transfer on Tuesday! A brother came and talked to us. He has some kind of disease which results in his legs not having any skin on them. When he was born, the doctors said that he would not live more than 20 years. As a young adult, he had a dream where he saw Mormon missionaries, and a beautiful church, and a pool of water. The next day, he ran into the missionaries and demanded to be taken the nearst chapel. It turned out to be the same one from his dream. He asked if there was a pool of water inside. Then, he refused to leave the chapel until he was baptized. A few years later, he prepared himself to serve a mission. Although his stake president was hesitant (because this brother have much difficulty walking, especially in dress pants, which stick to and tear at his exposed legs, causing him to bleed) he sent the application to church headquarters. This brother´s call arrived a little bit later. He told us a few stories from his mission. In the end, he served an honorable, full-time mission, without complaining, baptizing many. He bled 2 liters of blood every night. That should be impossible, but this brother prayed every night for strength from God. And he recieved it! He not only changed the missions of his companions, but he also caused a ripple, affecting the salvation of generations. He baptized the Maia family, in Goias, Brasil. A little girl later born into this family grew up and is now serving in my mission. SIster Maia as since helped many more people. It was so cool to see how one man´s decision to not give up, despite excruciating pain and difficulty, can affect so many people! On a funny note, I got to eat two of my favorite foods on Tuesday. Liver and chicken heart! So good! We went to the psychiatrist´s office on Thursday. Dr Carmen says that I am making excellent progress. We will keep reducing the sleep medicine and upping the anti-depressant. Our goal is for me to not need the sleep medicine soon. W had to go back there the next day to pick up a perscription that I forgot to ask for that I needed (look at our dedication to making me better!) Since Friday was a holiday, there was very little traffic. But we took the train, and there were so few trains that they only came every 30 minutes. It was really annoying, because we had to wait so long and the train was still packed full of people! Good thing we got cat tongue McFlurries at McDonalds! On Friday morning, we had a very special experience. Our goal (President Dalton, Elder Sharp, and I) was for me to be healed by the end of last transfer. For some reason or another, neither Elder Sharp, nor I, felt ready for this blessing last Sunday. But he came and talked to me, after I had just calmed down from an anxiety attack. It had been bugging him the whole week. He begged me to help orient him on this. I responded that I just didn´t know if I was ready, or if I had the faith. After a long talk, we decided to listen to the Spirit. I felt that we should read John 10:27 (actually, the thought was put into my heart and my head). It reads: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" The scripture touched our hearts, and we prayed fervently for faith to perform the blessing. Then, I recieved the priesthood blessing. I can testify that I felt something leave my body. It felt as if my mind had opened, that the dark clouds of depression were scattered and I saw light for the first time in a long time. It was glorious. We both knew that it was a miracle. When I was set apart as a missionary, President Pulsipher said that I would have wisdom to know what and what not to put into my body, and also that I would listen to what the doctors have to say, and do it. This counsel, along with confirming revelation, tell me that I am not yet 100%, but as I keep taking my meds faithfully, I will get there. But I can testify that Heavenly Father had mercy on me and gave me a much needed, and very helpful head-start. Conference was wonderful. I took so many notes! It´s like I got so many tips on helping me endure to the end happily! I got so much revelation! I´ll definitely be looking back on these notes after I finish my mission. It seems as if every conference gets better and better. How great it is to be taught and prepared by prophets and apostles who talk with God! It´s amazing! All thanks to a loving and loyal Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to Him. I testify that He sent His Son, His Only Begotten Son, to suffer and die for all of us. The infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ gives me so much strength! He suffered for me, so that my load could be lighter, so that I could never be tempted, nor have problems, greater than I could bear. He took upon Himself all of my sins, sicknesses, weaknesses, and pains, and mistakes, so that I did not have to suffer them all by myself. It´s wonderful to know that the Mighty God of Israel, the great Jeovah, condescended to earth to save me. He even died for me. Jesus Christ broke the bonds of death. He was resurrected on the third day, and He lives today. Because He lives, I will be able to live forever, not just on this earth, but in the eternities with my family, friends, and my Heavenly Father. I testify of Jesus Christ and everything that He has done for us, His younger brothers and sisters, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos