Querida família e amigos....tudo bem?!
Happy October! The most beautiful month in the year where the leaves change colors, and the air is cooler, and the sun shines bright all around. Aaaaand we get to watch General Conference! :)
I'm missing my leaves a little, but we've had some pretty gorgeous weather this week in Cerquilho too! (When it's not raining). Cerquilho is linda, linda, linda. I'm in love with this little city. Sister Dutra is a Sister Training Leader, so on Wednesday we were in Sorocaba all day for leadership counsel. Returning felt so good! Both of us got off the bus and just smiled at each other. We're hooome!
We had a great week, as always. We're teaching Junior, the son of Mara and Edson! He needs to stop smoking, and then he's going to get baptized. It is so incredibly...just wonderful to teach this family. Each and every one of them is so receptive. (Update: Edson's at 2 Nephi 20!) Junior works until 10 p.m., which is why we haven't taught him much yet. Just on Sundays! But he's wonderful. They're all wonderful.
Edina Cleide and André Luis, the less active couple that just moved here, are doing great. We're helping them get all of the papers together right now so that they can get married, and in the meantime we're re-teaching them some gospel principles and helping them be strong in the gospel! Repentance is a beautiful thing :) Concentrar a vida. And in the process, we've started teaching her family! Her sister's name is Edina (which allows for no end of confusion) and she is sooo great. Her little baby was sick this past week, and she told us about how one night she went in the other room and just cried. Her husband followed her out, and they prayed together and started reading the Book of Mormon! She says she doesn't understand much, but they're almost to 2 Nephi.
How great was General Conference? I just about cried listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. So beautiful...I miss music. And English. Haha :) Saturday the internet wasn't working in the chapel, so Sister Dutra and I and a family from the branch all ran over to the nearest member's house and crashed their conference-watching-party. It was great. :) One of the members there with us was a recent convert (of 11 months) who's really been struggling. Elder Bednar spoke about tithing, and he started talking to Irmão Celio about all of his doubts. And then Elder Uchtdorf spoke, and he felt like it was just for him! "Nossa, how on earth? That's exactly what Irmão Celio just said!" It was really great, and he was super attentive the rest of the session!
Sunday everything worked out for us to watch it in the chapel, and it was woooonderful. Haha especially Elder Oak's talk for João and Cris (they need to get married)--he just kept talking, and they looked at eachother, and then at us....yes. Go get married...now! I loved what was said. The commandments are an essential part of the Plan of Salvation, and to be lawfully married is important, regardless of what the world might say. The world changes, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Like my brilliant brother said in his talk last week, "Commandments are not restrictions -- they are blessings that help us achieve our eternal potential."
Other things I loved from Conference...
- Be clean! The Lord needs people that are different from the world.
- The Power of Prayer in missionary work
*Pray to find opportunities to share the gospel throughout the day
*Pray for people specifically by name
*To show our faith in our prayer, go out and ACT! Invite others to learn more. If someone says they're 100% not interested, we still
give them directions and leave them with the invitation to come to
Church someday if they change their mind.
- If we want to have more experiences in sharing the gospel, we need to speak with more people about it! It's the same principle of "casting your net". Not everyone that you'll talk to will be interested, but some of them will. And the more people you talk to, the higher this number of people that will accept the gospel will be
- Repentance is not a punishment--it is a pathway full of hope (this reminded me of Elder Cristopherson's talk in April 2012--"Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces whenever we speak of it")
- The gift of the holy ghost is essential to our spiritual survival in this dark world! This is why people need the gospel, and why we should always strive to have the companionship of the Spirit with us
- Have I served with all my strength? Not until I've asked for His help--the help each of us is entitled to. He is our Savior, and He's here to help us now. The most important thing we can do in our lives right now (especially for the youth) is to learn how to apply the Atonement in our lives
Well, I love you all! Thank you for the wonderful examples you are to me!
|The only copy I have of our zone...and the elders were running. Oh well|
|A catholic church and part of a park. Pretty!|
|A random dog that followed me home for 10 minutes. I named him garrafa (which means bottle...I only like it because it's fun to say in a "MUFASA!!" voice!) which is pronounced like gahafa, btw. haha I keep seeing him around the city!|
|My feet from a couple of weeks ago. It's stronger now!|
|Not a very good picture, but us with Irmão Celio, Ivani, e Daví and Aldeni and Antonio (members) at the branch activity|
|Our baptismal font|
|the park where we had a branch activity|
|In Tatuí, where we have district meeting|