Oi minha família e amigos!
Wasn't General Conference just the most awesome thing ever!? I got to watch it in English this time around, so that was pretty exciting. I absolutely ADORED President Uchtdorf's talk (as always). He seemed to be speaking to the people of my area specifically. So beautiful! I also really liked ... oh shoot, what was his name? I can't remember now, but he was one of the last speakers in the Sunday evening session and he spoke about not letting something as simple as a country drive with the family on Sunday get you to let go of the iron rod. Sabbath day observance here in Brazil is a real struggle and it makes me wonder why I ever let a single Sunday go by back home without going to church. One of the covenants we make with God at baptism is to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Why is it so easy to take that commitment lightly and buy gas on Sundays or to use Sunday as a day to drive on vacations? The biggest struggle we have as missionaries is getting people to come to church. It doesn't matter if they're doing everything else right, if they don't come to church they can't be baptized and receive the saving ordinances of the gospel. Without going to church they can't progress. It's really no different after baptism. Without going to church, we can't progress. In Preach My Gospel it talks about how the first thing to slide before the corruption of a nation is Sabbath day observance. Once people get lazy or lax with that, everything else slowly starts to become less important, too. It's heartbreaking, as a missionary, to see my investigators choose work or family traditions over Sabbath day observance. It's even worse to see the members do it and think it's ok because they're so firm in the gospel
Honor the Sabbath day, folks! In the words of Forrest Gump "that's all I have to say about that."
This past week we worked a lot with two awesome young men: Edson (whom I mentioned last week) and Lucas. We're preparing them both to get baptized this coming week. Lucas has been going to Seminary all this past week with Leonardo (our happy helper recent convert) and loving it. Edson could have been baptized this past week, but the baptismal interview freaked him out and he was nervous that he wasn't ready or worthy. So we moved the baptism back a week. Then on Saturday he was all gung-ho about baptism and feeling great! We have this new rule in the mission that you have to let at least 2 days pass between the actual baptismal interview and the baptism, and since he'd chickened out of letting the Elders give him a legit interview, we really do have to wait another week now. Kinda sad, but it'll be better now because we can actually plan a beautiful baptism and have more members there to help out.
I'm loving my new companion, Sister F. Santos! Sister Durelli was transferred to Mussurunga for a couple of weeks to help out there while one of the sisters recovers from a knee injury, so it's been just the two of us. She reminds me SO much of myself when I first arrived-- full of love and fire and a little uptight in her determination to do everything just right. It's weird being the one who has to say, "Relax, Sister! Have fun!" That's usually what MY companions do. I'm really loving working with her!
Well, time's up (as always). I love you all and I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!! This is the best church EVER!!!!!