Wooooow. So tomorrow is tranfers. How is it that I´ve already been in Brazil for 6 weeks?
Apparently tomorrow we will get a phone call telling us if we will stay, go, etc and then on Wednesday we go to our new area (or stay in our regular one)
I am really excited for this upcoming transfer… I have a lot of high hopes and a lot of big goals.
This past week has been pretty slow… my companion´s back was hurting so her and Sister Ramos went to the hospital and things have just been slow ever since then. I did some exchanges with Sister Braz though and I´ve learned a lot from her! It´s good to see new techniques and ways of teaching.
As for our investigators, we have a lot. I am not sure how many of them are actually solid, but we do have a lot of lessons that need to be taught!I think over all I would say: Brazillians talk… A lot. They can literally talk for hours…
This past week I´ve been working really hard on teaching more. Every day I try to practice teaching the lessons with the other sister´s and learning how to teach better. There is so so much to learn!
I decided that today more than talking about any of the experiences I am having I would rather just share my testimony with you all and the thoughts that have been on my mind this past week.
So… before my mission, I had a testimony of the Church. I knoew that I believed in it, I wanted to continue as a member my whole life, I wanted to raise my family in it, etc. I also knew that I wanted others to have it (hence the mission) I believed it would bring them more happiness. Now though, something inside me has changed…I´m not sure what changed, maybe it´s the fact that I´m now being exposed to people´s real lives and real problems… but my desire has turned into an absolute yearning.
I know I haven´t been on the mission long, but in only my month and a half of being here we´ve had epopel open up to us about a whole flood of personal life informaiton. Hunger, lack of money, lack of work, lack of home, lack of family… former prostitution, cheating on spouse, alcohol additions, smoking additions, many many drug addictions, stealing, cheating, lying, and even serious thoughts of suicide.
How do you respond to confessions like these?
As a missionary and with a nametag on my chest I have been authorized to help these people but how can I, a 20 yr old Iowa girl who doesn´t even speak the language, help these people with their countless and serious life problems?
I want you all to know that I know there is only one real answer to this question:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It´s a bold statement to make and I know maybe some of you don´t agree with me. Maybe you would have been more comfortable if I had simply said `Jesus Christ´ and left up to you to determine what that means. Let you decide who you think He is, what he stands for, or what your ´own personal path will be for following Him´
But honestly, I can´t just say that. Because ´Jesus Christ´ is not just a word to be personally defined, and neither is His gospel.
The truth is, plainly simply and beautifully: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is a real person, with a body just like you and I. He actually lived on the Earth and He actually taught specific, and real doctrine, He performed real and sacred ordiances, and made real and sacred covenants with the Father. He was the perfect example to all and He is our Savior.
That is the person that people need here. They need the true and living Jesus Christ with all the doctrines, principles, ordiances, and covenants that He established when He was on the earth.
And that is what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is. It´s the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know that. I know that He sits at the head of this Church. I know His Church is the ONLY answer to all the world´s problems…
And that´s why I and countless other young people all around the world have decided to give up time, money, education, and other opprotunities to be here on missions.
I want to testify that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that it is the truest book to have ever existed. Sometimes the Book of Mormon is hard for people to accept. It´s hard to accept a new book of scripture additional to the Bible. But I honestly believe that if the books were swapped, and the Book of Mormon came first and then after the Bible, just as many people would have a hard time accepting the Bible. They would reject it… just like the do the Book of Mormon.
I know though that the Book fo Mormon and Bible go hand and hand. They both testify of the exact same thing: The Gospel of Jesus Christ and they are both necessary.
I promise that if you are struggling to know if the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, member or non-member, you can find your answer by reading the Book of Mormon.
Read it, ponder it, and then pray about it.
It´s not enough just to fly through the pages to mark a task off the list, or to read it with a eye of pride, looking to disprove it…
You have to read it humbly, prayerfully, and with a true desire to know what is true.
And if you do that, if you read the Book of Mormon with an open heart… and then if you ask God, believe that He will answer you, being willing to accept humbly whatever the answer may be… I promise that Heavenly Father will answer your prayer. I absolutely 100% promise it. It´s the exact same promise that Moroni (a prophet from the Book of Mormon) extends in the last few pages of the Book of Mormon.
I´ve done it personally and I´ve recieved my own answer. If any of you know me you know that I am not the type of person to just roll over and accept rules, doctrine or religion just because I am told to. I am not going to support something just to conform. I have to really know for myself before I am willing to commit. But that´s exactly what the Book of Mormon is… it´s the opprotunity each of us have to know for ourselves. I know for myself that this Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for it in my life and I am so blessed to have the opprotunity to share with will all the people here in Natal Brazil.
I love you all!
I apoligize for my novel long emails… I guess I just have a lot of feelings haha
Propts to anyone who made it to the end!