Monday, January 12, 2015

More Than Bread and Water

Hey there, family!  How´s life back in the States?
This has been a pretty crazy week.  Like I said in my last E-mail, I went to Goiânia on Monday and had to go back on Thursday too.  I do already have my visa, but I was there to pick up a piece of paper that would be my ID while I´m here in Brazil.  Most of this week was spent in the bus or waiting at the Federal Police station in Goiânia, but I did get to work a little!  Yesterday Elder O. and I taught a lesson about prayer to two new investigators.  These two are super solid investigators, they´re coming to church and to all of the activities too.  They´re also keeping all of their commitments like reading scriptures and praying about what we teach them to learn from God if it is true.  Missionary work gets so much more exciting when you start to get people coming to church.  Seeing your investigators there just absolutely makes your day.  Its also fun being able to see people that I´ve found on the street start taking the lessons, coming to church, and on the road to baptism.  There´s a joy to be found in this work that´s unlike anything else I´ve ever experienced; it´s life-changing.

Before I left on my mission someone asked me how, in a foreign country where people are usually much poorer than they are in the US, I would go about trying to tell people that they need Jesus.  I can´t remember exactly how I responded, but even with just the little time that I´ve had here on my mission I´ve learned how to answer that question in a much more meaningful way.  Yes, it is difficult in some way to go up to people who, in some cases, may not even know if they will have food the next day and tell them that I have a message for them that is worth their time.  It could be better spent, one might think, procuring food or working for some wage.  This brings to mind an event that is recorded in the New Testament.  Jesus was at a well at the same time as a certain Samaritan woman.  He asked her to fetch him water.  She was somewhat surprised that a Jewish man would even talk to her, a Samaritan, let alone ask for a favor.  She responded ´´How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.´´   
 He said to her ´´If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.´´ Her response has intrigued me for some time.  She said ´´Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep:  from whence then hast thou that living water?´´ I love the imagery there.  ´´Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.´´  In life we have need of water to sustain the lives of our physical bodies.  Likewise, living water is a need of our spiritual bodies if we are to have eternal life with God.  The well, however, is deep, and we have nothing with which to draw the water that we so desperately need.  As Jesus himself said, we must drink of the water that He gives us.  He descended below us all,
even to the bottom of the well, that he might bear the burden that we could not and fetch for us this water.  He did not use something to draw with, for he was the vessel.  The task that he bore was greater than any other ever accomplished, but Jesus Christ did the will of the Father and finished it. 

The price of this living water is beyond expression, a more valuable gift there simply is not.  And yet, it can be had if we simply ask.  So, how can I tell the people here in Brazil that they need Jesus, even more than they need bread and water?  By helping them realize that the bread and water that Christ offers us is of far greater value than that which we earn by the sweat of our brow.  The water that we procure for ourselves satisfies for but a moment, but partakers of the living water, that which only Christ can offer us, find an eternal gift that never fades.  That´s it.  There isn´t some trick to it, there´s no clever sales tactic that we employ.  It simply comes down to the fact that in the eternal scheme of things the message that we bear is more valuable than anything else, and in it more happiness can be found than anywhere else.  God is our loving Heavenly Father.  We cannot see the end from the beginning, but he can.  Trust him.  He has prepared a way for us to have this living water, and the way is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  No greater gift has ever been given from a parent to their child or from a brother to his siblings, and no greater expression of love can possibly be had than that of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  In his name, even Jesus Christ, I testify of that truth.  Amen.

I love you all a ton!  Have a wonderful week, tons of smiles, and great new memories!  Talk to you all next week!


Elder Logan Sweet    

1 comment:

  1. Logan I absolutely loved this post! I am so glad you are having these amazing experiences. Was your companion able to be with you while you were traveling last week?