Monday, February 23, 2015

"I need this!"

First, we got a new Elder here!  He´s Elder M, he was my comp in Arizona!!!  Just kidding, but he is Elder M.  He's from the United States, which means he speaks English.  We still basically never speak English, but it´s nice to have someone here who speaks my language finally.  Elder M. is continuing the training of Elder P, and Elder U, and I are comps again.
 Second, we got two really cool new investigators this week.  Our Branch president is awesome.    He´s really young, I don´t think he even has 2 full years off of his mission yet.  He´s married and has a child though, and is full of energy and super missionary oriented (like you, Dad!).  Anyhow, he gave us a referral that we went to visit several days ago.  We knocked the door, and the girl that he´d referred us to wasn´t there but her sister was.  It was raining really hard, so she invited us in and we sat down and started talking to her.  It turned out she had absolutely no idea who we were, what we were doing, or what church we were from.  That´s pretty trusting, maybe it was our accents that got us in the door.  Anyhow, we talked with her a bit and she was super cool.  We left a pamphlet about the restoration with her (because she said that she likes to read), and planned to return the following day to hopefully find her and her sister there together.  When we showed up the next day, they were both there.  We talked for them for a while just to get to know them, and then after that we taught lesson 1.  It wasn´t the most technically perfect lesson that we´ve ever taught, but the spirit was there without a doubt.  The older sister, the one who we left the pamphlet with, had read the whole thing too!  She remembered things from it and already knew more or less what we were going to say.  It was pretty cool.  They both wanted to be baptized!  We´re still working with them, I´ll keep you up to date on how that goes.

   Third!  At the beginning of the last transfer, Elder A. and I had an investigator that we had taught the first lesson too.  He accepted a baptismal date, but then the emergency transfer happened.  My new companion and I weren´t able to visit him for awhile, and when we did he either wasn´t there or didn´t want to talk to us (I´m not sure which).  After several tries, we moved on.  Yesterday Elder U. and I were on our way to knock some doors near where he lives, and the thought ocurred to me that we could stop by him again.  It was the first time I´d thought about him in awhile, but nothing spectacular.  We caught him right as we was arriving at his house, and he invited us in.  We talked with him a bit, and found that a lot has happened to him in the past several weeks.  A series of events had occurred that culminated in his wife leaving two weeks ago, and he was in a really low spot.  We just talked to him for a while, and then shared a message with him.  We talked about how through the covenant of baptism we can have the Holy Spirit with us continuously, and how the bible teaches us that the fruits of the spirit are peace, love, patience, etc.  After we shared this message with him he told us how much better he felt as a result of our words, that they were exactly what he needed to hear then.  He said that he was happier than he´d been in a long time.  We asked him if he´d like to prepare himself to be baptized, and he said  ´´Would I like too?  It doesn´t matter if I´d like to or not, I need this!´´  We closed with a prayer, wiped the tears out of our eyes quickly, and headed out.  He told us as we were leaving that we came at the perfect moment for him, the moment when he needed us the most.  

   Elder Bednar spoke at the MTC about recognizing the spirit.  He said that if we are being ´´a good boy´´ or ´´a good girl,´´ keeping our covenants and living the gospel, then our ´´steps will be guided, your words will be directed.´´  It´s so neat to see this principle at work here in our area in Brazil.  The spirit didn´t come down, smack us with a 2x4, and tell us that we needed to visit José.  Instead, it came as a casual thought, nothing extraordinary.  When we are worthy, we are entitled to such guidance and will receive such guidance whether or not we realize it. 

   I´ve also been thinking a lot about love lately, and how charity should be my motive for working as a missionary.  I´ve read 2 Nephi 33 over and over again in my free time this week, and am praying for help and striving to apply those principles in my work.  We´re not just called to preach, but to minister.  I know of few greater pictures of what it means to minister than that given in 2 Nephi 33.  If you have the time, give it a read!

   Well, I´ve got to go now!  I love you guys, have a wonderful week!

Elder Sweet 

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