Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Complete and Total Devotion

Iaí, Família!  Como voces estão?

   This week was pretty awesome and pretty hard at the same time, let me explain!  Elder Uboldi and I worked harder this week than we´ve ever worked before.  We worked and worked and worked and marked appointment after appointment after appointment!  On the other end of things, our lunches where on the other side of the world basically every day.  One lady lived somewhere in the Sahara Desert, I think.  We had to traverse the Amazon, go through Panama, up through central america into Mexico, and then cross the great plains of the United States.  After that we went up through Canada to Alaska, prayed and fasted for fourty days to part the Bering sea, crossed the Bering strait on dry land, marched across Siberia, traversed the Urals and descended in Israel, then Egypt, and then we arrived in the Sahara.  We then wandered in the desert for fourty years, living off of nothing but manna and the dew that collected on beatle shells each morning before finding the lady who had signed up to feed us.  Going back was easier because they´d bridged the Bering strait by that time.  Anyhow, we still haven´t recovered from that journey but we´re planning to nap some today.  That will help, I think!

   We marked a lot of appointments this week, but almost all of them fell through.  We have several new investigators, and I´ll keep you up to date on them as time goes on.  One is a family that we talked to on the street.  They´re very well educated and understood the scriptures we had them read.  It was awesome!  Another is a 17 year old girl and her sister.  They told us that just based on our explanation of the restoration they knew it was true.  That was cool!  During that lesson something really funny happened too.  We always begin our lessons with prayer, and we usually ask whomever we are teaching if there is anything that they would like us to ask for for them in our prayer.  Now here´s where things get tricky.  The portuguese verb that means ´´to ask for´´ is pedir.  It´s irregular, and I´m still working on the irregular verbs.  The actual conjugation of pedir for ´´I ask for´´ is ´´peço,´´ but if you follow the regular conjugation it comes out as ´´pedo.´´  Funny enough, the portuguese verb ´´to fart´´ is pedar.  When we were opening the lesson, I couldn´t remember how to conjugate pedir so I gave it my best shot.  What came out was ´´Is there anything that I can fart for your in this prayer?´´  Yup.  That happened.  I struggled the whole rest of the lesson to hold back my laughter, at times I just had to bury my face in my hands and try to beat that memory out of my mind while my companion taught!  It was pretty awesome!

   Finally, this morning I read some words and talks from our prophets.  I read ´´O Cristo Vivo (The Living Christ),´´ which is one of the most incredible testimonies of Christ that there are to be found.  How grateful we should be to have living prophets on the earth today to guide us.  What an incredible gift!  As I read their words I cannot help but feel a deep respect and love for these men.  We need to make feasting on their words a priority in our lives and in our studies.  There are incredible messages, vital advice, and powerful testimonies to be found therein, and we take advantage of a marvelous opportunity for spiritual growth each time we read the words of living prophets.  I especially love the words of President Boyd K. Packer in his talk ´´The Witness.´´  In this talk he said the following:

  After all the years that I have lived and taught and served, after the millions of miles I have traveled around the world, with all that I have experienced, there is one great truth that I would share. That is my witness of the Savior Jesus Christ.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon recorded the following after a sacred experience:
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him” (D&C 76:22–23).
Their words are my words.
I believe and I am sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He lives. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, and “by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24).
I bear my witness that the Savior lives. I know the Lord. I am His witness. I know of His great sacrifice and eternal love for all of Heavenly Father’s children. I bear my special witness in all humility but with absolute certainty, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
It doesn´t get much better than that.  How blessed we are to have living apostles, even prophets, to guide us, and to testify of Jesus Christ.  Let´s make truly being a disciple of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, priority number one in our lives.  There is no greater happiness to be found than that which lies in complete and total devotion to Jesus Christ.

I love you all!  I feel your prayers everyday and treasure every one of your words.  I love you, miss you, and pray for.  Until next monday!

Elder Sweet

P.S. - Transfer calls are this coming sunday!  Our ward mission leader had a dream that I had a new companion who didn´t speak protuguese.  Maybe it´s a sign lol!  I´ll keep you guys up to date :)