Monday, December 21, 2015

Officially 1 year in Brazil!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  

   I love Christmas, it´s such a great time of the year!  It´s funny though, I feel like the last christmas was only a year ago...

   Anywho, this year has absolutely flown by!  I now officially have 1 year in Brazil!  A year ago I didn´t understand anything anyone was saying, could hardly speak portuguese, and was as green as 
greeny´s come!  Now, my portuguese is a bit better, and I´m a little less green than I was!  So that´s good.

   Anyhow, first, thanks a ton for the "Take Time to Be Holy" bookmarks that you E-mailed me. 
That´s such a beautiful poem, and something that we should all apply in our lives.  That reminds me of something that Elder Torgen, the area 70 said, when he came to the mission tour several months ago.  He said that one time he heard someone ask a primary class "Why does God want us to Pray?"  He said that a little girl responded and gave such a beautifully simple answer to the question.  She said "Para matar as saudades que ele tem de nós."  It´s a bit tough to translate because the word "saudades" doesn´t have a good equivalent in english, but a rough translation of the phrase would be "So that he doesn´t miss us as bad."  That´s a neat thought.  Often we think of prayer, scripture study, service, etc. as things that we are obligated to do, and it ends there.  But each time that we think that way we forget how much our Father in Heaven loves us, and how much he must appreciate it when we take time for him.  There must not be any other being in the universe who is faced with as much unreciprocated love as he.  The amount of love that he has for us causes our small amounts to pale in comparison, and we so often forget to even think of him as we make decisions in our lives about what we will do and who we´ll be.  We should make reciprocating his love for us as high a priority in our lives as possible!

 This week we also had a baptism!    M., a woman we´ve been teaching for almost two transfers finally got baptized!
had a battle to overcome as well as the fact that she worked every sunday, but with faith, patience, diligence, and long-suffering, the Lord opened the door for her.  First, he gave her the strength to overcome her challenge, and now after numerous attempts and relapses, she finally broke free.  Then, right when she was ready to get baptized, she began working every sunday.  She spoke with her boss about getting sundays off, but he didn´t give sundays off to anyone in the restaurant.  With time and prayers, he decided to give each of his employees one sunday a month, and finally her sunday arrived!  Even better, she has a potential job opportunity in the next year that will give her every weekend off, which actually is pretty rare to find in Brazil.  We´re hoping and praying that that works out!  The Lord´s tender mercies are over all those that he has chosen because of their faith, to make them might with the power of deliverance.  We saw so many tender mercies given to M. during this time because of her faith, and I´m certain that the Lord will continue to open all of the doors that need to be opened for her in the future.

 I love you all tons!  I´ve got the best family in the world and I
can´t wait to talk to you guys on Christmas!  Until then, make it a great week!

Elder Sweet

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