Monday, August 29, 2016

Signing Off For The Last Time

Things are going great! I got back from my last divisions yesterday in R. V.!  We went to Stake Conference there, it was fantastic, I got to see several of the members that I knew when I served there, it was a fun experience!  
We moved to a new house!  I´m only going to sleep there 3 or 4 nights, but it´s going to be great for the next assistants and secretaries.  It´s very big, it has 5 bedrooms, a kitchen, another center room, and 4.5 bathrooms.  It´s pretty great!  Also, Elder C, my old companion, will be the next Assistant to the President.  He´ll be great!
G. was baptized this weekend, he´s a fantastic young man, he´s about 17 years old, and has a strong testimony of the gospel.  He says that he was deeply touched by the plan of salvation, and he has a testimony of the book of Mormon.  If he continues firm, he´ll be a great missionary!  Several of our other investigators will be baptized this next transfer.  We currently have 5 investigators with baptismal dates, so I´m very excited to see how they progress in the next few weeks!  When we got here in this area, there wasn´t anything.  There weren´t investigators, addresses, people with baptismal dates, nothing.  We´ve really turned things around this transfer.  Now we have 8 progressing investigators, and 5 have baptismal dates during the next several weeks.  The Lord has helped us tremendously!
 During my mission I´ve gone from believing to knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I´ve gained a far more personal testimony of the power of the atonement, the reality of the Lord´s sacrifice, and the eternal value of what He has done.  My gratitude for Him is so much greater now, and I can testify without hesitation of the healing and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.   
The mission´s a tough experience, but all of the hardships seem to fall into the category of overcoming myself.  This is also a good description of discipleship, turning from doing our will to doing the will of God.  This is something that I´m still struggling with, but I´m sure that in the coming years and decades the Lord will continue to help me with this as He has up till now.
I love you all a ton!  Thank you so much for all of your support!  I´m very excited to see each of you on Friday.
I love you all!
Elder Sweet

Monday, August 8, 2016

Repentance and The Pure Love of Christ

Hey there!  How are you guys doing?

   I don´t have a lot of time today, but I wanted to give a quick update on what´s going on here!  

   First, right now I´m back in P de M!  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera in G.  I´ll send some pics next week!

   This past week was extremely busy.   I wrote a talk about repentance.  I´ve attached a copy of it for you guys, but it´s in portuguese.  If you put it into Google Translate, a decent although not perfect translation should be provided.  
love ya! Elder Sweet

             Repentance and The Pure Love of Christ
When we repent and truly feel the loving arms of the Savior embracing us, forgiving, and changing us, we feel the pure love of Christ alive in a real way in our lives. Only then can we show a similar love.

I. Introduction
   This principle is the foundation of conversion. When we apply this in our lives, we become more like Jesus Christ and receive His forgiveness in our lives. Then when we teach this principle to our investigators, the inevitable result is teaching with the power of testimony and the baptism of many converts.  Today, I have a better understanding of repentance, and a sincere desire to repent in my own life and an increased ability to teach and call others to repentance.

II. By Means of Repentance We Can Be Redeemed
   In preparation for this conference, President B. gave me some talks for me to study about the topic of repentance. The Lord reminds us of the importance of this principle in Doctrine and Covenants section 1: "For I the Lord can not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; however, the one who repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven. "What a wonderful blessing it is! We all "[sin], and[are] the glory of God. "None of us could return to his presence in our natural state. One of the largest demonstrations of the Lord's love for us is repentance; through repentance we can be rescued from our state "removed" and return to God's presence. Through repentance we can be cleansed and worthy to live the fullness of joy in God's presence.

III. The Sinner’s invitation to be Forgiven
   Now, I'd like to talk a little about the experience of the sinner to be forgiven. I'll share a video from the Bible, one of my favorites. This video tells the story of the woman caught in adultery, and about the Pharisees, although their participation is silent, I ask you to do two things during the video:
1. Look in the eyes of the Savior, and think about what he was feeling during the experience.
2. Think of what the woman was feeling during your experience.

Video: Go and sin no more


First, what the Savior was feeling during the experience? I find it hard sometimes to think of what Jesus Christ should feel toward us. His love is so much more complete than mine, and empathy it is perfect because of the infinite Atonement he did. My empathy is so far from perfect. I try sometimes pray, so I can understand and feel even a little of what the Savior feels for us. When he saw the woman, he knew better than all the others that sin meant to him. "I'll have to pay for it. "Or this time he wondered" How many drops of blood will need to spill it? "Even with that knowledge, the Lord showed a love so perfect and complete as forgiveness for women. He knew well that he would have to suffer "suffering [do] that [he], God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed from every pore" for her. Still, the infinite compassion of the Savior is the predominant expression on his face.
   Now, what was the woman feeling during this experience? From my observation, the first things she felt were shame, guilt and fear. She was caught in the act of adultery, and she knew the consequences: she would be killed. She was humiliated when her sin it was declared publicly. I imagine that this woman was terrified and ashamed of what she had done. But at the end of the video, I believe her attitude changed a bit. When the Lord said, "Neither do I condemn you," I believe she felt what is best captured by the words of a hymn. "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me; Confused at the grace of its light. "She had a real experience with the forgiveness of Jesus. Her life was literally saved. How could she go through this experience without feeling the deepest love and gratitude for the Savior? The same goes for all of us when we repent truly. In the process of repentance we feel the pure love of Christ tactile way, real and individual.

IV. The Sinner that Refuses to Repent
   Now, I have one more question. Did the scribes and Pharisees feel that same love of Christ in their lives? Of course not. The sinner who repents not can never know the pure love of Christ as the sinner who repentance is truly complete.
   The Savior Himself declared, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. "He never knew them because they never took upon themselves the yoke of Christ, they never took the brunt of it. What is the yoke of Christ? What is this burden that he asks us to take? Largely, it is repentance. "And again I say unto you must repent and be baptized in my name (...) or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily I say that this is my doctrine. "If we deny the same to know the Savior, choose not to repent, we will never know the pure love of Christ the same way as the penitent sinner.

V. Knowing the Pure Love of Christ through repentance
   So, for the sinner to know Jesus Christ and his pure love, repentance is necessary. Jesus likened himself to a hen who wanted to "gather her brood under her wings," but they "would not". How can the chick who refuses his chicken mother invitation know the loving embrace of her wings? This principle applies to both missionaries and members, as teachers. We cannot know the pure love of Christ without repentance. Let us not be the missionary who prophesied in his name, or cast out demons in his name, or who did many wonderful works in his name, but never met him. Knowing the Savior through repentance is infinitely more important to us as missionaries than as we teach others how to do this. It is impossible to encourage another to do what we do not! This reminds me of one of the last teachings of the Savior: "And this is life eternal that they might know thee only, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.  Now I'm beginning to see a little better the eternal value of repentance.
   Jesus Christ taught "my arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive, and blessed are those who come to me. "Elders and sisters, we are willing to pay the price to be inveloped by his merciful arms, the price of repentance? I suggest to you that this is exactly the same price necessary for us to know the pure love of Christ. The scriptures say that the repentant sinner "[fills] with joy. "Elder Anderson said," I marvel at the arms of mercy and love involving the repentant, no matter the sin. "I testify that when we truly repent, we experience and feel the pure love of Christ in our lives. Only then can we show a similar love.

VI. Conclusion
Now, I'm almost at the end of my mission. I have reflected a lot about what I'm going to take me home because of this experience. One of the things I will take with me what I most cherish is a stronger testimony of my Savior. What has changed is not so much my understanding of the Atonement, but surely this was expanded. The biggest change was the firmness and conviction of my belief in the Atonement, and the vigor with which seek to apply it in my life. I also found out that to show charity first must experience charity. When we repent and truly feel the loving arms of the Savior, sometimes even our Heavenly Father, we embracing, forgiving, and turning, we feel the pure love of Christ alive and real way in our lives. Only then can we show a similar love. The sinner who refuses repentance and forgiveness through Christ will never be able to express to his brother the pure love of Christ, because he never knew Him. One of the greatest expressions of gratitude that we can make for the sacrifice of the Lord is to repent; We show our gratitude for his sacrifice using his sacrifice. I know that Jesus Christ took upon himself all our sins. So let us take upon us his name. I know that Jesus Christ bore alone the yoke of our pains and ailments. Then can we carry, next to him, the yoke of true discipleship? The thing that causes me wonder about the Atonement of Christ is that he suffered for us because He wanted to suffer for us, He offered to do the will of the Father on our behalf. So let us offer ourselves to the Father's will to show our gratitude. He died and He rose again, and because of it there is no doubt in my heart that my family can be eternal. I pray that I may be deeply grateful for his infinite sacrifice, and I can show it to the Lord by repenting more deeply.  In the name of Jesus Christ amen,



Monday, August 1, 2016

Working With The Members

Hey all!  

   This week has been great!  We´ve been working like crazy, and we have some great new investigators now!

A. - 16 year old who has a lot of desire to be baptized on the 13th of august!
A. - One of A´s friends who´ll probably be batized the week after A.
C.- A member reference that was praying for the Lord to show her a path to follow!
M. - Another woman who is progressing really well toward her baptismal date on the 13th of august!

   This week we worked a lot with members!  We taught 11 lessons with member present and we recieved various referrals!  Working with the members is making all of the difference here!  I´m sure that we´re going to see even greater results in coming weeks because of their desire to participate and serve!

   This week the first of 3 Zone conferences is going to happen, so we´re excited!  We´ve got a lot of work to do, but it´s going to be great!

I´ve got to go now, but I love each of you a ton!  Keep the E-mails coming!

Love,
Elder Sweet

Here´s Some Pics!

Zone Meeting in R.!  It was a lot of fun!  I got to do a division with the Zone Leaders in R, my second area here in Brazil!  It sure was fun to work there again, it brought back a lot of memories!


Elder M, one of my companions from almost a year ago, came to visit the mission!  I got to take a photo with him really quick!  It sure was great to see that he´s doing well!


Hey all!  E-mails going to be kind of quick today, but here´s what´s up!

   This week I´m going to stay in G, and Elder B is going to M G!  I´m going to do some more divisions here in G, and we´re all thinking hard to plan our Zone Conferences!  The first, second, and third weeks of August we´ll be giving the Zone Conferences in the mission, so we´re preparing some pretty cool trainings to give to the missionaries!  The topics are probably going to be:
1. Using the Book of Mormon
2. Teach when you find, Find when you teach
3. What is Repentance?
4. The Brazil Area´s Goals

   I´m really looking forward to it!  It´s going to be a great opportunity to learn and teach!

I´m back in A G, this is the third time I´ve passed here so I already know all of the members pretty well.  There´re much less people going to sacrament meeting there now, so I´ve got 5 weeks to make the biggest difference possible! 

I´m grateful for the encouraging E-mails from each of you and from the prayers that I know you say for me and my investigators.  The prayers of the righteous can have great impacts!  I´m so grateful that we can communicate with our Father in Heaven in prayer.  It is such a sublime experience when we pray sincerely, and wait patiently for a response.  At times the answer to a question is not given in words or specific thoughts, but a simple yet profound feeling that all will work out.  I know that the Lord is in control, and that everything will work out!

I love you all a ton!

Elder Sweet

Monday, July 18, 2016

Transferred!!! Kind of...

Members from P!  

The new Assistant to the President Elder B
Hey all!
   So, this letter´s going to be really quick!  Anyhow, here´s what´s up!  I´ll continue as Assistant, but now I´ve got a new Junior companion named Elder O.  He´s got 10 months on the mission and I´m really excited to work with him!  He´s a great missionary, very dedicated to the work!  The new Assistant is Elder B.  I sent a picture with him.  He´s got 1 year on the mission, and as well is an excellent missionary!  He´s very excited for the new assignment and is full of new ideas to help the mission grow!  

   We´re also going to a different area, and I think that I´m officially breaking a mission record!  I´m going back the G. Ward!!!  This is the third time that I´ve been assigned to work in this ward, so there´s probably someone there that the Lord wants me to find, but that I didn´t find the first two times he put me there!  So, I´ve got 6 weeks to do a miracle there and find this person! 

   We´re going to be doing a lot of divisions, so actually I´m going to have more time out of my own area this transfer than in it.  This week we´ve got the leadership meeting, and after that we´re going to R.  on a division and then we´re going to have a Zone Conference there with President B.!  It´s going to be a lot of fun!

   Saying goodbye to everyone in P. was difficult.  This has been another one of those areas where I really put my soul into the work.  Although we didn´t see many results, many great seeds have been planted.  P, a young man that we found several months ago, passed through a phase of doubt, but just a few days ago told us that he was absolutely certain that everything that we´ve taught is true, and that he wanted to be baptized.  Unfortunately, his parents are against the baptism and he´ll have to wait until he´s 18.  But I feel that he´s well on the way to true conversion, and will likely be baptized a few years from now.  Z. is also very solid in her resolve to live the gospel.  She cried when we said bye to her and her son G. yesterday, but said that she´s extremely grateful to the Lord for having led us to her to help her come to a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel, and she also promised us that she´ll persevere until the end, and do everything necessary to be baptized.  I´m sure that the Lord has great plans in mind for her and her son G!

I´ve got to go now, but I love each of you a ton!  Thank you so much for your prayers!

Love,
Elder Sweet

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bridges and Miracles

Hey there, Family!
 I took this video as we were travelling with President B. and his family and President S.  
It´s right as we crossed over a bridge.  Does it ring a bell?

   First, I want to express my sorrow for our loss of Uncle Jack.  He has been a key figure in my childhood, one of the people that I remember as having most taken an interest in me.  He´s a man that I truly love, and I hope and pray that we might all be part of an eternal family!
   What a great blessing our Father in Heaven has given us.  Knowing that families can be eternal brings a great sense of meaning and purpose to my life.  For this I am truly grateful.
   This week I decided to apply something that Elder Bednar said in the "Face-to-Face" several months back.  When asked how was his experience being an apostle, he replied that the work that he undertakes in the holy apostleship is largely about helping "ones," individuals that are needing to be help.  The Lord is fully willing, he said, to send an apostle half-way around the world just to help a recent convert who is struggling with the word of wisdom.  President B. told us something similar several days ago.  He said that when Elder Z. and I travel to a different area for a division, many times the Lord will have put us there to help someone who is needing to hear our testimony.  I woke up everyday this week eager to find these opportunities and fulfill the will of the Lord for these individuals in need.  And what miracles resulted! 
   The experiences that I had this week were simple in their nature, but the spirit was there with a presence so strong to testify to me that my companion and I were being used as the conduit for the tender mercies of the Lord to one of his children.
   I´ll describe just a few of these experiences right now.  One was a recent convert in U.  He was baptized about 8 months ago, but has already begun to fall away and question his testimony.  I went there with one of the Zone Leaders to help answer some of his doubts about the Book of Mormon.  After a bit of conversing, I asked him if he had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true.  "I won´t lie to you," he said, "I never have."  I was honestly baffled that he was even baptized without ever having read the Book of Mormon, but grateful that he had been honest with me.  I felt in that moment that we should all kneel down together, and that he should pray and ask the Lord if the Book of Mormon is true.  So we did.  I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and I pray that he might gain and nourish a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.
   Another was a woman named E.  When we contacted her on the streets of P, she said "you can teach me but you ought to know that I will not change my religion."  We sat in the front of her house and began to teach the Restoration.  At the moment of the first vision, when the spirit is usually most evident, I asked her what she was feeling.  She responded that she was feeling normal, even though my companion and I could feel the presence of the spirit.  We finished the lesson, and I testified to her with all my might that our families can be together forever, and that this message is true.  Still nothing.  We then invited her to say the closing prayer.  I helped her through it, but right at the end she stopped and started to cry.  We knew that she was feeling the spirit in a way that she never had before, testifying that we are servants of Jesus Christ.  I earnestly pray that she will act upon that feeling.
   There were several other individuals that we found in need of hearing our testimonies, including a less active family who´s father has a fantastic testimony, a missionary passing through a difficult time in his mission, and many others.  Simply seeking for opportunities to share my testimony with all my heart to touch the lives of my brothers and sisters has made this week one of the most miracle filled weeks of my mission.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior, and that he died for us!  Let us all take advantage of this gift in our lives and share with all the world!
I love you all so much!  Have a great week!
Elder Sweet

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Carry On!

"God Be With You Till We Meet Again..."
Photo credit: Elder A's Blog

"Carry On..."
Photo Credit Elder A's Blog
A picture of me with Elder M. at a Zone conference last week!  
He´s currently serving in one of the farthest areas in the mission!
A member of the ward sent us pizza from his Pizzaria!  It was great!  Pepperoni with cream cheese and cream cheese stuffed crust! (I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, sorry!)
Hey there, 

I´m doing great!  The mission really is 100 times better than I ever thought that it could be!

President B. is truly incredible, he´ll certainly be able to continue the work that President K. has started!  

Elder Z. is here for two more weeks, then he´s going home.  We´re leaving at noon today to tour half the mission!  

I love you two a ton!  I´ve got to go now, but we´ll talk later!  Have a great week! 

Love,
Elder Sweet

Monday, June 27, 2016

91 and Dedicated

Hey all!  
   I hope that all of you are having a great week!  This week, I wanted to tell you all about one of my favorite members from my current ward.

   In the photo that I´ve attached, you´ll see me and another member from our ward named D.  He´s a convert of about 1 or 2 years, and is going to the temple for the first time this week!  He´s 91 years old, and even with his difficulties he does everything possible to show his love to the Lord.  

   Every Sunday morning at 8:20 (40 minutes before sacrament meeting) Brother D. can be seen walking through the chapel doors, having walked from his house to church alone.  Considering his age, his pace isn´t all that fast!  But still the same, he´s always one of the first people seated in the chapel.  As soon as he sits down, he opens up a little priesthood manual that he received and studies the ordenances of the Melchezedeck (I have no idea how to spell that anymore!) Priesthood, which he received just a little while ago.  When we asked him what he was studying, he said "Well, I´ve got the priesthood now, so I need to know how to use it!"  

   Two weeks ago was stake conference.  Because of the fact that many members here don´t have cars, the ward chartered a bus to take the members to the stake center.  The bus left the chapel at 8:30.  After the stake conference I saw Brother Domingos, and went up to talk to him.  He told me that he forgot about the stake conference and when he got to church (he was running a little late that sunday), the chapel was closed up and no one was there.  He said that he felt the spirit tell him to go to the house of a member that lives close to the chapel, so off he went!  He said that he got there right as they were getting ready to leave, and they offered him a ride to stake conference!  

   There´s a number of other stories that I could tell you all about Brother D, such as how his 70 year old son came to visit him last week among others, but the message is always the same!  
I´m grateful for the opportunity that I´ve had to see such a dedicated and faithful example of discipleship!  He´s a reminder to me of the dedication that the Lord wants from us, and the peace and joy that comes from a life centered on Christ!  If we are quick to observe, then we´ll find that we are blessed to be in the presence of our spiritual superiors, even spiritual giants, on a regular basis.  Let us all learn from there example!

   The greatest thing that I´ve come to know to a greater degree on my mission is that Jesus is the Christ!  Becoming like him is our aim, and living his gospel to become like him is the secret to a happy and eternal family!   

I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Sweet

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Greatest Truths


Hey there, Family!

   So, I´ve got to be really quick but let me give you an update on what´s going on here in the Brazil Goiânia Mission!

   First, Elder Z. and I are probably going to have a baptism this Saturday!  His name is G.  He´s only 8 years old, but he and his Mom are seriously investigating the church.  They two have already read the Book of Mormon and received a testimony from the spirit, and are progressing really well!  

   We´ve been putting a huge focus on eternal families in our work and in the mission as a whole.  In the leadership meeting a couple weeks back we gave a training about the importance of finding, teaching, and baptizing families.  The fundamental purpose of everything in the church is creating eternal families, and when we teach this truth clearly, simply, and powerfully as soon as we find someone then they soon see that this isn´t just another church.

   A couple days ago I contacted a man on the street who wanted to argue with me about this point.  He was so utterly emphatic; "When you die that´s it!  There´s no father, mother, brothers, nothing.  It´s just each of us in our own corner and God."  I tried to help him open his eyes to the greatest truth of the restoration, but he preferred to keep them closed.  I bore my testimony to him that 
God´s plan is that our families can be together forever, and that I know that this is true because I prayed and received a witness from God.  After he left, I said a silent prayer in my heart that someday he might see the beauty in the truth, and accept into his life and his family the fulness of the blessings of the restored gospel.

   This is the greatest of all truths, that our families can be together forever!  I testify that this is true!  
Farewell Meeting for President and Sister K.
Elder Sweet standing second from the right
Photo from Elder A's Blog


Love you guys!
Elder Sweet

Junho Ja! Photos! Finally!!!

Lunch at Batatinha´s after the Mission Leadership Meeting!

This is a brazilian street food called a pastel.  They get a flat, rectangular piece of dough, stuff it with whatever you want, fold it half to seal it, and then they fry it!  It´s not the healthiest food on earth, but it sure is good!


After the creation of the Patos De Minas District!

Me and Elder F, one of the missionaries that was serving in Patos de Minas at the time.  Since then he´s been transferred and is now in G.

A cool photo of Patos de Minas!

Hey all!

   So this week was transfer week!  We were incredibly busy this week because of the transfer, but on top of that we also had the Farewell Meeting for President and Sister K, and the Mission Leadership Meeting!  That was a lot of work!  President K. has two more weeks as Mission President, then the new Mission President arrives.  I´m sure that President B. is going to be great, but I sure am going to miss President K!  What he has done for the mission and the kingdom here is incredible!  

   Anyhow, I´ll just tell you guys a quick story before my time ends!  So, when we were travelling to Patos de Minas, I told President K. and President S. about how when I was a kid, Dad told us that if we didn´t put our arms up and scream when we crossed a bridge that it would fall.  We laughed a bit about that, and then kept on driving.  A little later, I hadn´t even noticed but we were coming up on a bridge.  All of a sudden, President K. put up his free hand and started to scream!  Pretty soon President S. followed suit, and then Elder Z. and I were the last to join.  After that, every bridge that we crossed treated similarly!  It was a lot of fun, and a very memorable experience.

 A Bridge in Patos de Minas
I´ve got to go now, but have a great week and know that I love you all tremendously!

Love,

Elder Sweet 

Monday, June 6, 2016

I Love You All So Much

Hey,

I´ve got a ton of pictures to send, but I forgot my camera when I came to the office this morning!  Next week I´ll send a ton of pictures!

President B. and his Family

The Famous Elder A.
Secretary
   President B. gets here on Landon´s birthday.  The transition´s going to keep us pretty busy, but it´s a part of the learning process.  I´m really sad to see President K.  go, but I´m sure that President B. is going to be a great Mission President as well!

That´s all for now, my time´s almost up!  I won´t be able to send the group E-mail today, but know that I love you all so much! 

Until Next Week,
Elder Sweet

Sunday, June 5, 2016

District P!!!

This week the long awaited day came!!!

   A couple of weeks ago we recieved the following message from President K.: "Aprovado Patos!!!" ("Patos was Approved!!!")  Since then we´ve been planning our trip to Patos de Minas, the most distant city in the mission.  This week we travelled out to organize the district!  The trip started off great!  We left Wednesday morning, traveled to Uberlândia (we passed through Ituiutaba as well to do the house inspection there as well), and did the house inspections in Uberlândia there and then stayed the night.  My MTC companion, Elder S, is the Zone Leader there, so it was great to see him again!  The next morning we went to Araguari, Catalão, and Uberaba.  Uberaba was my previous area, it was awesome to be in the area there as well!  We waked up the next morning and went to Araxá, then we went straight to Patos de Minas.  We got there in the afternoon, did the house inspections, and then Elder Z. and I went on a division with the Zone Leaders.  Saturday we had a Zone meeting; Elder Z. and I prepared a training about chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, our purpose as missionaries.  Saturday we went on a division with another companionship, and the work was great!  By chance I got to work with Elder C, one of my companions when I was financial secretary, as well.  He´s one of the best missionaries that I know, extremely dedicated to the work.  So, I can now say that I´ve visited each of the cities in the mission that have missionaries!  

 They´re all great cities!  

   The meeting where the new district was announced on Sunday was excellent.  It´s such a great thing to see the church growing!  There were two branches there, Patos de Minas and Califórnia.  This week the Guanabara branch was created to complete the district.  The leadership in the new district is full of humble, honest men who feel completely inadequate in their new callings, but trust that the Lord will qualify them.  The spirit was so strong as each member of the District Presidency stood up, the Branch presidencies and the District Council.  After the sustainings we sang "Called to Serve," and honestly I began to cry a little bit during the hymn.  This is one of President K's last acts as Mission President, in a few weeks he finishes his mission.  He got a bit emotional during the hymn too, and that led me to ponder a bit on what he´s done during his mission.  In the time that he has served here two new stakes were created, one new district, various branches were opened and wards divided.  This is an area that was stopped for years, but the Lord used President K. to move his work forward in the Brazil Goiânia Mission.  It is such a privelege to serve with him!

I´ve got to go, but I love you all tremendously!
President S., the first counselor in the mission presidency.  President K. bought this plate for us on our trip to Patos de Minas.


Elder Sweet