Monday, March 28, 2016

Update from the past three weeks! The mission is a Miracle!

Dear friends and family.
Its been a while since I've written. I've been pretty busy.

But here are the big things that have happenned so far

We've been teaching this young family, (Leo Eliza and a little 7 year old named Gabriel). They progressed so much. The story of his conversion is absolutely amazing. So he lost his job a few months ago, and things have been pretty rough for him for a while. Hes also been going to other churches, trying to find the true church. and one day, he ended up praying to god to help him find the true church. He prayed for someone to be put in his path that would be an answer to his prayer. and the very next day, he was going to bring his kid home from school, and decided to take a different route there. It just so happened that we were doing contacts on that same street, and we made contact with him that day, took his address, and the next day, visited his house. At his house, the lesson was super spiritual, and it didn't take long until he received a strong witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that this church is true. He's been going to institute, he's almost stopped smoking, and we're working on getting them legally married (because no one's actually married here in Brazil). They are such an elect family. 

We're also teaching this man named Luciano. He's 26 years old, and is separated from his wife, yet has a daughter, who switches back and forth from mom to dad. and we taught him on and off here and there. But I ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, and he's read it, and prayed about it, and has received an answer. He now has a desire to get baptized. the only problem he has is work, he works every day, including Sunday, which makes it hard for him to go to church.

We ended up teaching this single mom Friday, and she ended up accepting the gospel, and went to church that week. She's going to get baptized in the second week of April. She really likes the church, and has already talked about it with a friend of hers, and she's only known us and the church two days. Shows the faith the humility in her heart. That was such a miracle. This experience also taught me a lesson about diligence and obedience. We made contact with her in the morning, before lunch. Missionaries have to leave at 10:30 to proselyte. but that day was raining, and windy. Horrible conditions to preach, and do missionary work. but, we got up, and got out, and talked with the few people that were on the streets in that horrible weather. We ended up walking down this one street, looking for this other house, with people we made contact with a while ago. and we found her, made contact, and ended up returning to her house that night to teach. I learned that no matter what conditions it is, if we are obedient, and diligent, and go out and preach the restored gospel, miracles will happen. 

The other thing that happened was transfers. I'm finally leaving the Branch Serrano and going to another area called Bento Gonsalves. Which happens to be in the same zone, Caxias do sul. so, Im going to stay here in Caxias, which is a blessing, because winter is arriving, and its going to get cold pretty soon here. I'm also going to be companions with Elder Pryer, who is another american. Nyland has been my companion for the past six weeks, and I've learned a lot from him. This past transfer has flown by! We found families just amazing to teach, and it's just been miraculous. 

The more and more I preach the gospel, and teach people these gospel truths, the more I am taught as well. The purpose of the holy spirit is guidance, and to teach, and preach. The holy spirit preaches by confirming truth, it teaches by enlightening our minds, and distilling understanding in our minds, and guides by feelings and thoughts that we receive. The role of the spirit is essential, not only in converting the investigator, but also in converting the missionary. And I've learned that my searching and trying, and qualifying to have the spirit with me, is allowing the spirit to convert me more, and draw me closer to my Savior. If you live an entire day without the spirit teaching you something , something needs to change in your priorities. Read the scriptures, and started praying to your Father in Heaven, and go take the sacrament with purpose. because without doing these things, it becomes a million times harder, if not, impossible for God to work the miracle of change in your hearts. Love you all, and just know, If I didn't know this gospel to be true, I wouldn't be here preaching about it.


Elder Shurts

delicious pizza

President Caio and his family