Saturday, October 29, 2011

10-10-11--Continued Growth

Well I~m full of cookies. Yes finally found a member who would let us use their oven and I made cookies using the recipe book that Sister Ward gave me and the recipe care of Sister Greenhalgh:) Was amazing to have a little taste of home this week.

This week I learned that giving ourselves for someone or for some cause means that we truly give ourselves. We give our lives for the greater good. I think we can learn a lot from the Savior in this situation. He asked that the cup could pass from him. That we could do this a different way. But then he said, `thy will be done` Here Christ gave himself for the church.

Christ Died on Calvary but he lost His life in Gethsemane.

I hope I have the courage and the humility to lose my life during these next two years.

This week we found a bright spot,

These past two weeks were difficult. Not very many investigators not very many lessons, lots of walking and lots of discouragement. But on Friday we taught a part member family that has been inactive for 8 years more or less and they have a 13 year old daughter. We taught her and her mom the first lesson. I got to give the first vision story and the spirit was so strong. My Portuguese was perfect during this part. And the girl accepted that was good. After the mom said, (how much time before a Dad can return and baptize his daughter?) That was better. It truly was a bright spot. A spot that I needed right now. And it was made brighter by all the darkness.

It is amazing how much wrestling helps you on a mission. First this is not that hard physically. I can eat all I want and the work is a lot a lot a lot of walking but I have put in more work physically on the mat so it’s not really as difficult as it could be. Second, learning a language is a lot like learning to wrestle. When you are learning moves you go from thinking about it to sometimes doing it on reaction to full reaction. My senior year I could feel moves hit moves in positions that happened and it was smooth.

The same thing is happening with my Portuguese. Sometimes it is reaction sometimes I have to think. But I know with drilling it will get to the point that I can just react. Just like wrestling. But it will take work just like wrestling.

I am learning a lot about members of the church in General. That often we really don~t worship. Truly worship. We go to church and pray but we don~t study the scriptures or fast with purpose or treat others with true charity and honesty.

I am learning a lot about what kind of father I want to be, what kind of husband I want to be and what kind of disciple I want to be. I get to see different houses and feel different spirits everyday.

Also I notice that a lot of people are only obedient when obedience is easy. For example fasting. Missionaries tell me that if an investigator offers you food that you should just eat a little not to be rude. That this isn~t breaking your fast. And they are right. But they don’t understand that is a great opportunity to demonstrate to investigators what is fasting and why we do it and bear testimony of the purpose of my fast. So many people don~t understand the importance of sacrifice. That when we do hard things to be obedient the Lord will reward us. I am learning this lesson now and Hope that I can learn this lesson for the rest of my life.

Missionary life is good. I really do like it. I am learning a lot of patterns here that I want in my life after my mission. It really is a special time to be closer to the spirit. I was thinking about this time and how I will answer to the Savior about my misson about this time that I am giving him. And I realized that it isn~t my time i am giving Him but His time he is giving me. And that this time is important for me as well as my investigators and the people of Santa Catarina.

The Church in brazil started in this state. First mission was here in Florianopolis. And now the entire state has 3 stakes. 3 stakes. It is incredible. After all these years 3 stakes. Cities to the north and south of us have temples and we have 3 stakes. It really is amazing. I used to think that this was the fault of bad missionaries but I am learning that you can be perfect and people still won~t change. My goal is to never lose hope that people will change. To never lose the faith that I can bring this person closer to Christ.

Love you,

Elder Noel

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