So this past week was thanksgiving huh? Man do I miss my mom’s food! haha. I guess everyone that has gone on a mission has felt that one time or another. Thanksgiving-the time to give thanks! I was walking in the rain (which pretty much is everyday these days) and talking with my companion and then I remembered, "hmm, it is thanksgiving today at home!" Just saying that in my mind brought so many good memories flooding in. I have so much to be grateful for. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great time with their families and felt the spirit of the Lord as they celebrated! There is so much to be thankful for.
My week was an awesome week! So this past week was the 2nd to last week in the transfer. Transfers are Dec. 5th. We have been trying to finish teaching some of our investigators and strengthen them so they are ready for baptism. Our teaching pool has become a little small the last few weeks but we have a few pieces of gold left in the rough! Sometimes we are very blessed with people that are seeking truth and are prepared to accept what we teach, repent of their sins in the moment, and start to follow Christ in their lives instantly after we teach them. We are fortunate to be teaching two such people. João is a youth that was a reference we received from a different mission. He is super smart and we started teaching him at the beginning of this past week. So we visited him and the mother is really supportive of us (approval of the mother is hard and usually the mother is the hardest part of teaching an underaged person) so that was super awesome. Like I said he is very smart and he is already starting to apply the gospel in his life. We taught him about repentance and in the prayer he gave after the lesson, he expressed a desire to repent and be forgiven for his sins. Although that is something you usually do in private, we were glad to hear it, it showed he was humble and immediately wanted to begin following Christ. He told us that he wants to be baptized so we have set a date for this next Saturday, December 3rd. We are super stoked about that! He is such a humble, smart and great guy and with the gospel he will be that much greater! Harisson a youth that we started teaching a long time ago but then his parents changed their minds about letting him get baptized, have now changed their minds again and they are taking the lessons too. So they have decided to let Harisson go ahead and get baptized this Saturday. He has asked me to baptize him and I feel honored! Sometimes as adults we make the mistake of thinking we cannot learn much from kids/youth since they may not have as much knowledge or experience. But I can definitely testify that the faith and the spirits of children/youth are the purest of all of us. I have learned so much from Harisson and I am the one supposedly teaching him. He has always had faith that the Lord would help his parents come around once they learned of the gospel. We had to just keep trying and not give up. Teaching him has taught me to be like Nephi of Old and “go and do” and the Lord will provide a way. Like when Nephi and his brothers went to get the plates – it didn’t happen the first time. We might not be able to see how it can work out but it will. We also are teaching Manoel. He is a man of 30 years and has known the missionaries before but never really accepted the gospel. We started to teach him after he stopped us in the road and asked us to visit him. He is definitely one of those people who were prepared for us. It is incredible to watch him as he accepts the gospel and applies it in his life. The best thing is that he is seeing the changes & blessings the gospel is bringing to his life. He told us that before we met him and started teaching him, that he was fighting a lot with his wife but after we started teaching him, that he is getting along with her a lot better and he is starting to love her more! The Lord and the gospel really are life-changing. If we focus on the Lord and do the right things then the Lord will work miracles in our life! We are hoping to baptize him on Saturday but he works a lot on the weekends so he is trying to get that worked out. I know that the Lord will provide a way though. The Lord never gives us challenges or commandments to follow that we cannot pass. He always provides a way to live the commandments and pass our challenges.
I want to share with you a spiritual thought /scripture. It is Alma 34:31-34.
31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis,that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
I would like to share my testimony of the importance of not procrastinating. I have been studying lately about repentance and how it brings us closer to our Savior. I know as we come before the Savior and humble ourselves before Him; He will help us get over our weaknesses and become strong. As we repent we will feel of His love and will feel the Atonement take hold in our lives and make us better people. He wants us to become like Him one day and we definitely can only do that through Him and His Atonement. I love Jesus Christ. He is my friend and my brother. Through Him, we can be clean of our sins but only through Him. He suffered for our difficulties and our sins, so when we are passing through hard times, we need to remember that He knows what we are feeling and will strive to help us but we have to reach out for help first. A lot of the time we are waiting for the Lord to help us and when He doesn’t, we blame Him for it. But in reality we only have ourselves to blame, we need to reach out and ask for help first. When we do our part, we can receive the help we need but if we do not do our part, He cannot do His. I know the Lord loves each of you and is aware of your challenges. Draw close to Him. Open the door to your heart and let Him in. He is always there for you if you reach out.
Love you guys! Hope all is well with all of you! Stay strong and know that the Lord loves you!