Monday, June 5, 2017

First Baptism in São João da Boa Vista

Wender's baptism - he is an incredible guy!

Oi todos-
Hope everyone is doing great. We had a pretty great week! The highlight of the week was the baptism of Wender! We spent the week focusing on helping him towards his baptism date which was Sunday and it went well! It was awesome to see him take that step. We have been talking to him about a mission and he is super excited and is thinking about going. He is so in tune with the spirit and well, he just is "the man". He is so ready to do what he needs to do to change and follow Christ. During the week we had talked to him about the law of chastity and about respecting our bodies because they are created in God's image. One night we were at a member's house to have dinner with him and the members and talk. He got up and excused himself to use the restroom and came back without his nose ring in. He had felt the truth of what we were teaching and what he needed to do and did it without us mentioning it. We knew in our hearts that the spirit would touch him and trusted in that. He listened and followed. He is so awesome and as he continues along the right path to learn and grow he will do great things. I am sure of it. He is already such a good example. I am super happy for him.

A great day!
We also had a Multizone meeting on Thursday in Rio Claro that was super awesome! President gave us a lot of great counsel and training. There are always changes taking place, improvements being made and efforts to do things more effectively. We learned some new techniques that will help us in our teaching. They have also reduced the zones now to 10 in the mission so I have 4 more sisters that were added to my district. They are in towns farther away so there will be a lot more travel for interviews. This week I will be going to Mococa for a baptism interview, a city even farther north in the mission than my first area of the mission, Porto Ferreira. It is out there - about an hour and a half bus ride I think from here. It is almost in the Brasil Ribeirão Preto Mission. With the changes I will have a total of 14 in my district. It's all good. We work hard to support one another and have fun together.

Pirassunga, Rio Claro, São João da Boa Vista, & São Carlos zones @ Multizone Conference
With Sister Cardoso at her last multi zone as a full time missionary
Sister Cardoso, who was in my last district in Hortlandia and is now in Botucatu in São Manoel was invited to our multizone. It was great surprise. President invited her to come to bear her last testimony to us as a full time missionary. She goes home this transfer. She is a great missionary and I wish her all the best as she goes home. She, along with the many others in my district, were a great help to me when I first became a district leader 7 months ago. I am grateful for those who have helped me along the way.

Group picture at Multizone

We are pumped to start using some of our training as we build our teaching pool . As you know, when we got to the area it was pretty much a blank slate so we are still trying to build that teaching pool. Since we baptized Wender we currently only have a few people. This week we are just gonna be on fire! I have faith great things are going to happen. The Lord will bless us, I am sure of it! We also have interviews with President this Wednesday which I always get super pumped for. He is a great man and I am very grateful for his example! So there are a lot of great things going to happen this week.
With Wender  eating Acai -love that stuff!
I wanted to share with you something I have been thinking about a lot this week. As a missionary we often speak to people who feel they are stuck in the past with the mistakes they have made. They concentrate on what they have done wrong and wish they could have been a better son/daughter, brother/sister or mom/dad or friend - whatever it may be. We all have made mistakes and if we concentrate on them it will can make us pretty sad. I have done that before myself. Sometimes we think if I would have done this I would have been so much farther ahead, or would be in this place in my life, or this would not have happened. But sometimes those things have to happen for us to learn and gain strength. We have to realize that we are not perfect and that is why we needed a Savior and Redeemer to save us from not only physical death but spiritual death. We needed Him to make repentance possible. We are going to make mistakes but we have to open our hearts and sincerely repent of them and let Christ take that weight from our shoulders. We don't want to totally forget our mistakes because we need to learn from them but when we have repented we need to forgive ourselves and look forward and be better. Remembering or constantly living with regret hanging over us is not the Lord's way. His way is one of love, forgiveness and progression. He is always there for us and understands what we are going through. He truly is our older Brother, our Comforter, our Redeemer and Savior. Every day in prayer we have the chance to come to our Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness and be healed from whatever is bringing us down. I know Christ lives and He is the literal Son of our Heavenly Father. They both love us and know us individually and through them we find true happiness in this life and exaltation in the life to come. We need to open our hearts to them and be made whole.

I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Davis

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