Monday, June 19, 2017

"Never Check Your Religion at the Door"

Joselitos family
Happy Belated Father's Day to all the dads! Hope everyone had a great day. A shout out to my dad for the great example he is to me. He is a great example of how to live a Christlike life. He knows how to be the calm in the storm, see humor in everything and serves others and the Lord without hesitation. I am thankful for all the guidance and counsel he gives me and the love & support he always has for me. So thanks Dad! I love you -you are the best!
Jacqueline's Family
Posing with "the Poser" in Centro de Sao Joao da Boa Vista
Honestly this week was a little harder than usual. It was a week full of trials but also miracles. Being alive everyday counts as a miracle right? Wednesday we did a split with the Zone leaders. I was with Elder Christensen and I have to be honest - it was awesome! We were able to visit some people who we're teaching, found some new people to teach, as well as we bought Açaí! Woohoo! I think I am an Acai addict. Açaí is literally the best thing ever. It is a little expensive for the missionary budget but way worth it. I attached some pictures. I also got to practice my English all day, which never happens. It was kind of funny because even though we are both American, we were speaking Portuenglish. Everything was all mixed together! Neither one of us is fluent in English anymore. haha
Elder Davis and Christensen on splits

Elder Davis' favorite Acai with toppings
We had district meeting on Thursday morning with Sao Joao and it was awesome. Then we traveled to Mococa Thursday afternoon to do district meeting there! It was super great to work with the sisters and we had a great meeting. Friday we went to Mococa A which is the sisters Azevedo and Lima. We worked with them for Friday and did some interviews of progress. I really like working with all the missionaries in the district. I learn a lot from them. I love feeling the Spirit as he helps me to know how to be a help to them. I truly have a testimony that when you are given a calling or responsibility for others you can feel the spirit so strongly as you strive to serve and do what has been asked of you. It is true that the Lord blesses those he calls, you just have to be willing to work and listen. Saturday we were able to get some great lessons taught and we also visited Jaqueline again. She is progressing and learning and is continuing to pray and ask God. That is the good thing, she is moving forward on the right path. This week there were some issues in the district so we did a lot of traveling within the district and we were not in our area a lot so we were not able to get with Ademir. But we will definitely see him this week.
District Meeting in Mococa

Interviews with Sister Lima and Azevedo
Spiritual thought that I want to share with you guys for this week is from a district meeting that has to do with our ethics, values and moral compass. (FYI - I have a lot of sisters in my district - ten out of the fourteen missionaries are sisters so in trying to relate to the majority in district meeting I have to broaden my examples. So no judging. haha) Lets think about our standards, our discipleship, our obedience, our lives and the relationship between us and Heavenly Father and the Savior. Those are all things that are determined by our values or ethics. Ethics and our belief system, are usually a big part of who we are and things that we firmly and wholeheartedly believe in. They come from deep inside us. They determine who we are and what we do. It is the moral code we live by, our moral compass. Now compare that with cosmetics. They on the other hand have the sole purpose to help you look better on the outside without really changing who you are permanently. You use them to look a certain way or improve your outward appearance but they are not something that become a part of you just from using them. They have a superficial effect. You put them on or use them when you go in public, then when you get home, you take it off and remove it. They do not become a part of you. We have to be careful not to use our ethics, standards, discipleship or obedience like we do cosmetics. Applying them to be seen on the outside but having no permanent effect on us. We cannot be disciples 12 hours of the day while we are in public and then when we are by ourselves take off or remove those morals and standards. We cannot be obedient to some things and then not others, we cannot be upholding our standards in some moments and then in other moments with some friends not living by them. As the scriptures say "We cannot serve two masters". We need to choose whom we are going to serve - not just in public but fully in our lives. As Elder Jeffrey Holland said "Never check your religion at the door". Through our actions we are either serving the Lord or the adversary. Its simple. Sometimes we complicate it. Elder Holland also reminded us that the scriptures tell us to "stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things and in all places", not as some times, a few places and when we want. As we do that, we will come to feel His Love and His Hand in our lives more often. Jesus Christ is my Savior and He lives. He lives to love and guide us. His atonement is how we can return and live with God and Him again. Let us take advantage of that and repent and learn every day, growing closer and closer through our standards and actions as well as thoughts and words.


Elder Davis

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