"You cannot "invite" investigators to a party that you aren't at!" Quote from Elder Holland about becoming converted to Christ
Oi amigos e familia!! I love tyou all and i am so grateful for all of your prayers on my behalf! Where to begin? Haha So last week Elder Holland came and spoke to us and didn't dissapoint our expectaions of singeing our eyebrows and things like that! He has such a power that I cannot deny! It was amazing! He shared so many important thoughts and impressions. He taught us that this mission should mean everything to us. That everything good that happens to you after can in one way or another relate back to your mission. He also said that if you even only convert one person to Christ throughout your whole mission you have served honorably only if that person is you! He told us the reason that they made preach my gospel is because somehow there were missionaries that came back and fell away soon after. He said he does not know how you could serve a mission and have everything you taught to others blow right over your head. It is so important that we become converted unto chirst becasue it is his church. And you cannot "invite" investigators to a party that you aren't at! Interesting! My favorite part was when he was talking about why is this work so hard. Why isn't our only problem pneumonia (idk how to spell it) because we aren't ever out of the waters of baptism? Why is it hard? The reason that he came up with was that it is not easy because Salvation is not, was not ever, nor will ever be, a cheap price to pay. The Saviors path was certainly not easy for Him so how can we expect it to be easy for us. Our work must go through the Garden of Gethsemane and then through up to the mount of Calvary. As missionaries we participate in the smallest way what the Savior went through. He was not easy for him, it will never be easy for us Salvation is not cheap. But we will never have to say as he said, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me." I have felt the mantle of my Heavenly Father every day and I could not be here without it! I have learned so much this week and gained such a strong testimony of the role of the Spirit in conversion! It is truly not the words we say but the feelings that investigators feel that convert them. This week me and Elder Casey have committed all of our "investigators" to baptism. This is should be a testimony builder in and of itself. Somehow the Lord has made it possible through our very broken and baby like portuguese for our investigators to feel the spirit. This is not our work. It is His and we are to do it His way. Amazing! Portuguese is coming along! I was so glad to hear from you on Mother's day! What an absolute blessing that was! OH hey! I know I am jumping all around in this letter but last week at the temple I saw JIM (grandmas brother!) It was so cool to talk to him and see a member of the family!:) Amazing! also I can see that you know I found William on sunday! I wasn't even thinking about it and all of a sudden there he was! It was great to talk with him for a little bit and I am glad to hear he may be getting married soon! Fun Stuff. What else... I cannot believe I go to Portugal in 14 days! What the heck!?!? Have i been here that long! I am nervous but so excited to serve in that wonderful country. ONe of our teachers told us that Portugal is the lighthouse of Europe! I am so grateful to be a part of hastening the work in that wonderful country! So i was devastated to find out the other day that Portugal does not have Dr Pepper. What kind of awful place?????? I was very sad! BUT on the Azores (little islands in my mission about 900 miles off the coast) the sell it in some grocery stores, and so I am pretty sure I am going to be sent there! Seriously I couldn't be more excited to go anywhere else! It is going to be a great experience and I haven't heard a single missionary come back and say that they liked it, they all say that it was the best mission in the world! Every one! I am so excited to serve those people! So yeah I got the opportunity to host again this week! I love doing it! It is so fun and brings back those oh to familiar memories of all the goodbyes and tears! I love it though! My spiritual thought for the week.... we have been talking about this a ton at night, super deep doctrine. We concluded after reading Habakkuk 1:8 in the Bible that Satan is the owner and creator of cats, that is doctine. Think about it, what is the saying..... "all dogs go to heaven" I have never heard a thing about cats. Anywho great stuff! Another thing I have learned this week came from a talk by Elder Bednar, he was talking about acting on the promptings of the Holy Spirit and how to know if it is the Spirit or just your conscience. This was his council, "Quit worrying about it" As long as you are being a good boy or girl, keeping your covenants, following the commandments and doing your best the Spirit WILL work through you and that is all that you need to know. I love that! I am so glad to hear everything is going smooth at home! It was fun to see maddie and jackson at prom! They looked so good! and I am glad I made them do promenade! It is worth it! Also one of the many great experiences I have had here was the other day I was able to give an Elder in my District a priesthood blessing! My first one! It was crazy how the spirit guides your words and how you can feel the love that our Father in Heaven has for that person! I loved being able to be a part of it! I am still doing good and having a blast I know these two years are going to be the best of my life!! I love this work, I love all of you, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ.