Hello everyone! This week was a fun one! I went to a place on tuesday calle Peso da Regua that was really pretty and cool! In that city the church is very small only about 6 members in the city that are active and make up that group. But it was geat and we had a good division there. Then We spent a lot of time making preparations for our halloween party ( I will send pictures) that was a huge success we had a really big turn out with a total of 14 investigators from the whole city! We played a lot of games including NOAH'S ARK that select members of my family should know well! The members here loved that game!:) yaya for family parties at gma and gpas church building!:) We all had a great time and it was a wonderful weay to spend my last halloween on the mission! I still can't believe how fast time is going by but we will talk very little about that:)Something else that I forgot to tell you all about was that I went to Porto a few weeks ago to become a legal resident again here in Portugal and there I met up and spent the day with one of my favortie companions Elder Ricci!!!! I was with him in Povoa de Varzim for 4 and a half months! I missed him tons and it was great to catch up. I love you Elder RICCI!
I actually had a really good study on grace this week that opened up my eyes. I read a talk by brad wilcox that you probably know called my grace is sufficient. In that talk he makes a comparison from Christ and His grace, to a mother paying piano lessons for her child. The mother paid the price in full to the teacher but it is now up to the child to practice. The joy of the mother comes not from "repayment" but from seeing her child use the gift she has provided for him and seeing him progress and improve all with practice practice practice. Just like us, Christ has payed the price for us in FULL nothing lacking on our part. But we like the child need to always practice. With practice come a lot of failures as well, but from failures we learn, we get better, we are perfected. All we are doing is preparing ourselves to meet God and if we don't apply the practice that Christ teaches we will not be prepared to stand in God's presence. If we are not prepared we will not even want to be in His presence, we will hide, we woçç want to run away. It isn't so much us begging Jesus to let us in like some think but more of Jesus pleading for us to stay, to use His gift to be able to be with Him. During judgment I don't imagine anyone will be too surprised at what kingdom they are awarded because that is where they will feel the most comfortable. People that lived telestial lives will never be able to feel at peace in the Celestial Kingdom. Hell isn't and inflicted punishment, it will be just as any child who started taking piano lessons but failed to practice because of laziness, worldy distraction or pride and somewhere along the way got lost and gave up that then sees others playing beautiful arrangments and pieces of sweet music and thinking..... that could have been me with just a bit of practice and perserverance. That is what hell is. Knowing you could have attained a higher level of being but didn't because you did not practice, you did not prepare, you didn't keep trying. So don't give up, keep practicing, keep loving, keep presing forward and like Elder Pearson stated "stay by the tree". Jesus is pleading don't give up I am here, and when you hit the wrong notes don't become discouraged, it is all part of your learning.
Anywho that really helped me understand better a few things. It is never too late to start practicing again, especailly as long as you are breathing here on the earth:) It is all part of progession:) Our weaknesses make us strong. Practice truly does make perfect.
My favorite scripture this week:
2 Cor 12:9-10
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
I love you all so much and all you do!
COm muito amor