Dear Family and Friends,
This week was much better. It was full of Member referrals, and therefore, better new investigators. With the exception of a Pentecostal pastor that we tracted into, our lessons this week were really good.
I'll start off with some funny things. President Parrella headed down to a city in our mission to their stake conference to treat some, uh, business. Some things in that stake were not running as well as God would want. So President made a comment on the pulpit. "If you have a severe sin, and want to confess it without anyone finding out about it, I'll tell you what to do. Write it on a slip of paper and put the paper in the Church Leadership Manual. Don't worry. No one will open and read it." When the ZLs of that zone called us and informed us, we laughed quite a bit.
Another thing. During this last week, the President of Brasil, Dilma, was impeached, and replaced with President Michel Temor. Due to my calling as a missionary, that’s about all I can say about this subject, but I can say that because of this, the southerns are much more relieved, so let’s see if that’ll help us out.
One sister in the branch gave us 7 referrals this week! That was just AWESOME! I didn’t realize how helpful referrals are until I got here. All of the people that she indicated to us (who we've contacted) are people that have a bit of potential.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty dry this week on interesting stories, so I'll tell you one from last week, if I haven’t already told it. Saturday before last was awful. We started out on the streets on time, but our luck was way way low. Actually, our day was well-planned, but all of our commitments fell through, and we had to clap doors again. We were out of things to do. Even clapping doors didn’t work. Until 7:50PM, we didn’t enter into a single house that whole day. It was already dark, and after dark, the day turns very unproductive, especially for clapping doors. We were tired, and had already said several prayers. I looked at my comp and asked "what do you think we should do?" "I don’t know. What do you think we should do?" "Well, I don’t see anything else we CAN do, but just press on." So we continued. It was in the fourth watch when we clapped at one house. She let us in. "Finally." we thought.
Her name is Cassiana. She said "How good it is to see you guys. Do you give bible studies?" "Absolutely! Do you have the habit of reading the Bible?" "Uhm. Not really; I don't understand it. But I want to." And that day we started "Bible class one - The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." She continues to be a great investigator.
It is interesting how many situations, Jesus comes in the fourth watch. What I mean by that is that it always seems like we get aid at the last possible moment, just to push us and try our faith. We were tried very much that day, and frankly, we wanted to sleep. But God was just testing us. And we were blessed for our persistence.
A quick and unrelated thought - to those who have been passing through trials, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. God gives those moments to you to be tested. To those who have been blessed with health, strength, and a testimony, use them so that other people can learn and grow. God gives those blessings to you to be USED.
Many times I see people who struggle with health problems, family problems, and other things, and I think to myself "why does everything seem to go so well for me?" I see now that all this was given to me so I could serve better. I don't have any excuses, because "when much is given, much is required." And much has been given me.
I love you all. TTY next week.
"With great power comes great responsibility." -Uncle Ben, Spiderman
A letter to me from President Parrella saying basically exactly what I have been saying to you guys the last few weeks about working hard to the very end of my mission, and our Brazilian pancakes. I'd give these a 7 or 8. Pretty good! Much better than our last adventure. I’m not sure why I look so creepy in the 2nd photo, but that’s okay.