Monday, May 23, 2016

Missionary Work and Repentance

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was good. Highlights include progressing investigators and a lot of referrals.
Cassiana continues to progress, and went to a Family Home Evening. However, she was feeling back pain, and couldn’t go to church.
The week was full of "little service activities."
We contacted a referral from Irmão Paulo, a less-active in the ward. Her name is Alessandra. She just moved here, doesn’t have friends or family in the area. She is super poor, and didn’t even have the money to buy diapers for her 2-year-old son. So. We went out and bought her some. When we invited her to come to church, she said she couldn’t, because her son was out playing in the rain and got his shoes wet. They are the only shoes that he has. When we suggested drying them with a blow dryer, she responded that she didn’t have one. So we took the shoes home and dried them ourselves :)

However, when we went to pick them up for church, we had to just drop the shoes off, as Alessandra was having health problems.
The other day, we saw a man selling cotton candy, and, as my spirit is still heftier, I went and bought some. It was good cotton candy, but for some reason, I got full really quickly, and hardly ate any at all. So I just went walking with the cotton candy, and I saw a little kid and gave the cotton candy to his dad and said "Hey. Share this with your son, would ya?" It was a great opportunity to make a contact. We taught his family the following day. His name is João Pedro. Little promptings of the spirit go a long way sometimes.
Juciara is super strong, and almost done with smoking. She told us this week "11th of June I WILL be baptized." As we left that lesson, we were a little bummed that we had to bump back the baptismal date 2 weeks, as we were pushing for the 28th, but we felt calm and reassured that Heavenly Father is in charge.
My companion said "Well, drat. If only she had a little bit more faith, she could stop cold turkey!" And a thought came to my mind that I shared with him. "Well. How long did it take US to repent of much smaller things? God was patient with us, and He'll be patient with her too." This got us thinking. Teaching people is being part of the repentance process for us.
Another circumstance. A recent convert/young man of ours decided to start dating a 15 year old young woman in the branch. "Look… If you want our council, wait until she's 16, and date her the right way, making sure you date several people in group dates and such. Its way better that way, and we testify of that. Just follow the prophet." He seemed to think that he was an exception to the rule. Afterward, talking about the lesson with Elder Silva, we reflected. "Hmm. That talk seems familiar. It’s the same one our parents gave us when we were in the Young Mens. They did everything so I could understand this principle." "Did we listen to them?" "Not really." "Dang it. Why didn’t we listen?"
It’s like, we see ourselves in the people we teach. Just that we can't be too frustrated with the things they do, because they do the same things we did, and react the same way we did. Just that this time, we see a little more of Heavenly Father's vision. "Darn it! Why didn’t I listen!" or, "Gosh, Why did I do things like that!" It’s sort of funny and sort of sad. We were teaching a young lady, and were saddened by the way she treated her mother, and my comp sunk down and said "I treated my mom the same way. Now I know the suffering she passed through."
I hope I conveyed what I’m trying to convey. I'm glad I have the vision I have now, and hope that that vision grows.
This is just one more of the dozens of things I have learned on my mission. If we didn’t have to walk with a limited vision, we would always do the right things. We just have to walk by faith. Our parents know best. Our leaders know best. The prophet knows best. I love this whole mission experience. Not because it’s overly "fun", per se, but it is a different type of incredible.
I love you all. TTY next week.
Com Amor, Elder Wassom

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