March 10, '14
So first thing I've discovered in writing this email is that my medium-term memory is terrible... I don't have my planner with me and thus cannot honestly remember what we did this week. I blame it on lyme disease. bugs in my BRAIIIIIIN
We swiftly approach the 1-year mark since I first applied for visa to Brazil! LETS CELEBRATE! haha. I'm not bitter. My life just never goes how I expect, and that's okay. It's like teaching a lesson to an investigator-- you plan out all nice and neat what you're gonna do, and then when you get there your plans go to left field and something totally different, and usually hilarious, actually comes to pass. life is like that. so don't sweat the changes. we're meant to improvise!
One miracle: we prayed and fasted for Elder Benedict's family a few weeks ago because his mom was in the hospital and dad having job trouble. and she's out now, and his dad got a new job with full benefits and a promotion on the way. seriously.
-In other news, and following the pattern of the second paragraph above, we went in to listen to a talk with Jerry on Saturday and ended up talking about priesthood authority and Joseph Smith. And Elder Benedict talked about how Jesus went a long way to be baptized by John, and asked Jerry why He did that. And Jerry was like... I guess he was chosen? Called by God?
so we taught about how baptism today is the same way. we need to go to someone chosen. and Joseph Smith was chosen like that, and passed that authority down to us today. and Jerry was like, yah man! that makes sense. It makes SENSE!!!
AND he talked to the executive secretary at church, who's from Ghana, and said he wants him to come over and study the BoM with him.
so happy. one little progressing investigator, but that's enough for me.
-We picked up a "practice investigator" who's wife is a member, Brother Hahn. He's taken the discussions like 12 times but agreed to let us teach him again. word. should be interesting.
-And I learned that the power of a mission is that it is not ever even a little about you. Before this, I lived a pretty selfish life. All human beings do, especially teenagers. But when you are a missionary, all your capability (heart, might, mind, strength) is turned outward to help others come unto Christ. We get to live like Christ did, forever focused out, never (ideally) turning inward in selfishness and withholding our will from God, who gave us everything else in the first place. And that's really the only unique thing we can offer to Him; our agency. He gave it to us, and over the days, months and years of this life, we gradually give it back to Him. Faz sentido? Acho que sim.
Last, D&C 128:9 opened my mind when I was fasting last week. The sealing power. If you act in authority, in the name of the Lord, truly and faithfully, and keep a faithful record of it, it becomes A LAW on earth and in heaven. Somehow it finally clicked. Eternal marriage by proper authority is an immutable law.
And for your listening satisfaction, I have attached a recording from church this week-- I Wonder When He Comes Again/I Am a Child of God with yours truly on the cello (kinda hard to hear), Sister Nola Campbell on viola, and Bro. Dr. Ken Shelley on piano. they're married, and they're both music teachers. word.
State Capitol in Hartford