April 7, 2014
Aloooooha everybody. this week was pretty spectacular. First off I'll just quote my dear Sister Jenna Jackson because she spoke the truth--"I wouldn't be a missionary or Mormon if I didn't say BEST WEEKEND OF THE YEAR". General Conference was beautiful and actually, except for approx. 10 minutes on Sunday, I watched the whole thing in English! I probably should've watched it in Portuguese for language study and all that, but I was selfish and wanted to hear it in the tongue of the homeland. So me and Elder Vargas, who wants to learn more English (but is going home to brazil in 4 weeks so won't exactly get much practice) watched with an assortment of the branch's children in English. there was a far larger group that watched it with live Portuguese translation in the gym; Cabo Verdeans get out to conference. I loved it.
The biggest takeaway for me was a theme, something that I've been pondering a lot lately when thinking about the future of this restored church and gospel. That is, there is a cost to discipleship and we have to let our faith show. I have a bad habit of expecting too much from the people around me, but this I believe is true; that if members of this church are going to survive in a world where its ever harder to be a Mormon, we have to embrace the cost of discipleship. Defend the faith, but not make ourselves martyrs.... in perpetual gratitude, like President Uchtdorf counseled, we can EMBRACE the load that gives us spiritual traction and stand firmly rooted in the rock of our salvation. aka Jesus Christ. Boom. Roasted.
And I am seriously so glad for a prophet that teaches about courage and love... that they are inextricably tied, in a world would tell us that meekness is weakness. Charity is power, and the courage to be faithful.
Now for the jejum and miracles.... We have a bunch of investigators but there are two families we're working with the most. the De Pina's ALL came to conference and loved it (they're all quiet and reserved so sometimes its hard to tell. except for cassia the 3 year old, who likes us only for our chocolate). We called their other son, who always works and we've never met, expecting disinterest--- turns out he was almost baptized in Cape Verde, has seen the difference in his family since they started coming to church, and committed to be at our lesson on Tuesday and come to church next week. UNH.
The real miracle was with Raymond, who's wife is a member but the rest of the family is not. We challenged him to fast all of Saturday for an answer to his questions about the church, and to watch conference. and he DID. He's still not sure if he wants to join, but his experience on Saturday was special enough that I don't want to broadcast it here; serious revelation through the Book of Mormon. He has been so prepared, all the way back to when he followed the Spirit that told him not to falsify his records in order to play for the Cape Verdean national soccer team, which led him to go back to get a masters in Portugal, which led to a masters in the US, which led him to his wife and kids, the gospel, and this church in Brockton. He knows so much and I can see his family sealed in the temple... There is nothing I want more.
Therefore my beloved friends and family; (D&C 123) let us waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light the truth, cheerfully doing all things that lie in our power. then let's stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. lets trust Him and be patient. Lets have courage and love and follow the prophet. lets never forget the standard to which we are committed. Because this world needs more of that, neh?
love you all and thank you for all the miracles you do every day. STAY SWEET!