|Walking to an appointment|
How are you all doing?! I hope that all is well! We had a wonderful week here in Salvador and the work is moving along great! Summer is coming up fast here and everyday it is getting hotter! I am getting used to it a little bit, even though I sweat a lot! HA! But what's new right?! Anyway, we had a fun week, with lots of cool experiences so I will try to explain how awesome it all was!
Tuesday night we had a great lesson with Marlene and Evely! We went and since Evely has already been taught all the main discussions we have been focusing on answering her questions. It has been great. Tuesday we read 3 Nephi 18 and talked about the sacrament and prayer! It was awesome. I got to share my thoughts on the sacrament and how important it is! The best part about the lesson was that the entire time we were focused on how the sacrament is important for followers of Christ, AFTER baptism. Evely was super into the lesson and excited and we are hoping that she can stay strong on her baptismal date! We will really see this week but I will talk more about her later!
So Wednesday was AMAZING! It was my first time ever at the mission leadership council and man oh man it was so cool! I got to see so many old friends! My trainer, Elder Santana, was there and it was the last time I will see him because he goes home this transfer! I love that guy! I also got to see Elder Bair!!! Man I missed him! He is also going home this transfer so I was so happy to see him one more time before he heads back to the States! At the leadership council we talked about so many things. The main part I will talk about at the end of this email. But some of the other cool things were when President Bangerter read some entries from his mission journals. Another cool moment was when President explained the difference between authority and power. He gave some really cool examples. It was really spiritual because he gave an example of a disobedient missionary. He doesn't do anything because he wants to, only because he is forced too. President then asked a few random missionaries about someone that they love dearly who isn't a member of the church. He asked a few people and the last person he asked was Elder Estevam. He said he was thinking of his mom. President then continued with the example. He said, "So now imagine that missionary who isn't obedient and who doesn't have the desire to be there. He is on the street with his companion and they make contact with Elder Estevam's mom. Does that disobedient elder have the authority to invite her to come closer to Christ by getting to know the Church? Yes. But does he have the power to invite the Holy Spirit to that conversation so that she will be touched in her heart? No he has 0 power." It was really spiritual and personal during the training and reminded us how we all have authority to servants of the Lord. But the power we need only comes through our obedience and desire! It was awesome! Overall, Wednesday was just an awesome day and I felt the love of God so strongly.
Friday was another great day! We had a Zone Meeting because we had to give a training and pass on information from the council that needed to be given before the start of this week! I will explain why. In our meetings on Wednesday President Bangerter had the idea that our mission needed to do something special. So we decided on what is called, "a semana de dedicação" in portuguese. In english it means " the week of dedication". So what is going to happen is that this week, starting today (Monday) we will wake up at 6 AM every day. We will leave to work at 8 AM everyday in place of leaving at 10, and come back at our normal time 9 PM. Our P-day today, ends at 3 so we can go out and work normally! We are all so excited and it is going to be awesome! We are all going to be ridiculously tired at the end of the week but we are excited to see the miracles. One thing that we decided as a zone is that we are going to look for a miracle each day. So everyday this week every companionship will write down a miracle at the end of each day. At the end of the week we will all email our miracles and put them together in a big email! We are all so excited. It is going to be tough, but it is going to be worth it. Our zone is really excited and we are too! Pray for us this week!
On Friday after the zone meeting, we had a split in our area with the Assistants! It was so great! I got to go out with Elder Gil. He is from Mexico and just amazing! I learned so much from him and we had a blast together! We taught so many lessons and found a ton of great new people to start to teach. I had another one of those, "what the heck, I'm on a mission moments" when I was with him. We had just left a lesson and it was about 5 o'clock. It was just the perfect temperature as the sun started to go down. We were walking in the street laughing about something and I had the thought, "This is crazy! A Mexican and an American walking down a street in a poor Brasilian city, speaking Portuguese, a language that neither of us knew 2 years ago, and now we are laughing and having fun sharing the gospel together." It was so cool. It was one of those picture perfect moments haha! That scene will be forever printed in my mind!
On our split of Friday we went and taught our investigator named Rosalia! I have written about her before! She is the lady we found our first week. She has been difficult to find lately but Friday we found her! She is crazy and a little bipolar but awesome. For example, we were teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she said, "I will be baptized, I know it. But only when God wants me too. But I want it to happen as fast as possible, but only when God puts that feeling into my heart." It was funny but we focused a lot on the principle of faith. We talked about how she can have faith to receive that feeling from God. But if she doesn't do anything to show her faith to God, nothing is going to happen. It was a great lesson and we will see how she progresses from here!
Friday night was my favorite night of the week! As our last appointment of the day, we planned for all 4 of us to go to teach Marlene and Evely. We met up there and had an awesome time. Elder Gil and the other Assistant Elder Brito got to know them and we all had fun laughing. For the lesson we played a little game. Elder Estevam has these cards with things written on them. The name of the game is "Priority and Sacrifice." Elder Estevam puts 4 of the cards on table and the people playing have to choose which things are a priority and which they will sacrifice. It is a game that we play with members usually because as the game goes on it gets spiritual. At the beginning there are things like "all the money in the world", "a dream house" etc. But at the end there are things like, "family", "friends", "the scriptures" etc. The point of the game is to show that our testimonies need to be the thing that we cherish most, as in the last group of cards there is one with "my testimony" written on it. It was cool to see an investigator play because the thing you discover is what they have a stronger testimony in. For example, the first time I played it was really hard for me to have something more prioritized than family, because I have a strong testimony about family. Make sense? What people choose is what they have a stronger testimony about, but they don't realize that until the end when we explain the game. At the end, Marlene started to talk about why she valued the Gift of the Holy Ghost so much. She started to cry and the Spirit was SOOOO strong in the room. We were all sitting around a table and almost all had tears in their eyes. We started to focus on Evely and help her recognize that she HAS felt the Spirit many times before, and especially in that house, at that exact moment. There was a part when we all just started sharing spiritual experiences and at the end Elder Brito said, "Do you feel it?" He paused and looked around. "That happiness, that calm feeling? The Holy Spirit is here, and he is testifying that all this is true." It was a special experience. We all left on cloud 9 and we pray that Evely felt it enough that she will be baptized this week!
Saturday we had a great lesson with a new family that we found that live almost next door to us! We will go back tonight so I hope they are waiting! If they start to progress more I will write more next week about them!
Sunday was also a great day! We had a great lunch with one of the most faithful families I have met here. They live REALLY far away but are so strong in the Gospel. They are at Church every week and Sunday after lunch when we left, they all left with us to go visit another family in our ward that is having a hard time! It was so greatI I love strong members! They make us missionaries happy.
So I think that is all! I got to go get to work! We are excited for this week and I can't wait to share all the miracles with you guys next week!
Just to finish I wanted to share a quick experience. Wednesday we had that Leadership council. Well for the closing hymn we sang Called to Serve. President Bangerter likes us to stand up on the second verse. As we stood up I started to feel the Spirit very strongly. On my mission I have learned that when I feel the Spirit strongly I start to get REALLY happy! Like almost giggly happy haha! It is funny. As I started to get this huge smile on my face I felt this huge warmth spread over me. It was so strong I got goosebumps. I got teary eyed and had the thought, "There is nothing better than being a missionary." I am so grateful for being a missionary. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He lives. That is something that I do not doubt one bit. This is his work! I love you all!
Have a great week!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
|Last Picture with Elder Santana|
|Last picture with Elder Bair|
|Mission Leadership Conference|
|Helping in Primary|
|The sights of Salvador|