Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Perfect love casteth out all fear"

Lunch at the new Pizza Hut. Opened just for us! 
Hi Everybody.

It's December! What?! Where has the time gone. I turn 19 years old this month... that is strange. Christmas is coming up fast too! I hope you all had a great week. This week was pretty normal here. Lots of work! 

FIRST, I am LOVING Elder Oliveira. He is just so relaxed and doesn't like problems or drama and I love it. He is a great missionary and we work hard and well together. And His birthday was just yesterday actually.

So after a whole week of not seeing Patrick last week we actually saw him last p-day on our way home! We talked to him and found out he worked a lot last week and then went to visit family at the end of the week. We scheduled to go

see him Tuesday. So we did! Tuesday we taught him the Plan of Salvation. It was such a spiritual lesson and he understood it all. At the end I decided to be bold. I said "Patrick you have been meeting with us for a while now. How do you feel about being baptized on December 10th?" It was terrifying. He then explained how he has been feeling with all this. He told us that his whole life he has been going to the Catholic church and all his family for generations has been too. This was like a part of his childhood. He said that our church teaches things that he believes and knows are true but he still feels ties to the Catholic church. He said he was just confused in his mind. It was sad for me to see him so confused about all this but at the same time good because he is seeing and feeling a difference in our church. So I had an idea. I pulled out a pass-along card that I had with a picture of Christ on it. I gave it to him and said, "tonight, get on your knees and pray to our Father in Heaven. Pray to him with all you have to know the truth, for him to help you not be confused anymore. After you say amen look at this picture of the Savior and listen and wait." He said he would do it.

Friday we went back. We taught him about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. He liked and understood the lesson but sadly he was working Sunday and could not get out of it so he couldn't come to church yesterday. :( That day I asked him if he had done what I suggested when he prayed. He said he did and felt good but in his words, "but I still feel like I haven't received a direction to go." I told him to keep doing it and he said he would. So we are currently on standby with Patrick. Pray for him!!!

Wednesday we taught Amanda again. We explained about the Book of Mormon and taught her about it. She seemed really interested and said she would read it. We still couldn't seem to find her husband to teach him. Thursday we went back and they weren't home, then Friday we went and it was just sad. Neither Amanda or the husband were there but the nice grandma was. She told us that Amanda couldn't meet with us anymore. The husband didn't like it and said she couldn't anymore. He had said that they don't need another religion and that since they are getting married soon they are too busy for all this stuff. Ugh! It is so sad and heartbreaking when people don't want to meet with us anymore. Because we just want to help them have more happiness in life which is what this gospel does for people. It changes them and makes them better because it truly is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we have to understand and respect people's agency even if we don't like it. 

It has been tough for me this week to try and understand and respect people's time for things. I remind myself about what was said in the last conference that everybody has a time for their conversion and it may not always be when we want it to be. That is a terrifying thing for me out here, especially when we work so hard, and want this for them so badly because we know it will help them. It’s something I really need to try and remember no matter how hard it gets. 

So Wednesday for me was a fantastic day because I got THE PACKAGES!!!!! Woohoo!! All 4. Everyone was like what the heck why do you have 4?! haha Thanks!!!! I love everything. Don't worry I only opened the 2 normal ones. But the USB Drive wasn't in the 2 normal ones mom, and you said it would be. So I had Elder Oliveira open the others to find it while I left the room. Luckily it was in the first one he opened, the birthday one I think. He taped it shut again and I re-entered the room. I love it!! So glad to have all the music! Thank you for all of it. I cannot wait to open the other 2. 

That same day was the zone meeting in the LZ's area and a brand new Pizza Hut just opened there. Our lunch from members that day was cash to buy lunch so it worked perfectly. Us 4 from our apartment went to Pizza Hut after the meeting for lunch. We got there only to find that it was closed! What?! At lunchtime?! So as we were standing outside very sadly a lady from the inside came and talked to us. Me and Elder Janish used our “American charm” on her so she called her boss for approval. She got it so she opened just for us! haha it was so awesome and the food actually tasted like home! 

In the area of the LZ's there is a member family that are like famous on the mission. They are so so so awesome. They are called the parents of the missionaries. They have a son on a mission who hit one year yesterday. The mom is awesome and Mom would love her if they could communicate. Anyway, last night they had pretty much the whole zone at their house for a family night. I gave the message which leads me into my next topic. 

One thing I have seen here, especially yesterday, is what happens to a ward, stake, and members when they do not have love for their neighbor. Or when they hold grudges and judge. It is so sad to me and I just wish everybody could love each other. I am not turning into a hippy, haha, but just want people to love their neighbor and let go of things. Help people, be nice, and forgive. I was getting kind of down about it yesterday but then decided to share the scripture in Moroni 8:16. I found this scripture recently and love it. "Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."  I talked about how we need to love everyone. How perfect love casts out all fear. And no body wants fear so we need to have perfect love for everybody. It is not easy but we can do it. 

Saturday we found a great new investigator named Elizeo. He is about 25 years old and lives alone in a one room house smaller than our bedroom here. He had been told some untrue things about what we believe. We cleared up all his questions and then taught the Restoration. It was so awesome to have him listen intently and really want to learn. He thought it was the coolest thing that someone could pray and receive an answer through the Holy Ghost. It was a concept he had never heard of. It made me think of how amazing personal revelation really is!

This gospel is so true! The happiness it brings into lives is truly magnificent. I love you all! Have a great week!!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Zone Meeting

Christmas is coming! 

Elder Oliveira has some funny features on his phone and was messing around with them today. 

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