Monday, January 16, 2017

Bold but not offending!

Elder Castlemain and Elder Christofferson
Hello Everyone!!

We are already half way into January and the weeks seem to be speeding by! I hope you all had a great week! This week for us was great, capped off by a great Sunday! Things are looking promising and I am excited! 

So I finished my first journal on Saturday. It's crazy because I NEVER wrote in a journal before the mission and now I finished a whole one already! Haha! I am starting the second one I brought with me so Mom, I’ll need a third one soon!

One thing funny and cool happened last p-day. We were at the church playing soccer with some less-actives and investigators, ALL Brasilian. Being the only American, I had to represent but of course I was the worst among a bunch

of people who learn the sport in the womb. It was fun and awesome. Best part, I scored a goal. The American with all the Brasilians and I scored. Haha it was sweet. Check that one off the bucket list. 

Tuesday was a good day with a lot of work as all Tuesdays are. First we went to Clede. She is the lady who we found the week before and who said she'd go to church Sunday. She disappeared Sunday so we went to investigate. We found her at her house and she said "Oh I'm so sorry. My aunt had to get rushed to the hospital Sunday really early and I went with her." We were relieved! She actually felt bad and had a real reason so it was all good. She invited us in and we started to teach about the Book of Mormon. About 10 minutes into the lesson her daughter, Andressa, showed up. We had never met her. We started to talk to her and soon realized she was going to be a tough one. She was really respectful as we explained and taught but didn't really understand our point. That the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and that it is the true church of Christ on the Earth today. After I accounted the story of Joseph Smith and the First Vision she got quieter and seemed to touched and was feeling the spirit. She then said, "I think that that is true, but I have my own church and am happy there. I have a good life, I don't need a change." I was so sad! Those things are probably true for her but she doesn't realize the FULNESS of joy and blessings that this church and the Gospel teachings brings if she accepted it. 

Another cool thing that happened on Tuesday was at our lunch appointment. It was at Camila's house. She is a lady in our ward in her 30s married to a non-member and has two kids. She is really strong in the church. During lunch we were talking and I learned that this last General Conference in October she went to Utah. We got to talking about the food there and I found out that she ate at that Costa Vida that we always go to near Auntie Julie’s and everybody in Highland. The one in the same place as that In-N-Out. Crazy and it left me missing American food! 

Wednesday was great too. We had our Zone Meeting. It was awesome because I got to meet a ton of new people and because the training got me and everybody else really excited. I saw Elder Oliveira and Elder AtaĆ­de again and they both are doing great so far in their new areas. I also got to meet Elder Castlemain, another American who got here after me. He likes the Broncos so I automatically liked him! The Zone Leaders gave a great training about diligence and how our zone can be amazing. It got me really excited for the rest of this transfer and I think did for everyone else too. 

Thursday was a different day this week. We have a new missionary couple in the mission. They are American, the Briggs. Their first assignment was to go around to all the houses and do a check-up and see what we need. They came Thursday around 3. It is funny because when they sent their papers in their last choice of where they wanted to serve was Brasil. They just put it because Elder Briggs served a mission here when he was 20. They explained to us how it all happened. Elder Briggs barely spoke Portuguese still and Sister Briggs spoke none at all. It was really funny because Sister Briggs reminded me of what I imagine Nana was like their first months in Haiti. Trying really hard to have a positive attitude. Haha! It was hilarious. The best part is they said our house was the cleanest and nicest they have seen in the mission so far! WOW!

Friday was probably the best day of the week for me. We did a division and I was with Elder Reinaldo in his area all day. It was weird because I am older than him in mission time. Just us 2,  more-or-less, newbies, doing our thing. It was awesome! I was feeling it Friday. I was better with my teaching, felt more bold in my statements and more confident talking to people. For example, we went to the house of some investigators. The mother and daughter of the family are the ones being taught. They are both awesome, but the one thing holding the two back is coffee. As we taught I was direct and bold but not offending. The lesson was great and both of the investigators promised to try their hardest to stop. I felt like I was accompanied and directed by the Spirit as I spoke and that feeling is awesome. Feeling the spirit is the way people truly learn that what we teach is true because it witnesses truth to our hearts!

Later that night we went to visit a contact from the week before. The lady answered the door and let us in but said she didn't have a lot of time. We changed our plans and said all we wanted to do was leave a prayer with her. Elder Reinaldo asked, "So can we kneel and pray?" Almost always that answer is yes but she replied, "Why kneeling?" Both of us were a little startled without an answer ready right off the bat so she started to tell her story. She had been some well-known teacher at a Catholic Church for years. She left after some time and became an Evangelical. She said that in her opinion we should pray standing. I had the opportunity to have an answer placed in my mind. I responded to her question, "From my knowledge and what I believe, kneeling is a sign of respect. For me, Heavenly Father is my King and I will kneel to him in person when I see him again someday so when I am talking to him in prayer I will do the same." It was really cool and after we set a return appointment and finished with a prayer. I am so lucky and grateful for the Holy Ghost to help me. When I am really "flowing" it is because the Spirit is there helping me. I love it!

Our good week ended fantastic when we had 4 investigators at church yesterday. Also a new Ward Mission Leader got called and he is really really really excited and pumped and ready to work and baptize. He is awesome and after yesterday this transfer is looking really promising. 
I love this gospel! I love you all! Have a great week! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Reunited with Elder Oliveira

Family night at a members home (notice Donald Trump is on the TV) 
One journal filled!!!! 

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