Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"We NEED to be rooted in Christ!"

P-day. Elder Souza and I waiting to get into the
Internet place where we do our emails.
Hi Everyone!! 

How are you all doing?! I hope all is well. This week was kind of normal for us! Not too many crazy events but it was still a fantastic week! Every week on a mission seems to have its ups and downs, but the key is to focus on the ups and everything is better. Also it's June, which I just can't believe. The time is flying! 
One funny thing that happened this week was last Monday night. A member had invited us to their house for family night. As we were walking in to the neighborhood we saw some police on the side of the road. I didn't think anything of it as we passed. So we got to the members house and were hanging out and then we started the Family Home Evening lesson. I was assigned to share a quick scripture. I started to read 1 Nephi 5:8 because Dad sent me that scripture in his email that week. The scripture says, "And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak." 
As I am reading I started to hear gunshots. I kind of paused and thought, "why is no one else noticing?" So I couldn't ignore it, and asked everyone, "is no one else hearing these gunshots?!" Everyone started to laugh and I thought it was because I was sharing a scripture about safety when we were hearing gunshots. Then they said, "Elder those are fireworks." Haha it was pretty funny. But I don't know if I believe them, because those were the most gunshot sounding fireworks I've ever heard! Oh Brasil, you gotta love it here! 
Tuesday afternoon we went to visit Luis Paul, Cristielen's husband. Cristielen had gone to visit family for the day with their daughter. So the only one home was Luis Paulo. That is what we wanted. Because Luis is a great guy but he REALLY likes to joke and mess around. And when his wife is there it is only worse, and sometimes gets difficult to teach and have him focus. But Tuesday was different. We got to talk to him man-to-man. We taught the Restoration and the lesson was great! I think he has heard it 3 times now but this time was the best because he really paid attention. We realized with Luis Paulo we have to be more direct and stern for him to understand. It worked. We found out his mom is sick with cancer and that he really loves her. So, of course, we taught him about eternal families and he loved it. It was great. We all felt the Holy Ghost very strong. 
Wednesday we met with J. J is 23 and was baptized almost a year ago but has been inactive for a few months. We have been meeting with him recently. He is a great dude but really is struggling with his faith. One thing that I have seen a lot here on my mission is people that go inactive because of other members. J, for example, said no one talked to him and he felt out of place. It makes me so sad to see people do that, fall away from the Church because of problems with other members! We NEED to be rooted in Christ and these little things won't take us away from the path. That is basically what we taught J on Wednesday. The lesson was great but he still is struggling. So we decided to just focus on the small, faith-building stuff first. Praying and reading the scriptures. In reality we ALL need to focus on those small things more! But J is a good guy! He will progress. 
We met with Cristielen almost everyday this week. She has changed and seems like a new person after her baptism. We started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning with her and she is LOVING it! She read like 10 chapters in one week. Normally what we do when we assign people to read something is we make up a question about something from the chapter we assign, write the question on a sticky note, and put it on the page. But Cristielen this week gave us a great idea. She said, "Wouldn't it be cool if you guys made me make questions? That is how they used to do it in school and I liked it and learned a lot!" So we decided to do it and it has been working great! It makes me really happy to see new members progress! 
Saturday we went to teach Luis Paulo again. We had already met again with him earlier in the week so Saturday we planned to teach the Commandments. We knew that he likes drinking coffee so we focused a lot on the Word of Wisdom and the blessings that come from obeying it. We also decided to focus a good amount on the Sabbath Day. He has also had a hard time committing to coming to church. We had a great lesson about all the commandments and he was totally understanding and learning. It was great. Then at the end we committed him to stop drinking coffee and he said he would! Then we committed him to go to church Sunday and he goes, "We'll see." I said, "What do you mean we'll see? We just finished telling you all the blessings and wonderful stuff that will happen if you go to church!" He said, "well I got a soccer game and..." He started saying a bunch of reasons he couldn’t come. I got a little frustrated and didn't know what to do. He was being his normal, joking self, and I was upset. But I took a deep breath and told him he needed to be there. The Spirit returned and we finished on a good note. But Sunday, he wasn't at church. I am learning that as much as we want someone to do something, everybody has their agency! 

So that was our week! I hope you all have a great week! 

Love you guys so much! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
District meeting this week. We held it at our apartment because our key to the church broke.

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