This week has been a blessing. In the midst of shivering rain and holes in my proselytizing shoes (no, mom not the new shoes that I bought...I'm trying to endure a little bit more with my originals), I've been wearing shoes that my Dad bought about 5 years ago, if I recall. I remember I was much younger when he brought them home. He told me they were so comfortable that I would be able to run faster in them than my Nike shocks. I didn't believe him of course but, after he passed away I used them for my church shoes and found out I could run really fast in them, hahaha. They have been extremely durable and comfortable. I've worn them almost everyday and now they decided to get all hole-y. There's a tear on the side in between the sole and the leather but I still love them. They've been pretty damp these days but what would missionary work be without some wet socks....I know, it would still be missionary work but the wet socks make me feel a little bit more legit.
During the winter there are a lot of light rains that happen from 3 in the afternoon until we head home around 9 to 9:30 pm. I've grown to love the rain. At the beginning of the mission I would wait under little bakery overhangs to stay safe from the thick droplets but now I think I've gotten over the whole "you've gotta look cool at all times" thing and I walk in the rain. People find it so strange but at the same time special. When they find you soaked and dripping they ask us why we would ever walk in the rain to talk to people that we don't really know. It's a good question. Why would I run around in Brasil in the tropical rain blasts to find people to talk to and not wait under the overhangs to get dry? I'd like to quote one of my dearest friends because she explains it so well. Sister Hawkins, who is serving in Atlanta, GA, wrote this in one of her recent blog posts:
"In 2 Corinthians 3:3 it says
"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart"
Not only am I a missionary because of my tag, but I'm a missionary because it's written in my heart. And I hope that all those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost would write it in their hearts too--as it is a commandment from the Lord!"
I, too, feel the urgency to preach the word of the Lord in any type of weather system, country, environment and venue, be it hostile or friendly. The Holy Ghost has helped me love others as Christ has commanded. I feel like my spiritual abilities to understand those that I have never known or seen have grown and been cultivated through the Holy Ghost. As Elder D. Todd Christofferson stated:
I know that the Holy Ghost does bear witness of my words and worthy actions. I know that what I teach is true and eternal. It isn't just a feeling the stays with me for a instant like many wasteful things that the world offers, but it is something that has a never-ending meaning that will help every one of us return to the presence of our Father in Heaven.
I have been teaching a lot of youth and children recently, less actives, actives, and non members. I have noticed the great power of innocence as they open their mouths, act peacefully, are stress free, are always trusting and act in a loving manner. These actions confound the powers of the world, which like I said, do not stay around to bless us forever and do not stay around to help us get out of the hardest challenges as Christ does. What helps us leave the hole that we sometimes get stuck in are the attributes of innocent children. Innocence isn't a lack of knowledge. It also is not a lack of skill. It is the opposite. It is the knowledge that good will always overcome evil and also the skill to balance your life. It is purity and power. It is righteousness. The knowing that honesty triumphs, trust creates strong bonds, and hope makes your just dreams come true. I know this to be true. Innocent doesn't mean you have never heard the newest way to call a young women something distasteful. But it is knowing what is evil and deciding to choose the right.
Even if you don't believe in God, you must know that right and wrong choices do exist. Some choices lead to feeling sad and confused and others lead us to feel a peace of mind and satisfaction with our daily work. What gives us these feelings of satisfaction? And I am not talking of instant satisfaction but a satisfaction that is hard to comprehend. It is gratification that is true and forever-lasting. You just feel good. You don't need an artificial substance to get that feeling. For me the easiest way to compare it to something that many people know is when my guitar is tuned and there isn't a single vibration that is off. Or when I´m singing to myself outside in the woods and I feel peaceful. Where does that peace come from? It would be impossible to create such a thing all by yourself. If there are wrong choices there are right ones. If these right ones bring this state of innocence and peace of mind who is the one that declares what is right and what is wrong? The right choices along with obedience never goes wrong. It is our loving Heavenly Father that wants to bless us. Follow His promptings and do what is right and you will understand this feeling that I am talking about. You´ll never want to go back to the little lies that get you out of tough situations or paying the cashier one dime less. I hope I have expressed this well and you can mark these thoughts into your heart and mind.
My new burnt leather scripture case. It turned out really well. On the upper left hand side it says families can be together forever, and those who are part of my family know why I put this particular national park. If you look closely you will find Dad and me in the bottom right.
BIGODE! means MUSTACHE! so I had to take a picture with it. I´m excited to grow that guy in again.
At the stroganoff and salad lunch following the ward fast for missionary work. I like the little fire truck on the kid table.
|Jonathon, the ward secretary, and Samuel, a deacon with style|
|Elder Forsyth chowing down|
|Thiago, Adriano and Felipe|