Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


24 February 2014

   Oh no sorry that you didn't get my e-mail last week I thought I sent it. I probably closed the e-mail before it was sent... I was kind of in a hurry last week!

   Well this week was a good one. We contacted a reference that we received from a member in the ward of a man named George and his wife Eliane. They are great! The first thing that Eliane told us is that she was Catholic and won't change religion and then left the room, haha, it was funny but we started talking with George and got to know him and then we called Eliane back in a sneaky way haha. We got to talking with her and she really is a great person. We found out that there is way more to her that meets the eye. She is Catholic but doesn't believe in the Catholic church. She has already received answers to prayers that she needs to attend another church and that it will be better for her. She really knows that she has received this answer. BUT her family is catholic and she doesn't want to offend her parents or her family. She prefers to not offend her family and then offend God... And the funny part is that she KNOWS that she is wrong.... yeah it's very interesting. But during that lesson with her and her husband, I really felt like we were being guided by the spirit, that the spirit was guiding us in what to say and what to ask. We taught the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and at the end we invited her and her husband to be baptized and they accepted the challenge. It was great! And at church the member that passed the reference was thrilled!
   I realized this week that I need to be more patient. We had a baptism this week and boy did things not go smoothly. I know that patience is an attribute of Christ, He is patient. But how? how do you be patient when things aren't going right and could be so much better. My mission president told me once, be patient with the slowness of progress or slowness of people. Yeah it's something that I still need to work on. I don't react well when I get impatient.
   Well hello Family Dearest that I love so much. Thank you all for all of your support and prayers.
   This week was cut short because we had to go to Maceio for a Zone conference with the Presidente and the staff. It was a great trip and I got to read the Book of Mormon almost the whole time, until exhaustion got the best of me. At the zone parts, my little trainee, Elder Martins bore his testimony in front of everyone, which was really good and spiritual. We were passed a lot of trainings that both me and my comp need to improve on. And we have already been able to see the results of them. The President talked a lot about obedience and how when before this world we were all obedient to the Lord's plan and chose to come to this earth. But we were blinded by the veil and started doing things wrong. He said that it seems like there is a veil in the mission too. That before the mission no one decides that they will be a slacker or be disobedient to the rules, neither in the MTC or the mission home. But it's when we come into the field and start to live with other people and act for ourselves. It was really cool and TRUE. I think it really helped my companion Elder martins who is starting his mission. We have had a lot of talks about obedience and the importance of it and I feel that the president reinforced what we have been talking about being obedient.
   So I've been talking a lot about this lady named Sara. She is a sister of a member. She is super excited about the church and the teachings in the Book of Mormon. She started out reading the Book of Mormon about a month ago and has already finished 2 Nephi. She has been reading and comparing it to the Bible. Dates, teachings, the destruction of Jerusalem and the parts from Isaiah, she is really going in deep. And she now knows for herself that the Book of Mormon is true. She believes in it. She said that every time she reads it she can understand everything and learns so much. She really believes that the spirit is guiding her and teaching her. It is amazing teaching her because I feel like I'm learning too. I don't know how it happen but example come so easily into my head, examples that I've never used before that help her with her difficulties. She wants to be baptized so badly but unfortunately she works Saturday and Sunday every week as a NURSE! AH FREAKIN NURSES! (mom :) BUT she can switch one shift a month with another person. So once a month she will be able to come to church. We had the baptism marked for this coming week but she has to take a test this week to see if she can get a job in another city and will be able to come to church every Sunday! So we're praying that she passes this test and gets this job! YEAH!
   We are also teaching another couple who are really special. They always have a big smile on their faces when we come. This past week we gave them the Book of Mormon to read and pray about. When I was explaining about the Book of Mormon, I just felt like I wasn't making sense and that I was explaining things that were unnecessary. But they said that they understood and were excited to read and get to know the book. I got to thinking that it is really not us missionaries that teach people about the Gospel. It is really the spirit that teaches and guides the thoughts of the investigators. Sometimes I feel like I don't know what I'm saying but just say something, and everything turns out just fine. I know that the spirit really does work through the Lords servants. I learned that last night too. We decided to talk to our neighbor and give him a Book of Mormon. He asked us a bunch of questions about what we believe, salvation, doctrine... It was great! He even gave us mini bibles! Cool! He had trouble accepting the thought of the Book of Mormon being the word of God like the Bible but we will let the Book of Mormon convince him of that. He also showed me the first verse in John. They talk about the Word, being Christ and God. And that God is Christ that they are one and a few other scriptures too!
   I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father that we have prophets to help us understand the scriptures, because there really is a lot of confusing stuff written in that HUGE book :) I love this church I know it's true and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
   Elder Ralph