Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One More Week


So this week was the start of Carnival, which is basically the Brazilian version of Mardi Gras. The weather this week was cloudy and cool for the most part but really muggy which didn’t help. But the celebration of Carnival started this last Friday after noon. The real holiday isn’t until the 12th, but people start celebrating of Friday. This means that a lot of people were leaving the house to travel, again, as well as spending a little more time in the bars than normal. This made our work a little more complicated than normal because everyone was basically just focused on doing what they wanted to do to the nature of the holiday. But still we did our best to continue on and keep working. We did see a miracle happen again with the family of the less active who I talked about last week. His wife is really interested, but unfortunately her work schedule was such that she could only go to church once per month. However this last week she was able to get it changed to an hour which not only was a blessing to her in that she could have time to drop her child off at the day care, but also to where now she can go to church every Sunday! The thing is too is that she has been trying to get her hour switched for a while but there was no other hour for her to work. However she talked to her boss and this week he said that they were going to start a new hour, which would work perfect for her schedule. We were also able to mark a date for her baptism on the 24th of this month. Unfortunately her son was not at the lesson when we marked this date, but we will hopefully mark a date with him when we teach them today.

So while I am thinking about it before I forget, next week we are going to the temple so p day will be moved to Tuesday due to the fact that the temple is not open on Monday. So I wont be sending e-mails till next Tuesday.

But this last Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about missionary work (clearly) the talk went well but there were only 40 people at sacrament meeting. I felt like I was giving a talk to a new-formed branch not one of the oldest wards in Brazil. A large part of the members traveled due to the Holiday, also a lot had to help with the EFY which is going on here in Brazil this week. But the talk went well. I mostly focused on the Atonement and how we as members have the opportunity and the ordinances and covenants associated with the Atonement to really truly understand its significance. Everything we do in the church is centered in Christ, from the Sacrament, to baptism, to the ordinances in the temple, all of these ceremonies performed by the Priesthood all point to Christ. Here in Brazil a large part of the people at least have a belief in Christ. But they really don’t understand the Atonement, they don’t really understand what it is that Jesus expects of us or what His sacrifice really, really meant. To many it is enough that He was just killed for us and as long as we don’t do bad to anyone else we will be saved. The world is blind due to half-truths and false prophets and priests. We have the greater light and it is our duty to spread this light to others around us. We have the complete knowledge of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. A knowledge which we will never come to a truly full understanding until after this life, but we must do all we can everyday to grow in this understanding now, and we must help those around us understand this as well. As you can see of the past few weeks I have grown a great love for the Atonement. I am truly learning what the Atonement really truly is now, but the more I learn the more I see how little I actually know. I am really truly learning to turn to the Lord for all things and grow my faith in Him. I am learning to put all my trust in the Lord; because I know when I do this all things will turn out better. I hope that all of you seek everyday to apply the Atonement in your life. By doing this, you will be happier, feel the Spirit more strongly in your day, and feel a closer companionship with the Lord. However, as the wife of Elder Christensen told us three weeks ago, the more we understand the Atonement, the harder our Gethsemanes’ become.

I love you all and I hope that you all have a great week this week. Sorry I was not able to send pictures but all the LAN houses except the one that doesn’t let me send pictures was open this week due to Carnival. But I hope that you’re all doing well. Know that I love you all and that I am praying for y’all every day. I would like to hear more about what is going on in your lives. Sorry I don’t have much interesting going on here for now. Well I did have some crazy guy tell me and my comp we weren’t baptized by the Holy Ghost cause we didn’t talk in strange languages, my comp told me I should talk English to him and see what he does. Also I had someone for the first time tell me to go back to my country. I will let y’all know if I have anything else happen to me during this Carnival cause I am sure the chances are a lot better now of funny and different things happening to me due to Carnival. But don’t worry I am fine over all. Thankfully I only gotta live through this holiday once. But I love you all and hope that you all have a great week!

With love,

Elder Shelton

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