So the weather this week was really, really hot and really, really rainy. Well kinda. The weather here is such that it gets hot during the day and usually we have a thunderstorm in the afternoon. On Thursday and Friday we had really bad thunderstorms that caused a lot of flooding problems in Sao Paulo and also knocked out energy. Thankfully our house did not lose energy but the rain really did end up falling really heavy and there was a ton of lightening and thundering going on. It basically was thundering for two hours straight. And now another thunderstorm is getting here as I speak and it sounds like it could be a bad one.
But the week was a long one too. With it being the week of Carnival a lot of people were traveling and a lot of our lessons well through. So our days were mostly spent walking under the sun doing a lot of contacts. However despite the problems with lessons we did have quite a few good progressing investigators. Yesterday we passed by Maria, who is the wife of the less active who stopped us, and we made sure that she was firm for her baptismal date this next Sunday. She said she was, so we are pretty sure we will have a baptism soon! But she and Alberto (husband) went to church this Sunday, which was great. Our other investigator Paulo has finally made a goal for his marriage. He is opening a business and wants a little revenue before he gets married so that he can feel like he can give a good life to his future wife. We will try and teach him that if he truly wants his business to do well, he needs to not delay on keeping the commandments of the Lord. One thing about being a missionary is that you are really able to see the Lord keep His promises with people, in terms of prosperity and in a better life all around. All of the people I have taught so far really have been all receiving significant blessings in their lives though the progress they have made in keeping the commandments. Last night Maria shared a story with us about prayer. For all of her life she has only known that prayer (Our Father which art in Heaven) and she has been saying that prayer all her life because she did not know any better. However, she has not been talking to her brother for some time now and she said that the situation is getting bad and was troubling her. When we taught her how to pray, that night she knelt down and prayed, she asked that her brother would start talking to her again. Immediately after the prayer her brother messaged her. She is growing such a strong testimony in this gospel and it is so great to know that I was able to be an instrument in the Lords hands to bring this to her. Along with her Paulo has moved his life completely as well. He says he is happier and that he is seeing blessings come in the business he is starting. Truly the Lord has promised all of us that when we keep His commandments we will prosper.
Y’all may ask why I am e-mailing today and not tomorrow like I said I would be doing due to the fact that we would be visiting the temple. It was cancelled so now p day is normal. I am a little sad we won’t be able to go but hopefully in the next few months I will have another chance. It has been over 6 months since I last went to the temple and I really want to go. But I did also learn something else this week and it has to do with fast offerings. I will admit that I am in the spirit of repentance for not being better at paying my fast offerings as well as donating to the other funds of the church during my life. But one thing I learned is that a fast is not complete if we do not give a fast offering. Remember that the purpose of fasting is to bless us spiritually, physically, as well as others. Without paying an offering we did not complete the purpose of fasting and cannot receive a fullness of blessings that come from fasting. Also we as members have the responsibility to be part in the establishment of Zion. For this we need to also give to the other funds of the church such as temple. Without these funds the church cannot build temples or truly grow. The purpose of the church is to be auto sufficient in every country; in other words, the church in Brazil will pay for all of its churches and funds with the money from tithes and offerings from here in Brazil. When the father of my mission President was the area president here for Brazil he said that Brazil would be auto sufficient if every member paid the price of a two-liter of soda for fast offerings every month. That was when there were only 1 million members here in Brazil. Now there are a lot more. So my goal for all of us is to do a good job in paying our fast offerings and donating to the church funds. Doing so we will be greatly blessed.
Anyways I love you all so much! Know that I am doing fine, just getting really sweaty everyday and a little more tanner. I got a good tan line where my watch is and on other parts of my body. Basically my arms and face are nice and brown but my body is pasty white, but that is what happens when you serve a mission. But thank you all for the support y’all give! Know I am praying for all of you always! I hope you all stay healthy and do well in your work at home and what not!
Overlooking the neighborhood (bairro in Portuguese) of Santana which makes up part of Zona Norte of Sao Paulo. I am actually really close to the MTC. The temple is in Zona Oeste (West) and I can take a bus and a few trains to get there.
More of Santana. That hill is really steep!
A papaguya of a member. This day he let me hold him, but he usually tries to bite me. These birds live to be over 100 years old and that is no lie!