Can you believe it?!? I've been out for a whole month! This is CRAZY!!! It has just flown by! Man, I sure have loved it, though! I have grown so much already! I can't wait to see the results in 2 years! Man! I can't tell you guys how much I love the Gospel!
I am just so hyped to get out and start ACTUALLY sharing the gospel! I got a little taste of what it will be like when, this week, we committed our investigator Franca to baptism! He is a theology major that was convinced that the Church was true, but he didn't want to be baptized because he felt like the members of the Church were hypocrites, that they professed one thing, but went and practiced something completely different. He also felt this way toward some missionaries, and he never truly felt like we loved him. So after a lot of prayer, study, and pondering, as a companionship, we knew what we had to do. So we went to the lesson, knocked on the door, and we all gave him a big hug! Um grande ambrasso! We just joked around with him for about 10 minutes, talking about basketball and soccer, and his son, Lucas, and about his life and likes! He started asking us questions about our family! Now, before this next part, just a bit of background on Franca. He is divorced, has a 9 year old son, and has been divorced for a few years now, and he is 30ish... Anyway, he starts asking us if we have sisters! Elder Draney and Elder Larsen said that they both had younger sisters that were like 9 or 14 or something like that, and Franca said, "Man, they are too young! I need someone a bit older!" Just joking around! So it came my turn and I told him I had a 14 year old sister, he seemed kind of disappointed, and that I had a 23 year old sister! His eyes got big, and a weird smile came across his face! It was hilarious, and we all laughed! Then I told him she was getting married in September! Haha! This was his response, "Oh, so I've got some time to change her mind!" Haha! We all just died laughing! We kept joking around and I told him that if he got baptized, that we'd help him find a girl! He laughed and asked if I promised! I promised him and we just kept on talking and joking around and laughing! So then we started the lesson with a prayer. The spirit was immediately in the room and we could tell that he felt it. We based our lesson on Romans 3:23, which teaches that we all fall short of the Glory of God. We are all sinners. Every single one of us. But the most important thing is, is that we, as missionaries and as members of the church, try to repent on a daily basis to live worthy of our potential and our Priesthood. We testified that we love him. That God loves him, and wants him to be baptized. He told us that he knows the he needs to be baptized, but that he was just waiting for someone that he thought was worthy to baptize him, and we convinced him, and the Spirit convinced him that we were worthy, and that it was time that he's baptized. He asked Elder Draney to baptize him! So we were all super stoked!
Now, for those of you who don't know. These "investigators" are not real. They are real people that our teachers taught on their missions, and our teachers "become" them in order to help us with our teaching skills and let us practice. So our teacher is Brother Machado, and Franca was really one of his investigators when he served in Brazil. Right after the lesson, Brother Machado pulled us aside and told us that he had been playing Franca for years as an investigator for missionaries, and that we were the first missionaries to identify his problems, and help solve them. No other missionaries have been able to commit Franca to baptism, but we did! I felt so good and excited to get out in the field and start doing some real work!
Anyway! This week was great! Last Tuesday night we had a devotional from Elder Joseph W. Sitati, of the Seventy! It was a really great devotional! One of my favorite quotes from it was "The message you have is a special gift; give it preciously."
Then we also had a 4th of July Devotional at which President Daniel K. Judd spoke at about ancestry. He quoted President Packer by saying "You are standing on their shoulders." Talking about our ancestors.
Then we had a Mission Conference because it was Fast Sunday! President Burgess spoke and what I got from that was; when you trust someone, you know that person. When we trust in the Savior, we know and love him.
Then, Sunday night we had yet another Devotional at which Jenny Oaks Baker spoke and played a lot of music with her family. From her talk, I learned that there is only one type of Faith; Faith is Christ and in the Will of God. Not faith in miracles, not faith in healing, but faith that God has a plan, and that everything He does and everything that He allows to happen to us is for our benefit.
I came across this scripture in my personal study and it made me think of home and of my parents, and of all parents with Missionaries out serving right now. It is 3 John 1:4! I really hope that this is how I make my parents feel, and I can only imagine how our Father in Heaven feels when His children choose the right!
Also, I don't know about my visa yet... Typically there aren't any problems with Mozambique visas, but no one knows if they have theirs yet or not. We will start to find out within 10 days of our departure date, so I'll know more then. But there is no way to check the progress of my visa, it's either approved or it's not... So, yay... But we're all in the same boat. With Brazil visas, there is a website to check the progress of it, but not for Mozambique... So for my mission "credit card" I guess you'd call it, it has 65 dollars loaded onto it for some reason, but in Mozambique, that is worth 2500 dollars..
Well, I'll wrap it up! Dad, Google translate stinks. I understood very little of what your letter said, other than you want me to send you a letter all in Portuguese? Maybe? Idk! Well, I love you all! I'm responding to people's letters this week, so if you wrote me, you should be receiving a letter sometime soon, hopefully! If not, my advice to you is that Patience is a Virtue. I'm a busy man, okay? Cut me some slack!
I love you all! The Church is True! It has become very precious to me.