Parabéns Blake winning state shot put! & I´ll cross my fingers for us both to have a snow day tomorrow. :) Make sure to listen to Ben´s wish to go to Paradise Valley if it does snow. That´s awesome the twinners are doing archery. Thanks for the news about ward too, Daddio. That´s exciting about Josh heading off on a mission. It was fun seeing Jeremiah in the MTC (what feels like just) the other day. Thank you also Bryce for translating my letter to President. Thankfully I have a bit more time to write this week.
This week was very good - I can´t even believe it´s the last week of the transfer. Time passes exponentially on the mission. Elder Cruz, Elder Christie´s companion, was a distance runner in Peru before the mission and is training to continue after. Every morning we time our runs to prepare for a 10k in Sobral next pday. Unfortunately morning run times don´t decrease exponentially as does time on the mission.
It´s been a lot of fun serving with Elder Cruz, Christie, & Elder de Jesus. Many good memories.
With Elder de Jesus in Teresina, we´ve been doing exchanges with preists and elders the past couple weeks. It was a big relief when he arrived recently. I have time today to share a couple miracles that happened on splits:
1st Miracle: The week before Elder de Jesus left for Teresina, we started something called 21 days of promise with an active member in the ward. She was the only active member in her family. It was one of the people you guys were praying for. Her husband, daughter and son are members but didn~t want anything to do with learning about the Gospel. The way the promise works is, for 21 days you pray specifically for the names of a couple people you´d like to help come closer to Christ. Morning and night, after these prayers, you read a specific scripture, seeking revelation in how you can make a difference in their lives. The promise is, from a general authority, that in acting on the promptings you receive, one or more of these people with draw significantly closer to Christ. We helped her act on the promise by holding family nights in her home and inviting them to activities in the church.
....The 21st day the entire family came to church!! We had lunch with them afterward. We felt God´s presence so strongly nearly all of us were in tears. We shared a messages about being sealed in the temple. They now have plans to be sealed this June in the Recife temple.
2nd Miracle: Elder Gwilliam arrived in the mission! and he´s serving here in Sobral! Out of the blue I saw him in the Sobral chapel and ran to give him a hug. It was kind of like an Ammon, sons of Mosiah moment. He told me nearly all the people we taught together in Las Vegas were baptized and are very active in the Gospel.
There´s no greater blessing than to see the peace the Gospel has brought me touch the lives of so many I love. Being in Brazil has taught me what was said in the blessing Dad gave me before my mission: how to "experience a deeper sense of love I´d never felt before for those whom I serve."
Love truly is the first and great commandment. Charity is the essence of the life of Jesus Christ and therefore the center of the good news (the Gospel).
Thank you for faithfully sending so many emails and for your prayers. They are answered - blessing pour like rain in Brazil.
Love you all!