Hey hey hey,
So I’m finally returned to the promised land, Ássis. It´s gonna be fun now. A week without working here has put a slight crimp in our work, but, it shall be fixed, because now I’m super motivated to work, work, work. I have some new techniques to use now.
Last week was fun. On Monday, I did my first district meeting, which was cool. It went by super fast because we got there a little late. District meeting has the following activities: hymn, prayer, recitation of missionary purpose, testimony, 5 minutes of reading the missionary manual, the baptismal ladder (6 steps with 6 weekend dates, and the people written down who are scheduled to be baptized on those dates), then a training session based on the necessities of the district (ie: we need to learn about finding people) given by me, then a practice. We close the meeting with a hymn and a prayer. So yeah, it’s like that.
Then on Tuesday through Friday, I participated in a leadership training conference with President Tavares, and it was a blast. We learned a lot. There were 8 topics that we were being trained on, and we took 2 each day. The meetings got over at 6:00 PM and then we went and taught in Marilia like normal missionaries. The topics were:
Teach the Doctrine of Christ
The Role of the Spirit in Conversion
Revelation Through Prayer
Revelation Through The Book of Mormon
Revelation Through Church Attendance
Teach People, Not Lessons
We Invite, They Accept, We Follow Up
How to Start Teaching
Friday night we went to Jacarezinho, and then had the baptismal interview Saturday morning. João Pedro passed the interview. He was the first baptism in Jacarezinho in 10 months! Then we went back to Marilia to watch General Conference, unfortunately we only made it to watch the last part of the 2nd session. We also missed the Priesthood Session in the morning, but I got to watch all of the Sunday sessions. I especially liked the talk by Elder Larry R. Lawrence about parenting, even though I’m not a parent. It was still super good. And I liked Elder David A. Bednar’s talk about “Receiving the Holy Ghost.” And of course I really enjoyed President Monson´s talk about gratitude. It´s definitely something we could all work on.
I also had an interesting experience after his talk, which left me with an assurance that he is indeed the Lord’s Prophet. I meant no disrespect to God (by continually asking if things are true that I already know are true), but I asked Him if President Monson is indeed His Prophet. It was out of necessity, since as a missionary I have to testify multiple times daily that he is a prophet -- and while I have always believed that he was and is, I never actually asked God. So, I did, and I could feel in my heart that he is. Words can’t express the feelings that I felt -- they have to be felt individually. The Spirit bore witness to me in that moment and confirmed in my heart the things which I desired; feelings that were even stronger than when I asked if “The Book of Mormon” is true. I have never doubted that President Monson was a prophet, but now I know, because the Holy Ghost has made it known to me. You know why I like our church? Because the members aren’t following it blindly by the persuasive words of men, but rather, by the suave voice of the Spirit, because we honestly want to have a certainty that it’s not just another church, but THE true church of Christ. I actually ask everyone I teach to ask me why I follow our church, and then I tell them it's because I prayed about it. BURNED!
Okay, anyway so then Sunday night we headed to Ourinhos to spend the night there (on the floor) so we could have another district meeting Monday morning. Afterwards, we rode the bus to Assis, and got back at 5:00 PM. However, Elder Morris was sick, so we didn’t work at all.
Tuesday we saw this huge toad just chillin’!!!!
Oh so busy, but that´s life.