Friday, July 2, 2010

Talk About Intimidating

Pics. 2 year countdown.
Mom sent me a box of Mac & Cheese with my birthday package - Yum.
Kickin up my heels with Elder Parsons.
Lunch at Outback Steakhouse.
Really nice neighborhood in Sao Paulo suburb.

Reading about my friend, Jonathan's homecoming is really making me trunky and ready to come home. To make matters worse, my companion is in his last transfer. We went to the mall today and saw some of the sweet new technology and new movie promotions, plus we ate at Outback. It's okay though, I will survive. I just got to make it through this pday and I will be back to normal. Kudo's to Jonathan and Kevin for giving awesome homecoming talks. It makes me super happy to read about it.

onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week.

We are getting ready for another transfer. My companion, Elder Parsons, has just entered into his last transfer on the mission! It is super trunky up in this joint. Don't worry, we still focus and we still work and all that...but our converstions tend to turn to going home more and more often. Even worse, I have been considered a part of his group ever since I got to the mission, since my group was very small, and it is going to hurt so bad to have to watch all of my best mission friends head to the airport on that van with me wtill waving goodby from the office. Oh well, still 5 weeks until that moment. It's nuts how fast time just goes by here on the mission though. Ridiculous!
This week we have been worrying most about the state of the mission and the impact of the World Cup. Luckily, the impact hasn't been super huge, yet, as most Brazilians are kind of down on the Brazilian tem this year. They always complain that the team doesn't have a couple of players that they wanted, so there was no way for Brazil to win the Cup. It is like us Americans saying that there is no way to win the Gold in the Olympics because Lebron James isn't playing...they forget that we still have all those other best players in the world. Anyways, work will probably start to get a little difficult as the cup winds down. Everyone here is super excited to see Germany vs Argentina game, and the Brazil vs. Holland game....definely HUUUUUGE games on the world stage.

Also we did a division this week in this place called Alphaville/Aldeia. I don't really know how to describe in words. Let's just say that I didn't feel like I was serving a mission in Brazil was so different! The best way to explain the place was like a mix of Park City with SoCal. That area is where some of the richest people in Sao Paulo live. It was all gated community, but I felt like I was back in the states. Tons of people spoke English, there were no gates or barbed wire surrounding the houses, most houses had lawns, etc. People were out walking their dogs. I was just dumbfounded! It was a way cool division though. I spend the day with a guy from Orem, UT named Elder Warner. He is about the most American looking guy on the mission. Six foot flat, blond, blue eyes, strong jaw, normal name is Steve...there is no fooling anybody. Anyways, it was great fun.

The coolest lesson of the day was with an older couple that is a reference from a Seventy. Yes, a General Authority's reference, he is the second counselor in the are presidency. Talk about intimidating. Anyway, we were teaching about the Gospel of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immmersion for the remission of sins, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands, Endure to the end) it was going awesome. The spirit was super strong, there were understanding the purpose of the gospel, what faith and repentence are, everything. However, without going too much into details, by the end the man said "Look, I feel indebted to you guys, all the help that you have given us, but I don't think I will ever be baptized." A definite smack that came out of left field. Anyway, he went on talking about how he hadn't felt his answer yet about the Book of Mormon, and how he felt that he was betraying his old faith, etc. I looked him and his wife in the eyes and I asked "Do you want to know the truth? Really?" They replied that they did want to receive the answer about the Book of Mormon. So I said "I know that if you kneel right now and ask God with real intent, with a pure heart, with faith in Christ , you will receive your answer this very night" We then proceeded to have a kneeling prayer which he offered, we sang "Que Manha Maravillhosa" (The First Prayer), we left Moroni Chapter 10 for them to read, and then we just left without much of a word. It was one of the craziest experiences of my mission. I don't know if I have ever felt the spirit so strong and such a stonge prompting from the Holy Ghost. The mission never ceases to amaze me sometimes.

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