This week we had interviews with Presidente Castro! It was super great to talk with him and receive insights on how to be a better missionary. Os Assistentes gave a great training on how to use the atonement better in missionary work and how to understand it better in our lives. They did a little exercise that I had heard about before, but was really amazing to see personally. They had a big box of delicious chocolates and asked who wanted one. Basically everyone raised their hand. Then they told us to pick a representative who we thought was really strong. The vote fell upon Elder Gull and he was chosen. He went to the front of the room and the assistants came up to my companion, S. Hodnik. They asked her if she wanted chocolate, and she said yes, so they said in order for her to get the chocolate, Elder Gull had to do 10 pushups. He did, and she got the bombom (type of chocolate). I was next. In order to get my chocolate, Elder Gull did 10 mor pushups. He was sweating a bit but doing fine. They went along the row and Elder Gull did 10 pushups for each sister and 5 for each elder. When he was about halway along, we could see that he was having a pretty hard time. He was super red, his arms were shaking, and sweat was dripping from his face. But he kept going. Soon it became Elder Érico´s turn to receive a chocolate. When the assistants asked him if he wanted one, he said no thanks, I don´t like chocolate. They said, okay, but keep it anyway Elder Gull, please do 5 pushups to pay for Elder Érico´s chocolate that he will not eat. Almost collapsing, Elder Gull slowly, painfully paid the price for Elder Érico, knowing full well that he would never eat the chocolate. Near the end, everyone was silently watching, or quietly encouraging Elder Gull to keep going, just a few more, don´t give up.
They related this situation to the atonement. Christ payed the price for our sins. It is up to us to use what he has done for us. If we do not repent, we are not using the gift He already payed for. If we do not repent, we are allowing Him to suffer in vain. Christ truly loves each one of us and suffered for each of us individually so we do not have to feel that same excruciating pain. That is a cause for rejoicing! D&C 19:16-19 talks about how because Christ suffered, we don´t have to! It´s up to us to decide.
Also, Presidente Casto gave us a new rule, that I think should not just apply to our mission here, but to all the people in the world! It is the following:
"È proibido ter desânimo, tenha fé e sorrie sempre" which means "It is prohibited to be discouraged. Have faith and always smile." Thats not a suggestion, but a command. When we allow ourselves to remain discouraged, we are forgetting that God has power to do everything. Literally everything. And we have the right and ability to ask for His help through prayer everyday! I just think that is so great.
I hope everyone has a great week!