Tuesday, October 21, 2014

20 October 2014

Zone conference this week!!! It was awesome! We had some great messages, then went out for lunch. As we were walking back to the chapel, it started to rain. It was raining we we left, but super lightly, but suddenly it started to pour. Since it was sunny in the morning, no one had umbrellas. We went as fast as we could, but ended up getting soaked all the way through. But it was definitely a miracle that after the conference I was going to go do companion exchanges in Ipanema, and I had brought my backpack with a change of clothes and everything!! Yay! And the other sisters were able to find dry clothes in Sister Castro´s office since our conference was at the mission office chapel. 

At the conference, Pres. Castro gave a message about rudders, based on one of Pres. Monson´s messages about the Bismark. How as missionaries (or members) if we do not have our purpose in mind, we are like a boat without a rudder. That got me thinking about what are the ways that we can remember our purpose. First we must have our thoughts and hearts centered on the Lord and our investigators (Mosiah4:30). We must pray for them always. We must demonstrate our faith, acting in a way that will help them (visiting, preparing to teach, etc). Thus, our thoughts, words, and deeds will be centered on others and we will lose, and thus find, ourselves. 

Also, Claudio Augusto got baptized!!!! Álvaro was so excited to be able to do the baptism. It was really a great moment for their family. We had kind of a miracle at the baptism too. It was announced Sunday and we asked someone to put the event on fb, but apparently no one was paying attention, because at 15 minutes before 7:00 (when the baptism was to start), the only people there were us, and our Ward Mission Leader and his wife. We not only needed priesthood holders to be witnesses, but we also needed Álvaro and Claudio and everyone! So we ran to a member´s house that is super close to the church, but there were no priesthood holders home. We called a ward member who lives SUPER far away, but has a car and he said he could come but would be a bit late. We didn´t really know what else to do. Pres Grimaldi, who is acting as our Bishop for the time being, arrived and brought pop and refreshments, which was super great, but we still needed a bunch of people, especially Álvaro and Claudio.So Sister Gurrieri and I went into the restroom and knelt down and prayed. It was almost 7:00 and we had done all we could think of to do, and we asked Heavenly Father to help us because we weren´t enough alone. As we stepped outside the door, we heard a commotion at the entrance. A taxi pulled up, bringing Álvaro, Maria Helena, and Claudio Augusto, who were late because they had been buying new clothes for Claudio :) Then another car pulled up with a family of members who are coworkers of Álvaro, and thus it went until we had a bunch of people and a bunch of refreshments, which is always a good thing. It was amazing how immediate the response was to our prayer. It was like Heavenly Father was saying "Finally! I was just waiting for you to rely on me to make everything work out." It was a lovely service and everyone was very happy. In the picture, Álvaro and Claudio aren´t smiling, but it´s kind of a thing here for men not to smile in pictures. They are happy. Trust me. 

Anyways, it was a great week and I am so grateful to be a missionary. Also, I get to go to the temple on Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best place ever. 


13 October 2014

Highlights from this week:

Claudio Augusto (Álvaro´s 13 year old son) is progressing really well. He always asks us to sing 4 or 5 hymns before we start the lesson because he likes to laugh at our accents, but at church this Sunday he told us that he learned two hymns to sing for us next time we visit. I am looking forward to it. 

Álvaro also came with us to visit Marco, who is as enthusiastic as ever. Still quite the talker, but he is super willing to agree to live the commandments and said that he already basically lives all the commandments. The Lord truly prepares people. 

As we left Marco´s house, there was a tall, thin wall with a door in it that I had never noticed before and a lady standing in the doorframe. We went up and talked to her and she said something no one understood and turned around and calmly went into the door, which led to her front patio and her house. We looked at each other, confused, and then she came back and said, "aren´t you going to come in?" Pleasantly surprised, we agreed and entered and taught her (Teresa) and her husband, Dolmar. It was a very agreeable experience. 

So I guess one word to describe this week is pleasant. Which is funny because usually the weeks are crazy or difficult or shocking, but this week was just plain pleasant. Looking back, I can´t remember anything really disagreeable. Oh, yeah yesterday we talked to a guy who went kind of crazy talking endlessly but he had two empty bottles of alcoholic substance on his person. Reason 10 for living the Word of Wisdom. 

Jessica is still waiting to hear about when she will be able to do her surgery. she has been waiting for this for years and she and her mom think it should be soon. I sure hope so too. 

This week in my personal study I read this really cool scripture about how we can be full of light:

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shallbe filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and thatbody which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become singleto God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he willunveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in hisown way, and according to his own will." (D&C 88:67-68)

It depends on us to first, be focused on the glory of God, or in other words, always remember who He is and who we are as children of God. We all have divine purposes and missions and it is only when we forget this that we fall. And second, to sanctify ourselves. This comes from daily repentance. This week I thought a lot about the word remember, see Helaman 5:5-14) What are the things that we should always remember? How does taking the sacrament help us to have our "eye...single to [His] glory" and to "sanctify [our]selves"? What do we need to remember during the week to prepare for that sanctification?

Love you guys and hope everything is going well!

Sister Smith