Monday, November 10, 2014

Flooding The Earth With The Gospel Message

District photo Nov 2014 (minus Elder H. Silva)

An intense afternoon storm

A 1948 Austin of England - a rare car in any country!

A cute threesome of sisters

Elder H. Silva and Joao Pedro

Elder Hoopes and Eleine

Elder Shirley and Elder Buhler teaching English

Visiting Nelson and enjoying his gorgeous yard

District meeting goodies - this always ensures a good meeting!

Photo op prior to Joao Pedro's and Eleine's baptisms

A new dress for Emanuele, daughter of Julio and Rosangela

Waiting outside the sister's apartment

November 10, 2014

It’s been another great week here in Cachoeira do Sul.  We had a quiet, relaxing P-day.  The Sisters didn’t come to our place this week.  We missed them.  It’s kind of boring around here without them. 

President Castro sends out a message each P-day.  This week it was from a talk by David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about “sweeping the earth as with a flood”.  It applies to all of us.  We are cautioned to see clearly both the possibilities and the pitfalls of the remarkable technologies that are available to us today, and to use those tools appropriately that we may help sweep the earth with a flood of truth and righteousness.  That is a scary and humbling task to make sure everything that we post or “like” is appropriate and will not be interpreted in a way that gives a wrong message.   He specifically cautioned us about the pictures we post on Facebook.  Hopefully, what we post will always be edifying and uplifting.  We know that technology is changing the nature of missionary work.  We live in a truly distinctive dispensation.  We are blessed in many ways and where much is given, much is required.  It is a humbling challenge! 

As if to reinforce the message about flooding the earth, we had an afternoon thunderstorm that same day.  Mid-afternoon, the sky darkened.  It felt like it was night.  The winds and the rain and the lightning and thunder came.  It was another one of those storms that drove the rain in around the closed windows.  We had puddles of water under every window.  We decided it was best not to venture out that evening.  But wouldn’t it be cool to flood the earth that way with the gospel message?!

President Torres, president of the District, gave us a unique opportunity this week.  Jussara, the wife of the former mayor of Cachoeira wanted a blessing of comfort.  She is not a member of the church and was not interested in having missionaries visit.   But she felt the need for a blessing.   She has many challenges in her life right now.  She lost her father, who was her hero.  Her 38 year old son has been diagnosed with cancer.  She feels like she has more than she can handle in her life.  We think that she was willing to try anything to help her family and herself.  She speaks some English.  President Torres asked us to meet with her.  It was a great experience for us.  She was very nice, very gracious, very emotional and very receptive.  We explained about the power of priesthood blessing, where the power to bless others comes from and the part that faith plays in the blessing.  We discussed our families, hers and ours, and the challenges that come to each of us in life.  Basically she got the first discussion. She said that we were “angels”.  She even agreed to come to church the next Sunday. We were excited.  However, she called later saying that her swimming pool was being cleaned on Saturday and Sunday and she would be unable to attend Sunday services.  We were disappointed.  But hope that she will continue to think about the gospel message.  We hope good things come to her.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us. 

We met with the other young missionaries for our last District Meeting before transfers.  We all brought treats.  It was a good time with lots of good stuff to eat.  We hate to think who we might lose on transfer day!

We made our usual visits to Artur and Jose this week.  And, as usual, they were really good visits.  Artur is still contemplating his baptism date.  He did ask us this week if he had to start paying tithing after he was baptized.  Maybe this is why he has been postponing baptism.  Maybe we need to talk more about tithing with him.  And the visit with Jose felt more like he had prepared a lesson and was teaching us.  We loved it!  He has a hard time getting to church.  He lives a long ways away.  The branch can no longer afford to send out a bus.  It is too far for him to walk with his health problems.  But he has a testimony.  And we surely enjoy our visits with him.

The real highlight of the week was two more baptisms for Elder Hoopes and Elder H. Silva.  These guys are really “on a roll”!  This week they baptized 15 year old Joao Pedro and his mother, Eleine Machado.   This baptism was a result of a follow-up on a referral card that someone filled out in Sao Paulo.  The Elders have been working with them for a few months now.  They consider it somewhat of a miracle.  It was an awesome baptism. 

One afternoon we got to visit at the apartment of the three Sisters so Elder could give them blessings.  We also took ice cream.  How can you beat that?  Blessings and sorvette!  Better than a movie and ice cream any day!  We love these Sisters!

Saturday morning, we helped Elder Buhler and Elder Soares again with English class.  We had more there this week.  If we remember right, there were about 10 there to learn English, counting two Sister missionaries and one Elder.  We were impressed with Elder Buhler’s teaching.  We assisted too!  It was a fun time!

We made other visits, like to Nelson, the pan-maker again.  He was out cutting the grass in his gorgeous yard.  It was a hot day and his place has tons of trees.  It really was like a little paradise to us on such a hot day!  He really takes pride in keeping a nice yard. 

When it rained this week, it rained hard.  But we have also had a lot of hot, summer-like days.  So we appreciate the rain when it comes.  We don’t enjoy the humidity as much though. And there has been a lot of that, on sunny as well as rainy days.  Elder has taken to carrying his little “towel” to mop up the sweat when we are out walking.  We haven’t had to do that since last summer!

Presidente Glauber called Saturday night and asked Elder Shirley to speak in Sacrament meeting in the Marina branch.  (Artur was there again!  Yay!)  Elder talked about the Holy Ghost and faith.  He told lots of personal stories, complete with sound effects.  It was a fun talk, although slightly embarrassing!  (Not really!)  It was such a fun talk!  He really did a great job!!  We ended up attending sacrament meeting in Uniao also.  It was good to be there again.     

We love that we have so much variety in what we do.  We try to plan out our days, but we never know what each day will hold in store.  This really is an amazing experience for us!  Next week is filling up fast with appointments.  Elivelton wants some more follow-up lessons.  If you remember, he was baptized last June.  We had the privilege of teaching him.  He has been faithfully attending church ever since.  He and Bruna plan to be married next month.  Fortunately, they will still live in the Marina branch.  We really like this young couple!  We plan to teach them this week.  We have had a few requests from others to visit as well.  There is also some “gaucho” dance instruction on Tuesday in the Cachoeira branch and another Baile in the Uniao branch on the weekend.  It will be interesting to see how it all goes.

Hope all is well there!  You are in our thoughts and prayers continually!  Love you all!
Eu te amo! 

1 comment:

  1. I hope Brian will pass this on, I typed a whole bunch of stuff already and of course I hit some button and it all disappeared. If not you'll get two posts from us. Just wanted to wish Cathie, or sister. as you guys like to be so formal, a very happy birthday! We like to read your missionary experiences and glad you are doing so well. Scott's foot is healing but slowly; we are getting ready to go to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving. That's where Brandon is and I can't wait. Glad you are feeling the heat there as we are not! It's 2 degrees as I speak and I seem to just go huddle from one heater to the next. Crazy Idaho! Well be good. Love, Scott & Jan