Monday, September 2, 2013

Judge Not & Share

Olá abênçoados! Tudo bem? Semana maravilhosa aquí no Brasil!
Ok. Since a few of you may not speak Portuguese just yet... (Yet meaning everyone needs to learn it at some point in life- it's the language of angels, didnt know know?) I guess I will speak in English now.
Happy September! Yep. Great week. I don't have my planner with me so I am going to forget everything. A week ago we found J., a man who was drinking with his friends in a bar. We had crossed the street to contact a DIFFERENT man, but he got away too quickly. What a pity- he doesn't know what he is missing. Anyways, J. yells over to us (from the bar) and we turn back in his direction, preparing ourselves for a quick conversation with a couple of scorpions... (For those of you who don't know what a scorpion is- it's a man who doesn't actually want to hear your message, but just wants to talk to some pretty girls. Yes, Brazil is infested with them. Haha it's fine.) Ok. Now that we are up to speed. So long story short: As drunk as he was, he was actually pretty sober and we asked him if we could come back another day and teach him. He accepted, and I admit it- I didn't think it would amount to anything. But of course, in times like these, I love to be proven wrong. So this week we passed by his house, he invited us in to talk to his mom and wife as well. Best decision ever. They are AMAZING. J.´s dad just passed away last month... so they have a lot of questions- all of which pertaining to... drumroll please... the Plan of Salvation. Basically we taught the restoration and plan of salvation last week and the whole family loves us. More importantly, they love the message. They all prayed about our message and said they feel real peace in their home during and after our visits. They know what we are telling them is true and they LOVE reading the Book of Mormon with us. Better yet, in our lesson yesterday, all three of them agreed to be baptized on the 15th ! WOW! What a blessing. And J. has 2 daughters, one is 8- so she can be baptized too.  It is amazing. I am convinced the 3 girls will be baptized. But we have to work with J.- he can't drink anymore, obviously. So we will see- but we are praying for him.  I know he can do it with God's help. But he has to believe in himself too. 

Anyways, yes, we are so blessed with miracle families these days... they only problem? Transfers. Yes.... that would be NEXT week. Can anyone believe how fast this transfer flew. No? Good. Me either. And.... 13 sisters are arriving in our mission meaning President will have to cut a lot of training short this transfer (as was the case with my training...) Given how amazing Bassi, my companion, is... I am convinced he will ask her to train- even with only a month on the mission. Scary. Cool, too, though. So that means I will  probably train again and it also means I think I will move out of my area. It's hard- thank heavens I don't get to make the decision. I am not ready to leave, and I am still kind of hoping I don't- but I know that my investigators need me to leave so they don't ``depend on us missionaries``. That can be dangerous. Anyways. Yep, so you know the drill- next Monday= no email. I will be emailing Wednesday, the 11th.
Mom asked about when I will go to the escritorio again. This Wednesday is Zone Conference so I will get all my letters and packages that day. Hallelujah!!! Its been too long since I have heard from all you beautiful people! ;)
The language is coming along really well. If I don't understand something the first time, it usually only takes 1 repeat to get it. I feel really blessed. Right now I just really want to get the accent down- Spanish accents stick hard!
Other story. We were walking down the road and a man sitting in a restaurant calls out to us saying, ``You´re not elders... you´re sisters.`` Which translates as follows: ``I am your NEXT investigator``... Naturally at this point we are beaming and start attacking him with questions. He explains that he had a lot of friends growing up that were members- and that even served missions. He told us that he had always wanted to serve a mission, but that NONE of those friends had every invited him to go to church or to even learn about the church. Ok. Maybe part of the blame falls on him- sure. But I really believe more of the blame falls on the friends he had who never thought to share the gospel with someone they cared about. But really I don't want to spend time dwelling on how devastated I am that this man has lost more than 40 years that he could have spent in the church. That he could have served a mission... that his kids (because he has many) could have served too... Or at least could have grown up with the gospel. No. We won't dwell on this- because this wasn't the thought that struck me as he was explaining the desire he had HIS WHOLE LIFE to be invited. But instead I see it from the alternative perspective.  I was overwhelmed and heartbroken remembering every time I didn't testify or invite someone I love. I am as guilty of it as anyone else- and all it leaves me with is regret. I can make the excuse that I grew up in Utah.... but that just won't work, will it? I knew and still know a lot of people who needed the gospel. I was their chance (not their only chance- thank heavens...) and I blew it. So my challenge is as follows: It is a prophetic promise that as  we pray to know with whom we can share the gospel, names and faces will come to our minds. This is a PROMISE. So I invite each of you to put that promise to the test. Pray for guidance. Pray for a missionary opportunity. The real missionaries are the members and I promise you that you know people that perhaps the missionaries will never find if you don't make the first step. Invite. That's all we can do.  Invite and testify. You know people who need this message. Pray for the opportuntiy, and it will come. I wish it  were something I had done more often before I left- and something I am determined to do when I get back. I never again want to be ``that friend`` who ``never invited me`` as that man in that restaurant said earlier this week. 
Well, time is up.  Sorry- only two stories this week and no new photos- but I´ll definitely let ya´all know how transfers go! Have a wonderful week! I love you all. Thank you for your prayers, love, and support! Be safe, and as my wonderful Kim always says: Be good! :)
Sister Seal

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