Well, as the subject says, as of today we have a new mission President. There are lots of things to think about and many things to do, but I guess I´d just like to "publicly" say that Presidente Araújo really changed the mission and that Presidente Cordon will do the same thing with the same effort. The work will not change, and the church is still true. That´s about it.
Also, I have been receiving several difficulties due to some new responsibilites. There are some Elders here that have decided that watching the World Cup (even though it´s prohibited) is more important than working and that it´s other people´s fault if anything bad happens. This is frustrating, mostly because I don´t have a whole lot that I can do about it. The things that have to be done are being done, but sometimes it gets tough. You feel like all your effort is a waste, that no one really cares, and that you´d be better off doing other things in other places. In these times - that ALL of us have every once in a while - it is most important to do the simple things that we already know how to do - pray, read the scriptures, blah blah blah. It´s almost annoying when we hear the same thing over and over again, but that´s because it really is true! These things actually work! It´s a proven formula that is almost too easy at times, and because of the simplicity of the way there are many who are lost.
I´d like to talk about an experience that happened this last week that was both extremely trying and inspirational:
First, there was the "lesson" with Vera and Ezakel. It was last Sunday - when Brasil was playing for the Cup - and, as usual, we were trying to find someone to teach/doing contacts, etc. We finally found an address from a contact we had done from the previous week. We stopped, knocked, and Vera answered the door. She made it very clear that they are very Evangelical, but we told her that the message is for everyone yadda yadda, we got in. As we waited for the game to end, studying flashcards, the man of the house was very quiet and watching the game. The game ended, and the floor was ours. We started to explain who we were, why we were there, etc., and then, without warning, Izakel opened his mouth and started to attack everything about our church - from the BOM to Joseph Smith to the Word of Wisdom. Obviously, we didn´t let him just ram on the church like that and tried to explain, but this type of person doesn´t even let truth in. We waited and took it all in. For basically 5 minutes he continued twisting our words and attacking everything that I have believed and loved for my entire life. In these minutes, as I was praying to keep calm and to have patience, I couldn´t help but think about all these things that he was saying. I started to wonder - is it all really a lie? Am I really wasting my time? Why am I subjecting myself to this wave of insults and lies? I thought, and thought, and thought, as he flapped and flapped his chops, and as he started to come to the supposed end of his rant, there was a silence. It seemed to last for a good hour, though it was just a few seconds. It was my turn to talk now. I could have burned the heck out of his stubborn head, showing and proving to him that the BOM is true, our church is true, etc. But, we bore our testimonies and testified that, no matter what anyone said, the message is true. He couldn´t say a word - he tried to, but it had no effect. All the doubts in my mind were answered by one sentence that I heard many, many years ago when I first "knew" the church was true - you already know it´s true. Although I wanted badly to chastise his ignorant hide for scandaling our church in such a manner, we learned a lesson in patience that was difficult to learn, but golden for experience. Simply put, the Spirit testifies to us that the church is true. If we don´t let these feelings in, that´s our own darn problem. It´s true, whether Ezakel likes it or not. Sucka!!!
Whatever problem encounters us, whatever trial tries to stump us, whoever tries to pull us down from our testimony, however Satan tries to mess with our lives, and whenever we feel completely and utterly alone, it is in this time that we must remember that HE LIVES. He is the Savior of the world. All of these things are for our own good and growth. Everything will be ok in the end - all we need to do is our part, and do our best to help others do theirs.
I love all of you and want you to know that the mission is amazing. If you want to know how much you are loved, serve a mission.
PS Thanks for the package, family!!! Love you all!
NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.