Sunday, July 27, 2014

A GOOD week in the mission field!

A GOOD week in the mission field!
 July 13, 2014

         G., our 90 year old investigator) came to church today!  We had to help her get a ride with a member who lives close by because she is old and almost blind.  She loved church! I was walking with some members and they said that she already wanted to be baptized.  She told us that she was feeling this great feeling of love at church.  Just imagine how many things that she has experienced in her 90 years of life.  She was telling us that this was the first time in five years that she has felt happy.  She said that we were an answer to her prayers.
 July 14, 2014
         P-day was AWESOME today!  We basically spent all day at the church training boxing, ju-jitsu, things like that. It was really nice to actually exercise, and send emails on and off without any pressure.  Elder Moleiro has me convinced to start do MMA when I get home.  Nothing serious, but I would like to learn a bunch of different martial arts like Muay-thai, jiu-jitsu, and even wrestling and boxing.  I ended up buying some boxing gloves to practice with.  My comp and I are going training everyday to get in better shape. 
         In the afternoon we visited less-active members.  We became instant friends with one married couple, but the husband will be really hard to convince to come back to church.  He has been less active for about 9 years now.  Prior to that he was in calling in the stake leadership.  It was Elder M. birthday today so I bought him sushi for his birthday treat from me!  This transfer is going to be good.
 July 15, 2014
         So I know that I have a problem with humility.  I have always had a hard time accepting advice from people without having something to say back to them.  My new comp is helping me with this by training with me in the mornings.  I had forgotten how much starting a new martial art leaves you very VERY humble.  I am definitely learning to swallow my pride and realize that I am wrong.  (Now if we could just figure out a way to teach this to my companion.) 
         We had a chance to teach G. today and she loves to talk!  She like to tell us a bunch of life stories and it’s really incredible how much life there is in 90 years.  She was raised Catholic and she was even a nun for 6 years from the time she was 17-23 years old.  Then she was disillusioned by the church and started church-hopping.  It only took her 67 years to find our church.  She says that this is it and she has never felt so happy in any other place.  It has really been a great experience to be a part of. 

 Elder Arruda! Finally I'm living with a missionary who's younger than me!
July 18, 2014
         Today I went on splits with Elder Arruda.  He has been in the area for 4 days.  We struggled to find our appointments, but by some miracle, we were able to make each one of them.  Unfortunately, as we found our way around, almost all of them fell through.  Elder Arruda is pretty cool.  He also studied martial arts before his mission, but he wants to study to be a neurosurgeon after his mission.  He’s not your typical meathead aggressive fighter type.  We also get the chance to play basketball together sometimes which is fun for me.

July 19, 2014
         G. is super ready to be baptized, but her kids keep trying to talk her out of it.  She has a strong testimony that the church is true.  She was telling us about her prayers, revelations, visions, dreams, etc. and it really seems that God wants her to hurry up and get baptized.  I guess that when you are 90, you don’t have much time left on earth so everything that needs to be done, needs to be done quickly.  She is really excited for her baptism tomorrow and is keeping firm in her faith.  She has been telling us how she has been preparing for this time for her entire life.  She even asked us what she needed to do in these last couple of days so that she can stay strong and return to live with God.  I know that she’s been prepared for something big.  She dreams and feels like God has a big mission for her, in this life or the next.  She is so great.
 This is Geralda! And the family that the other elders baptized in our ward!
 July 20, 2014
         G. was baptized!  Okay, this Sunday was entirely crazy so I’ll start at the beginning.  We had our usual meetings with the ward council in the morning bu when we were going to lunch we called to confirm our appointment, and the woman who was making our lunch said everything was ready for us.  We asked if there would be another man present for our lunch appointment because she is a single woman and it is against the rules for us to be there without three men present.  She was very rude to us and told us NO.  We asked if it would be okay if we brought someone with us, and again she rudely said NO. Okay….so we arranged to pick our lunch from her house and take it to our house to eat.  So we walked 30 minutes to her house and, SURPRISE, she wasn’t there. So, no lunch for us and it’s the Sabbath so we can’t buy anything. Oh well, we managed to scrounge stuff up quickly at our house before racing back to church.
         We left early so that we could make sure that G. would make it to church too.  She was already there waiting for us when we got to her house. She said that her son threatened to kill her if she went to church, but she decided to come anyways.  Her kids are monsters to her.  We also passed by a recent-converts house.  The strongest member of the house didn’t want to come because of some personal problem, but we ended up bringing her mom and nephew to church. (or rather they walked with us.)  I
was super impressed that this older, slightly overweight, woman would walk 30 minutes in the heat to come to church with us.  During church, the same woman who was upset with us about lunch, didn’t show up to teach gospel essentials because she was mad at us…go figure. A bunch of members from the Jatoba ward came to visit Elder Moleiro and brought him a birthday cake and salgados. 
         The baptism afterwards went really well.  G. was baptized by Elder. M. and Elder Lopes.  They both did it just to help her and make it a little easier on her.  She came out of the water crying.  It has been really special working with her.  
 Everyone in white!!!! Except for me..... haha we'll just have to baptize more people next time! ;)
Recently I have had more than a few people ask me how I feel about my mission and what it is like here in Brazil. I love the mission and I love the country. It's great, I just miss some little things from back home. About Brasil, I love the fruits, and the fact that there's basically no natural disasters here. Also, it's always hot here. That's good, but bad at the same time. Also, I love the way people are here. They're super happy, super open, and they love people. Especially American gringos. Haha, I think that the only city where I would live here in Brasil would be Curitiba, because it's the model city for Brasil. It's clean, advanced, and safe. It's also in the 'cold' part of the country, so it's always nice there. 

I was remembering this week what my last companion Elder Lemos told me one time. It was a question that really made me reflect on my spiritual well-being. Here it is: “Do you think that Jesus Christ would be able to trust you?” Whoa. He asked that for an investigator who kept saying that he would come to church, but he never came. This guy was able to recognize his fault and replied that no, He wouldn’t be able to trust in him. That got me thinking, how much is our word worth? Can it actually count for something? This is a part of our personal integrity and honesty with God and with other people. If other people can’t trust us, how do you think that God would be able to trust us?  I don’t know about you, but God’s trust is something huge. Just imagine. Someone that you love, wouldn’t you hope that they would be trustworthy? Wouldn’t you want to be able to give everything to them? Christ gave His own life for us. He gave everything. Doesn’t he deserve to trust us? In order to do that we need to be completely honest with Him, AND with ourselves.  Trust in God, trust in yourselves, and He will trust in you! Tchau!

~Elder Colvin

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