Monday, July 14, 2014

World Cup Ends, Missionary work resumes

Montese, Fortaleza
Elder first comp!
           Right now I'm in Montese, 7 de Setembro, and our chapel is where all of the missionaries come for the transfers. Neither I nor my companion were transferred, but we live like five minutes away so we decided to visit our friends in the mission. I got to see a ton of familiar faces, including my first MTC companion, Elder Whatcott.  Another couple of months and I'll probably know the entire mission! I made a couple of new planners for me and my companion.  The Jesus planner is mine and the Sparticus planner is my comps.

July 6, 2014
            I got to bear my testimony in fast and testimony meeting today.  This is something that I have tried to do every month as a missionary.  I like to share my testimony with the ward that I am serving in and you never know how many transfers you will have in one area, so I take advantage of the opportunity every month.  So far, I haven’t missed a single time on my mission.
P-day Selfie. I can take more pictures
now because my area is safe to carry a camera in.

July 7, 2014
            P-day was pretty fun.  We spent about a ½ hour trying to open the doors to the church so that we could use the computers for emailing.  Also we bought a couple fo lters of Coke…we love the stuff!  Elder M is going to put me on a diet and a training routine so we can get into shape.  The best part of my p-day was that I got to play the piano for a large part of our free time.  I thought it was worthwhile!

July 8, 2014                                       Brasil X Germany
            Woohoo!  Today was a successful prank day for me.  I freaked the others elders out with a dead chicken, a few candles, some popcorn, and a little music (from Echoes of the Sabbath).  I woke Elder M. up at 4 in the morning, and I think it left quite an impression on him!  It was all in preparation for our special BBQ plans for today.  As I was prepping the chicken, I found a little sack in the inside of the chicken with all the edible organs, including the CHICKEN HEAD (yes!) I have plans for that later.           
            So we are going to have another BBQ tonight while the Brasil game is on…. The  BBQ turned out AWESOME.  Sadly though, the game did not.  Brasil was already losing 4 x 0 before the first piece of meat left the grill.  We saw people crying in the streets because of what happened.  As everyone in the world knows, the game ended 7 x 1!  That is the worst loss that Brasil has every had AND it was in Brasil!  People aren’t so happy right now.  But, us missionaries are great because we had our barbeque and drank 15 liters of Coca Cola! 
            Later that night we had one of our investigators commit to baptism.  We have three investigators scheduled for next week, but we will see how it all works out for them. 
BBQ bellies!

July 9, 2014
            The chicken head in hanging from our showerhead was a success! Don't worry Mom, I always clean up my messes.
            I got my package!!! I already made the first cookies and the other Elders loved them!  I only burned the last batch…haha. Thanks for all the treats!
            Elder Tribino and I were on splits, and we were teaching on of his families.  The literally just showed up at church one day and wanted to be baptized.  There are 9 of them in one family!  Once they join, we will have to divide the primary and the young women’s program into more classes.  It is great!

July 10, 20141 YEAR MARK!
            This past year has been great overall.  I have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year.  I’m thinking a lot abut what I can do to make the most of it.  I was studying “The Priesthood Man” these past few weeks and I love what it says about what good heroes have in common, they have: a habit of prayer, service, and honesty. I had the opportunity to talk with our new Presidente, Presidente Bonini today.  One of the things that he told me is that I should turn my prayers into a more useful resource.  He said that when someone asks me when my last spiritual experience was, I shouldn’t have to think very hard because every prayer should be a spiritual experience.  So with those two sources of inspiration guiding me, I have decided to focus on improving my personal prayers.

Elder M. birthday sushi!

July 11, 2014
             One of the things that I am learning with Elder M is that we always have to talk about baptism, but we have to be smart about how we do it.  We need to help people feel the desire to change an then help them to understand that baptism is the first step to making that change. Today we had and interesting door approach.  We knocked on the door asking for Italo (a contact name that we were given)  Someone yelled back without answering the door that he wasn’t there.  As we were leaving we heard someone shout for us to come back.  This young lady (very pretty), opened the door and stared talking to us.  She was very interested in the church and committed to come to church on Sunday! That was a miracle to me.
My comp's turn to email at church!
July 12, 2014    Final World Cup game:  Germany X Argentina
            So this week we had a lot of cool experiences that testify that miracles are real. Miracles aren’t things that everyone sees today, especially in Brasil. There are a bunch of churches who preach miracles and cures and the like, but none of them teach how to have REAL peace that only the true gospel can bring. The gospel of Jesus Christ is what really brings to pass miracle in our lives.

What is a miracle?

For me, a miracle is some action some kind of manifestation from God.
Keeping that in mind, we can see lots of different tricks and shows and all sorts of ‘miracles’ that men do. All you need to do is go to Las Vegas and watch a magic show and you’ll think that people can work miracles and wonders. When I see people preaching miracles, blessings, cures, etc. in the name of Jesus Christ, I keep thinking back on the scripture Matthew 7:21-23:

 21 ¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
So what, then, is a real miracle? What is the will of the Lord?  That is something that we cannot discern only with our eyes. We have to go by our feelings. The Holy Ghost works mainly through our feelings and through our thoughts. It’s evident that the Devil can work ‘miracle’ and ‘wonders’ in the eyes of the beholder, but if we reflect on our thoughts and our feelings, there is a great difference between the two.
During my time as a missionary, I have had the chance to see a lot of miracles almost every day. However, these miracles hardly ever seem like miracles. What happens is that people change. The most simple and easy way that these miracles happen, is through a humble prayer. These prayers are what change people. By way of prayer, we can receive answers, help, comfort, and blessings from on high. I had a powerful experience with this past Saturday. Elder Moleiro and I were walking to one of our appointments, and we decided to eat a late lunch (our lunch had fallen through). I had already started a fast, but Elder Moleiro was hungry so we went to a Habib’s to eat. On the way there, we saw this little old lady leaning against the wall next to an apartment complex. She looked right at us as we passed by and Elder Moleiro later said that he felt some kind of feeling that we should talk with her, but when we realized what it was, we were already at the restaurant. After that we taught a lesson, and about an hour after we passed by the same spot and she was STILL there. We didn’t even hesitate. We started talking with her, and she started to cry. She said that she had been waiting there praying to God that he would send someone to help her. She went to church the next day and we talked with her a lot more and got to know her a little bit better. She’s 90 years old, and she said that she’s been sad for a really long time. She said that it had gotten to the point that she had forgotten how it felt to be happy. After she talked with us she told a member that after we had passed right in front of her, she had the strongest urge to be baptized. WHAT? Haha we hadn’t even talked with her, hadn’t even taught her anything, but she felt this feeling of peace and joy at church that she already knew that she would be baptized. She’s almost blind, but she was telling us that she didn’t need to see the church to know that it’s true. As we were leaving the church, she was asking us a bunch of questions, ‘is the church very big?’ or ‘what’s going on right now?’ we walked her through everything, even a baptism was going on after Sacrament meeting. Even though she couldn’t see what was going on, she could feel the Spirit really strongly.
I know that this really was a miracle that happened this weekend. This wasn’t chance, this wasn’t some kind of show, this was an act of God. I know that this church is true. I know that God doesn’t forget any of His children and the only thing that needs to happen is ask and He will bless us more than we can imagine. I hope that everyone has a great week and that each one of you has some kind of miracle that will happen in each one of your lives. I love you all and have a great week!

~Elder Colvin

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