Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sao Chico B - Week 4

September 28, 2015

Oi minha povo! Eu vocês amo!

I don´t know if you guys know or not, but I think everyone here knows - the dollar gained about one-third of it´s original value! Which means here 1 dollar used to be worth 3 Reals, but now it´s 4, so all the Americans here just got a little richer! To celebrate I bought the four of us missionaries in our district some Pizza! It was so good! but I totally forgot to take pictures to show you guys the difference between American and Brazilian pizza. Darn....
Guess I´ll have to buy more!

I've had a couple of really cool experiences with the spirit this week! 

The first one happened in the house of a mother living with some of her teenage children. We met them by "knocking on their door" (which actually entails clapping outside their gate, because every house has a gate, and you clap instead of knock). We gave the first lesson and I usually give the part about Joseph Smith, his question, The First Vision, and what that means about the Church today. I'm able to use mostly my own words now, but it was weird this time. When I started talking, I had everyone's attention (which was an accomplishment with this family) at first because I was an American speaking Portuguese, but after a few minutes, that wasn't the case. You could feel the power in the room. The Holy ghost lit a fire and the force was physical. During The First Vision story, I have no doubt they felt the Power of The Holy Ghost - truly an incredible experience.

Me and Elder Gomez, my Trainer
Another time, one of our greatest pesquisadores (investigators) invited us to a meeting much like AA in the USA, but for drugs and the families affected by these things too. It was like a comfort group people could come to for help and strength. It was run by another church but it reminded me of the 12 step program we have, just a little different and honestly a bit less organized. Anyways, they explained what the purpose of it was to us and then my companion, Elder Gomez, bore his testimony. Everyone would start talking about any problem or success they were having, sharing words of encouragement and words to help strengthen each other. It was really cool to watch though, I usually didn't understand enough to get anything out of it. Instead I was drawn up in thought most of the time. A firm testimony formed in my head, many things I knew would be of strength and comfort to them, many things that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ could bring into their lives as a strength for the rest of their lives. I never got the chance to bear my testimony that night or to talk to them, instead I left with another experience with the Holy Ghost. Every last though that came into my mind, I know was inspired. Connections were made, and revelation was given insomuch that I did learn many things only through pondering and listening to the words of the Spirit. It was a great experience and one of great help in my mission experience so far.

I've had other experiences too and I'd love to share them, but now I'll close by sharing another nugget.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost, which you receive after Baptism, is one of the greatest treasures you will ever receive. The Holy Ghost is real, he has much power. The simple fact of his purpose is to testify of Christ, and also to testify of all truth. He has power to bring many things to your remembrance, and through these things, give strong revelation and testimony. But, work is involved on our part. We have to study, because he can only work with the things we already have in our memory. We have to ponder and pray so that we can have the spirit with us as we study and ponder. Lastly, we always have to be worthy to receive the spirit. This requires many things, not the least of which is being obedient to the Commandments of God. Possibly most important is that we need our minds to be clean of trash, our thoughts need to be garnished "with virtue unceasingly"  It's a very simple principle we are taught many times in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I can now say that I know it to be a true principle.

My invitation to you is to search for opportunities to invite the spirit into your lives. Learn more about how the Holy Ghost works with us. As you study, as you pray, and you go about your daily business, listen for promptings of The Holy Ghost, and follow them. For those who aren't members of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, ask about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It's really a beautiful blessing you can receive in your life.

Also General conference is coming up!  All are always invited to watch, It's on the church website for those without TV (like we are back home! NETFLIX FOREVER!).  It's a good opportunity to learn about the spirit, and to receive promptings.  I invite you to listen to the words of the Prophet, and of the Quorum of the Twelve about the Holy Ghost. And my last invitation is to think about any question that you might want answered, a question that is important to you and ultimately could help you in your every day activities, and pray about it before watching the sessions. Nothing is better for receiving answers and revelation than praying about questions!

That´s all i have for today!
Love you guys!
Tudo Bem em Brazil!

Elder John D. Scarlett

Burned my hand cooking
What I was cooking when I burned my
hand - and it was worth it!

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