Happy ! Best news of the week: Eduardo (recent convert) went to the temple for the first time and loved it!!!! He had an incredible experience doing baptisms and he said it was unlike anything else he has ever felt in his life. YIPPEEE!!! So happy for him!! Whenever I am having a moment of disappointment, I think about Eduardo and how much the gospel has changed his life. I know there are more people like Eduardo out there, we just have to find them!
I learned something interesting this week. In the gospel we always talk about how faith is the foundation for everything, the first step. But I'm realizing that there is something more that has to happen before we can have faith: Everything starts with desire. Desire produces faith. Faith produces action. Desire is what makes an incredible (and may I suggest valiant!) missionary different from a good missionary. A sincere desire to serve Heavenly Father, to help His children, to do His will. Desire. Never have I realized just how profound this word is.
Not only have I learned how important my desire is, but the desire others have to change. Desire. This is what separates the "elect", the "golden", from all the other people we talk to and teach. Those who are ready to receive the gospel and act on it. This was our battle this week: finding those who have a sincere desire, not those who just like our visits because they feel good listening to the word of God. So how do we help people have this desire to act on their faith? This is a work in progress.
It's amazing what people can do when they really want something. For example, understanding my Portuguese. I've been here for about 4 and a half months now so I can understand most of the things people say. But can people understand me? That's a different story. Remember I have a very strong accent! (kind of funny to think about people from other countries speaking English with a heavy accent, now this is me in Brazil with Portuguese). I don't speak perfectly but I can speak sufficiently! I've noticed that if people have the desire to understand what I am saying, they will understand. If they don't want to understand, if they look at me like I am a crazy alien and look to my companion to translate, then they won't understand me. And we know they aren't ready! It's not so much that people understand every word I say, it's that they are understanding with their hearts. This is most important of all. Feeling the power of our words through the Spirit.
Remember the family of José and Rosangela from my little victory story last week? We brought a member to one of the lessons this week. Carla (member) wrote her testimony in a Book of Mormon and gave it to them during the lesson- it was awesome!! She also invited the family to an activity at her house and to church . Unfortunately Rosangela and José had to move houses (don't worry, still in our area) so they weren't able to go, but I know that invite made a huge impact. When members invite, it is SO much more powerful than the missionaries. Truly, you members are the full-time missionaries. We're just here to help! This family will be baptized. Not sure when, but it's going to happen, I can feel it. This is our desire!!!
"Behold, thou art [Sister Jorgensen] and I have spoken unto thee because of thy DESIRES... Be faithful, and diligent in keeping the commandments of God and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love" (Doctrine and Covenants ) This whole section is awesome.
This was a tender mercy verse for me this week. Lots of ups and downs, but I don't need to worry, because I'm encircled in the arms of my Father in Heaven! He is granting us little victories every day!
Remember, with a desire, you can do anything. LOVE YOU ALL!
P.S. Some fun pics from the week. I really love my companion! So grateful for the true desire she has to serve. She's helping me become a better missionary every day!