Monday, March 3, 2014

SALVATION WAS NEVER EASY

Dearest family, friends, and everybody else,
A bug/monster thing landed on my shoulder and I got skerred!


This was a great week in Capanema. We have several investigators 
that are preparing for baptism. I'll give the rundown:






E:
A young man of 16 years. His girlfriend's a member and he's been investigating for a long time. His family is very Catholic, which makes things hard. His Mom is a bit resistant to give permission for baptism, but we'll see. He went to the youth camp during CarnIval, and I'm hoping that will help him with his desire to follow Christ.
P and M:
Two young men that have a bunch of questions and have also been investigating for a while. They are reading, praying, and doing everything right, but still don't feel prepared to be baptized. We're trying to find a time to meet with the whole family.
Is it warpaint or fruit?
C and S:
We're very excited about an area that I think I mentioned in a previous letter: Salinas. There are about 14 members that live there and it's about 1 hour by omnibus from Capanema. We asked permission to be able to visit the area and see how receptive the people are and if it has a possibility of starting a group. We took the omnibus on Wednesday and were given a tour by one of the members. Salinas is beach area, so it was cool to be able to see it (even if it was only from a far distance). If the work gets going there, we will be able to baptize in the beach, which would be awesome!
We taught the restoration to some of the family of a member that lives there. They had already been to church 1 time, and I think they will be baptized this Saturday! Actually, only C.  S needs to marry first.
So I'm not very sure what will happen with Salinas right now. Probably we will continue teaching people there and visiting the area every week. The people are very receptive and it has a population adequate to start a group (Salinas has about 35,000 people).
2 Studs--Elder Gale and Elder Barros














New Family!      But not...

 We found a family super-receptive and had them on date on Tuesday, but then lost them on Friday. They are Catholic and don't want to change anything...or pray about it.
As we were walking home on Friday, we had just dropped the family and I was feeling pretty down. I started complaining about how we weren't finding enough people, baptizing enough people, and so on and so on. I asked Elder Barros why it was that other missionaries were baptizing and we weren't. Why weren't we seeing more miracles?
Elder Barros responded in English, which surprised me, because he doesn't speak any English.
He said "Because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation is not easy. Salvation was never easy. Why should it be easy for us, when it was never easy for Him?"
Elder Barros had memorized these words from Elder Holland's famous talk to the mission presidents. I didn't quote Elder Barros exactly right, and I don't think he quoted Elder Holland exactly right, but the idea and feeling was the same.
My companion is actually a living miracle, being here on the mission. As a convert of 3 years, his parents weren't receptive to him going on a mission. He didn't have the funds to go on a mission. When he got here, he almost died from Gastritis and still suffers pain almost every day. What do I have to complain about?
But anyway, I'm enjoying this transfer. I hope everybody's in good health and all is well in Missouri.
As always,
Called to Serve,
Elder Gale

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