I've finally reached that point on the mission where I'm one of the older ones! By the next letter I will officially have passed 1 year on the mission. Hoorah!
Wow...I think that was enough vocal expressions for one letter, neh? Do people say "neh" in the States or is it just an expression here? I'm saying a lot of "neh" recently...
In response to the letter question, I received 2 mini-letters about 3 weeks ago. Since then I haven't received any letters. But we will pass by the Mission Office in Belém so maybe I have a mountain of letters waiting for me!
Anyways, this was a difficult week for us, but we can't deny the Lord's hand in it. We worked very hard during the week to help our teaching group arrive in the chapel , but everything fell through. Almost all of the investigators here in Ananindeua that we had at the start of the transfer have been dropped or dropped us.
It's an interesting time in my mission right now where I feel like I'm teaching my best, working the best, and seeing few results. I'm not too worried, because I know everything is subject to the Time-Plan and Will of God. I want to be able to lead our zone in the work but we're seeing some trials in our area.
I feel that we needed what President Ezra Taft Benson called "cleaning the interior vase" (maybe it's different in English). The idea is that before the outside will be clean the inside has to be spotless. We have to sanctify ourselves and our companionship before we can see the sanctification of our investigators and our zone.
We started this week with some ambitious plans of reactivation and accomplished some critical visits that needed to be made. But our teaching group suffered a bit and it seems like everybody is traveling during the summer. We were looking at without anybody at church. we were searching for people to progress like a hunter searches for animals. We were a bit desperate. :D
After the rejection of our best investigator (he dropped us because he had to return to college), we thought seriously and prayerfully about what we could do to see a miracle that . We decided to visit a contact that we had made a couple days ago that seemed vaguely interested. As we got there he answered the door and said he had to work that and would not be able to go.
We started talking to his older brother next to him. We invited him to visit the church and see if it is God's will that he be a part of the congregation. He said he would travel to the beach that day with his family. We challenged him to cancel/postpone the visit to be able to make this important visit and he accepted!
He said he had never felt so good in any church or any place as he had felt in the Church of Jesus Christ. He said that questions he had always had were answered in the span of a couple hours! We challenged him for baptism and he accepted. We'll have to teach him every day this week to prepare him for baptism, but it will be a race :D
I'll have to have a party or something for my 1 year anniversary. I think I will buy a cake or something! Unfortunately we can't burn shirts, ties, or anything else as a mission rule :D
I am very happy with my life as a missionary. I'm not "trunky" or homesick, but I'm also not overcome with misery that I only have 1 year left. I know I am here where I'm supposed to be and that God's happy with me, and that makes me happy. I'm so happy that Austin is starting this journey in his life. He will help many people to be happy in Chile.
The Church is true! Jesus Christ is our Savior! He paid the price, unlocked the door, and told us how to open it. The principles of the restored Gospel are made so that we can be happy with our families. Sin brings misery to us and our families. Real repentance can cure us and is the solution to self-fulfillment in our lives.
I love you guys!
Elder Carson Gale