Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FINAL MISSION CONFERENCE & TESTIMONY

This week was very special. One of those weeks that even after my mission is over I'll still remember (Short term memory, right :D). 

At the start of the week, we were having some difficulty with staying focused. It seemed like the appointments were all falling through and we weren't getting much done. We decided to do something special that I haven't done before, a "Trunky-Fast" (yes, we put that name on it). We would go without speaking of home, family, or anything trunky until the end of the week. I even hid my photos and my calendar to not remind me. It helped a ton! And it brought a really special spirit on the work we were doing. Our lessons were more effective and seemed more powerful.

I had one experience during a lesson that we went in to teach about the Book of Mormon, but I felt influenced that we should ask about their family relations. It was incredible and the woman got quite a bit surprised, asking how did you know??? Turns out they had had a pretty bad fight the other night and we were able to have a mini therapy session that left everybody feeling happy. (Just following in Dad's footsteps there...:D) 

We had another experience when we were teaching a very special young woman named S who teaches a class of dance and theatre (very very rare here in Belém). We taught the restoration and at the end we asked how she felt. She started to cry, explaining that we had answered her prayers and given the response she needed. She is an active member in another church, but I hope she will be willing to do what she needs to. 

We had an interesting experience of teaching the Book of Mormon to an entire congregation of one of the local evangelical churches here. The pastor started talking to us and then we asked if we could share a message with his flock. He said yes, but I don't think he was quite expecting the Book of Mormon :D It was funny, at the end the members all started saying "Glory! Hallelujah!" and shouting stuff like that. "Amen Brother"! We got the pastor's address and house number, so we'll try to follow up with him another day. 

Finally, we had our first baptism here in Aguas Lindas. A young man named M who is the brother of another member of the church. At the devotional on Sunday, M actually filled out his future mission papers (even though he's only 16 years old :D). 

This devotional was really spectacular. The mission put on this devotional to encourage young men to go on a mission and invited Elder Fernandes of the Seventy to be there. But it seemed like everybody ended up going. I've never seen more Latter Day Saints crowded into one chapel here in Brazil. There were a ton of people that had to stay standing up just to be able to fit in the room. 

I got to sit right at the front as the Choir director :D Our choir sang the EFY Medley and a combination of "We are all Enlisted" and "Juventude da Promessa" (I don't remember the title in English). I played a violin solo as well and we received several compliments. The speakers were all wonderful and very powerful, so it brought the spirit into the room very strongly. 

But I think the best part was yesterday, when we had our last mission conference before President and Sister Scisci leave. (The first day of July). There was a very special spirit there. It was also my last mission conference. I gave my last testimony. Afterwards, Presidente asked me to play a surprise special musical number, so I chose "I Know That My Redeemer Lives".  Several people commented to me afterwards that they had appreciated and respected me during my mission and wished me well in my future endeavors.

It was really a wonderful week and a powerful conference to end my mission on!

Also, interesting side note, the mission had it's best month that it has had in the history of President's mission. We baptized 225 people in the month of May. The work is accelerating!

Love, 

Elder Gale

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