Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Final da Transferência

Well, yet another transfer is coming to a close here in good old Brazil.

It was a good transfer here with Elder Soares. A challenge we had at the start of the transfer was that we didn't have the trust of the members in our ward and we gained that confidence back this transfer. Sunday we had the chance to give talks during Sacrament Meeting and I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to bless the ward. I prepared and prayed and studied all week for this talk and felt pretty good. I had been asked to go 10 minutes and Elder Soares 15 but he put off his talk until the last minute and so when we got to the stand he said "You know, I'm not going to go very long, is there any way you could go 20 minutes" and so I cranked it out to 20 minutes. It was cool to see how my language has changed in just 3 months to be able to pull that off. Elder Soares also had a great talk and after we had a bunch of people thank us for what we had shared which was very different from how it had been one transfer ago. 

Well it's pretty hilarious that right now as I write I am having a ton of trouble remembering how to speak English, I had to change the word I wanted to use several times because I realized it didn't make sense haha. Oh the blessings of having a native companion.

This week I we've been working with the family of one of our recent converts. She is on FIRE for missionary work and is talking with EVERYONE about how much the Gospel has blessed her life. Tomorrow will be a month since her baptism and we've started teaching her aunt, cousin from the other side of the family and the families of two of her friends all because she has been so excited about sharing the gospel. It is so cool to watch someone truly embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

This week I've been thinking about Easter and Christ's resurrection and how they play into the work of Salvation. For me that's captured in the story of the Sons of Mosiah and their desire to share the gospel - 

"Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.

 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever."

I know Christ loves us and wants us to have complete joy in this life and because of this speaks through a living prophet to guide us today

~Elder Della-Piana

8 mezes já!?

Holy smokes, today is my 8 month mark... I can't believe it's already been so much time I can't believe time has flown by so fast already. Hard to believe. 

This week was an interesting one. The week started off slow but we marked a bunch of appointments for the end of the week and it was going to crank up. Then it started. On Wednesday we were in a lesson right after lunch and it was going great, the spirit was strong, the lady we were teaching was involved and really thinking about the message and as we were hitting the climax my companion cut me off mid-sentance, cut the lesson short and pushed us out of the house. We got into the street and I asked him "What was that for!? It was going great in there and we didn't get to capitalize with a good invite!" He explained that it was a matter of urgency that we entered the church immidiately for him to use the bathroom. Shortly thereafter we returned to our house and thus began three days of chilling at home, allowing the king to remain nearby his throne. Our area book is now perfectly updated in all aspects and I think I have Preach My Gospel memorized. Fortunately we have a guitar too so I arranged some hymns on that which was cool. 

We did have a really sweet miracle this week. We visited Andressa who was baptized a few weeks ago and taught her and her mom and as we were leaving her mom heard us talking about a baptism for next week and said without looking up from her sowing "And if I want to be baptized too?" And we said "How's 7 o'clock?" and still not looking up she said "Whatever time works for me." Marked a baptism with somebody without even inviting, how's that for a miracle. We had invited previously but she'd always said it would be spontaneous and it looks like the time came. 

We have a huge page of scriptures to inspire our faith that we read on a daily basis and there's one I've been thinking about a lot lately:

 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity...Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:12, 16)

By becoming more like the savior, our example can inspire others to become like them and thus by snowball effect save us and all those around us. Save us from misery to joy and from destruction to everlasting salvation.

Love you guys,

Elder DP

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yet another wild wild week in Brazil.

So, between two days of General conference that we spent just about the whole day outside of our area and two days of exchanges that I spent in other areas I only worked for two days in Parque São Bento so that was kind of weird to participate so little in our work here. I think I spoke more english this week than I have for the entire 2 months I've been here in Brazil so that was weird too. On wednesday on exchange I traded with the one Brazilian in a house were the other 3 missionaries are Americans so that was game over on the Portuguese. Then on Sunday we watched the English broadcast of General Conference in a room with all english speakers. It was hilarious to hear how we mixed the portuguese phrases with english words and it didn't make any sense. ("That didn't give" for example in portuguese means that "that didn't work" and another elder couldn't remember if it made sense or not).  GENERAL CONFERENCE
I loved so many of the talks at conference. It was interesting to watch on saturday in Portuguese and receive revelation even when I wasn't understanding all the words and stories. I love that the prophet and apostles are always inviting us to action and promising blessings. One amazing promise is Elder L. Tom Perry's declaration that if we are seeking to be obedient to the will of the Lord we can always have confidence that we are making the right choice, even as we are bombarded with options.

In comical news this week: We went to give a blessing to a brother in our ward and I was asked to anoint his head with the oil that has been consecrated for the blessing of the sick. The trick was that as I went to do so I stuttered on the word for sick ("enfermo") and nearly said the word "Inferno" meaning "Hell." Fortunately I caught myself and corrected it and did NOT bless him with oil consecrated for the blessing of hell. After my companion said he didn't hear the slip up so it looks like I'm in the clear.

Until Next Week,

~Elder Della-Piana