I am doing well, how are all of you doing? Already read Dad’s letter. It was great, as was your letter. I have the best parents in the world, don´t I? Yeah, almost am ready to send the weekly letter, but what is Shauna doing for school this year? She will be great! I hope that Tony keeps a close eye on her for me. I saw the blog, video and everything. Dad went to the bottom, could have guessed; although Tony was close with the going to the side maneuver. What fun.
Monday September 12, 2011
Well, this week was good, although we did not have a baptism. Euriko is ready to be baptized but he left for out of town because he was offered work so he took off in a hurry to grab work but it will only last for around 20 days and afterwards he will return. We did have 3 inactive members come to church and 2 investigators that came with them. A young woman brought her boyfriend and I spent the church meetings with him. Also had an inactive woman come back to church who we have been teaching with her nonmember husband. We went to their house again after church. She shared a powerful testimony about her conversion with the missionaries and promised us, but really it was a promise more to herself, that she is never going to leave the church again and that she has no doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true, and that it is the only true church on the Earth. I asked her why it would be important to her to see her husband baptized and how this would change their lives and she said that it would make all the difference and that she wants nothing else. This really helped her husband think. They are not legally married yet, although the both expressed the desire to things right and be married legally. We later talking with the branch president and he is going to help us help them with the marriage process. Today we have a scheduled appointment with Julio, the boyfriend of the young woman who has been less active but has been to the last 2 Sundays, one of which she shared a powerful testimony of her conversion with the missionaries that taught her. He liked church, is at least 18, is living in Lucas alone working and studying, and is catholic and active in his church. I am really excited to teach him today. The other inactive member is a father to an active family. He was baptized with the rest of his family but fell away from the church and was going to a different church closer to his house. He was at the wedding this week, (oh yeah, we had a wedding this week of 2 members and at the wedding we made a bunch of contacts with was good and I also was given the sacred duty of filming the wedding) and we invited him to church and so he came. His family was really happy that he was there. He has a great family. This family was the baptism of my ex companion Elder Melo. So, what else is going on…, I think that that is a sufficient report, at least all that I think of now. Are teaching pool has become almost all men, which is ideal and what our mission president wants. The church needs men here in Brazil to continue to grow, but baptizing men is harder, but we are now teaching 8 men which is awesome. We are working well, but I know that we can work harder. Elder Leal is a great companion and the zone leaders told me that he is improving dramatically but he likes to stop when he is tired. I am trying to take on dad´s characteristic and push when I am tired. Give me this mountain. I know that in wrestling practice you grow stronger after you are tired. I think that a mission is the same thing. I believe that if you work when you are tired God will bless you more for you efforts and demonstration of faith. But you cannot run faster than you are able, and I am learning this principle in a different setting before, having a full time companion and not being in the leadership position in our companionship. I will continue to try and left him up. He really is a great guy. He has 14 months in the mission and has just a little over 5 years in the church. He comes from a little city with a little branch. It is amazing that he is serving a mission and doing what he is doing. I am so blessed to have come from the home that I came from and the setting that I lived in and the blessings of the Spirit that I am experienced. I just hope that I am using all of my talents that I have been entrusted with and helping all of the people here that are waiting for a messenger sent from the Lord. This messenger may have even promised in the pre-motal life, `I know that you will not be born into the gospel as I will be, but do not worry, I will bring the gospel to you in Brazil´ Missionary work is awesome. It is the work of all work. Whether it be on am mission, in your ward or school, or most importantly, in your home, there is no other feeling that can substitute for the joy that is felt as you bring your brothers and sisters to the security that can only be felt in the arms of their Savior and Redeemer. I am trying to make this my work and my glory. Is this not how you become unified with the Father? The two great commandments are, love the lord thy god and your neighbor. Is there a better way to show and put love into action then to help them land their souls on the right hand of God? I believe that this is charity. We learn in Moroni that charity is the pure love of Christ. Charity is more than love. It is love put into action, and the pure love of Christ was put into the action of the atonement. He put down his life, but more, did all that possible to save every one of us. We cannot do what he did, but we can do all that we can, all that is possible of us to help save our brothers and sisters. In the book of Mormon I read a verse that says, and who knows but ye shall be the means of bringing them to the savior (I cannot remember what chapter but is the chapter were Alma was praying about what to do with the members of the church that would not repent). This is charity, and this is the work and glory of the Father, and I am trying to align my will to his as I serve my mission, which will continue long after I leave Brazil. The gospel is amazing, and I know that it is true. Nothing has such power and influence to change the hearts of the children of men then the Holy Ghost, who testifies of this gospel and who has testified to me that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that his church has been restored on the Earth, and that he Priesthood power has been brought back by the hands of his servants and apostles Peter, James, and John and his word and his works are continually being given to his modern day prophets. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Oh, how I know that it is true. I have learned for myself of its truthfulness. I have learned for myself of the truthfulness of the powerful verse located in James 1:5. The verse that led to the restoration of the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. I encourage all to learn of these truths for themselves by offering a humble prayer in faith and with a desire to know. I share this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Shane B. Lee
My shorts will be used. Besides, if one does not fit, I am sure that I could sell it to a Brazilian for the incredible price of R$60 or more because not only are they basketball shorts, but b-ball shorts original from the US sell here for about $150. It is really weird here because they have false Nike, Adidas, reebok, etc. and so to buy original it is really expensive. They cannot believe that we really do not have false products like this.
Starter is a name brand here. You cannot find start shoes for less than $130. Weird, I know. I am sure that I will get some good use out of them. Yeah, the paper work is all for customs because they do not want people to buy iPods and ship them the Brazil. The iPod that I bought dad with you and the kids runs over $1,000 here and to buy a decent laptop you have to spend over two thousand. That is why there is paperwork, but for the things that I am buying should not be a lot of money to send. Even 50 dollars to send in saving a lot of money. I thought that things would be cheap in Brazil. Wrong. But, I think that it is only Brazil because in Paraguay everything is cheap and it is from the US. They have peanut butter and root beer there. Anyways, thanks a ton.
Love you too mom, and thank you for your confidence. I am trying to make you proud. Have a great week!