That release date is my date original that i received when i was arriving on the mission. But my date changed to august 30 because they had changes in the CTM this year that brought up the date one week sooner. I talked with the mission assistents the other day and it looks like already bought my tickets because they asked which airport i would land in. Tomorrow i will be going to Porto Alegre for a counsel meeting and i ask for my flight information and ill have them send it to you too. Dont worry your pretty little heart Momma!! The Elderes here are lax and have already forgetten about me one time #visamistake but ill set everything straight haha ;)
Our baptism was Renato. His wife is a member but we are still working with her daughters so that they can be baptized. His slightly deaf so you can imagine how we taught him. His hearing aids broke and he doesnt have money to repair them but we are going to talk to our bishop so that we can do something to help them out. Renato looks like he is all hardcore in those pictures but really he is like the sweetest person. His desire to be baptized was basically because he wants to live a better life. None of the kids in those pictures are his. Not even the infant. When he and Tatiane started dating she was pregnant. When Raquelme was born, Renato registered him as his own. He didnt even tell Tatiane that he would register Raquelme, but in the end he told her, "Now Im his dad."
They are really humble people. Tatiane had 14 less active, but now that she is returning they are learning together the gospel principles. For a good long time since she returned to the church Renato wanted to be baptized but he didnt want to stop drinking coffee. Sunday, one week ago they sat beside us in the sacrament meeting. We passed a note to him saying, "Congrats! Today is your last day drinking coffee. Prepare yourself because your baptism will be this Saturday!" He laughed a little bit, and finally (after a few more convincing notes written by the Spirit) he wrote back, "If you say so. Ok." After the baptism and confirmation i heard Renato talking to a pesquisador that he was feeling light, as if a weight had been taken off him!
I love missionary work!
If you didnt know before, the average number of baptisms per missionary in brasil is 7. Renato was the seventh person that i helped be baptized. Now that i have reached this goal, im ready to exceed it. Double it even. It will take pray and faith and work, but im willing to work. Im praying and believing and giving everything that i am
Yesterday we had the oportunity to watch a special devotional with the Area Presidents and our Mission Presidents.
Everyone from brasil and a few other countries were tuned in and watching as three youth opened there mission calls and Elder Aidukaitis and Presidente Costa explained the importance of our call to serve.
Elder Aidukaitis reminds me of Mr. Gru! He even talks like him! It has been an honor hearing from leaders like him and Presidente Costa many times during my mission.
The explained a few things that touched my heart and made me want to work harder.
We are here to teach about Christ and His gospel. We are hear to explain about the man that changed the world. The Child that was born in a stable and laid on the hay. The boy that taught the teachers. The Son that did the will of the Father and gave His life, willing, for His brethren.
He is our Savior and our King. His divine mission was to die so that we could live. He walked and breathed and bleeded for us.
One day, as we believe, we will live with Him.
Elder Aidukaitis explained simply for us all, "I want you to know how I hope your mission will be. I hope your mission will be the hardest thing that you have ever done and will ever do. I hope you wake up with pain in your joints and kneel down at night with tears in your eyes. I hope this will be the most difficult thing your can imagine.
Why? Because one day when you are invited to sit with a Pioneer who suffered and died one the trail to Zion, or with Joseph and Hyrum Smith who gave everything for the truth and were martyred, or with the Savior, Jesus Christ himself,... I hope you will be able to look at them and to them and tell your story."
This is our time to show what we are made of. To show who we are and where we came from.
We are children of God. We are in His service. Every. single. one of us.
Dont waste the Lord's time. Dont waste your own time. Have respect for your call and give everything until the last day.
Be you a full-time missionary or member, we are called to serve until the end of our life. We need to be examples of the faithful and the true. Be as the pioneers and the prophets and the Prince of Peace. Be you, a child of God. and as the Son that gave His life, give yours.
As Elder Aidukaitis stated, "This [LIFE] should be the hardest thing we will ever do!"
It is in this life that we work. The Lord simple asks that we be like Him. He suffered for us and so He knows us and He works with us and walks with us and cries with us.
It will be the hardest thing that we will ever do and the greatest test of our love for God. But as we do this we will be blessed and one day crowned with eternal life so that we can sit at the Master's side and hear His story and share our own.
I love you all and pray that you will have the strength, that WE will have the strength to do these things.