Friday, March 29, 2013

The Lord Puts Us into Situations for Us to Learn Things

Do you have lots of fruit in season (I know how much you love fruit)?
Yes, it´s always in season for all fruits here! (Except for watermelon, that´s from December to April)

Do you know why the visas are taking so long for Brazil right now?
I have no idea. There are supposed to be 14 Americans entering our mission on the 8th, but only 2 of them have visas and are in Sao Paulo. The rest of them are all in Provo waiting. 

How are the braces?  Can you tell if they are moving?
Yes they´re moving a ton. Hopefully they put the over-bite device on in a couple months. They said that the teeth all have to be into the right place before they do the device.

Do they do the same things there with your braces as they did here with them?
Yes, just tightenings and they put on new elastics and new wires. I think elder Mason is looking into it. I go eat lunch with him every p-day. 

We had a really great week. We found some less actives that we went and visited who have a little 10 year old nephew, Kaiki, who lives with them who was never baptized. He´d been to church a million times and loves it there, but his mom doesn´t let him go alone. He came with us yesterday and he´ll be baptized on Saturday. His two aunts are also just totally stoked about coming back to church. The two that we baptized at the start of the month, James and Douglas, both were ordained deacons and the Ward is helping them out a ton. Hopefully they´ll pass the sacrament next week.  They love coming to church and always make their moms call us to come over.  Hopefully we can get their families to come to church with us one of these days. We had an older woman, Vera, come to church with us too. She´s way way interested and has already read to 2 Nephi in a week. She committed to a date for the 13th of April because of General Conference on the 6th.    
The Lord always puts us into situations for us to learn things. Something I´ve really learned during my mission is the gift of patience and the gift of understanding. I get so frustrated when I feel like I´m doing everything I can, and we just aren´t teaching things the way I want to teach them. But I´ve really been working on focusing on the Spirit, that the Lord´s will is what we need to be doing, not my will. We´ve built some really good teaching patterns though, and it´s helped us a lot. If I have one true convert out of being in this area, it´ll be me!
My testimony has grown a lot here, and I´m sure that´s why the Lord sent me to this area.  We´ve knocked just about every door possible in the area, so now we just go for references and use the members as much as possible. I´ll be shipping out in 2 weeks so that´ll be a good, refreshing experience.

Really not a lot of new stuff to say. Just a lot of tracting and teaching. Not a lot of people really progressing. We´re just taking what the lord is giving us and we´re baptizing and helping those who are ready.    The majority of our contacts have already spoken to missionaries, so now the question is what went wrong the last time they talked to us. What were their difficulties with our doctrine. We have been making lots of fliers and passing them around and just trying to get people to accept a 5 minute lesson. We´re teaching a lot, but I feel like a lot of the time it´s just because people don´t have an excuse to not listen. There are several that do invite us back, so the problem here, like other areas, is getting people to come to church. It´s not going to be as difficult to leave this area as it was my other two areas because this area already has tons and tons of members. In my other areas we baptized families and a lot more adults, here it´s been a lot of youth. I know that these youth will be the future of the church here though, especially if the ward continues to integrate them as they´re doing now. 

I got a letter from Elder Matt Grayston today. I sent President Morris a letter finally too. I never have any time for writing so I never think about it. Hopefully he gets that in the next few week.  If anything interesting happens this next week I´ll for sure let you all know.   All the missionaries are now allowed to email friends. it was a letter that the Presidency just sent out to all the mission presidents, so you can tell people to email me!
I love you all!

Elder Shepherd

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