Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Lord blessed Him for the Faith that he Showed

How was your week?
Really really good! We finally put the wedding papers in for the two couples. So many prayers were finally answered, on the Lord´s time.

When does your companion leave on his mission?
He´ll leave right at the transfer, so next week.

Is everyone still on strike?  If not, did you get your package?
No only the teachers are still on strike. I haven´t gotten my package yet though. I feel like it could be backed up at least a couple more weeks.

Is it getting cold?
No it´s getting HOT! I haven´t stopped sweating this whole week. Literally I sweat in the shower, during study, sleeping. It´s a good way to get skinnier though haha.

Did you have any baptisms this week?
No but this Friday we´re going to baptize the daughter of one of the families, Mileina. She wanted to be baptized before I leave.

Is there anything you want to say your soccer friends & families in the soccer newsletter?
Ummm. Not really anything special. Just that they all need to remember that this is the best two years. No regrets. They´ve got to live for every single moment they´ve got because there is no coming back to starting over again. That´s helped me have so much success.
Hi Family!
So, like I said above, we had a great week. Yesterday we had 130 at church. There were some ward members who cried when they walked in late seeing all of the chairs filled with people. We had 10 investigators at church. All with baptismal potential in my 5 week window. It´s too bad transfer is next week though. The Bishop called the Stake President after church on Sunday and told him of all of the growth. Then the Stake President called president Parrela and he called me last night. It´ll be interesting to see what happens. I am just very happy to have been blessed to be a part of all of this progress here. Marco and Claudia and turned their papers in, and Tiago and Tatiane turned them in last Monday before I emailed you. This area has really made a huge impact on me and been a true blessing. I´ve learned as much from the people as I have taught to them. Elder Mason will be finally leaving the mission office next week as well. Hopefully we get to go to the same district somewhere. I think I´ll stay here in the city, but that´s just a hunch.
Dad, there is a member here who said that her sister served in your mission at the same time as you. Her name was Sister Pereira. The member´s name is Carmen. It´s a really common last name so I told her that you may or may not remember her sister. She´s living in Novo Hamburgo now, so pretty close to here. She´s not active in the church anymore because our church hasn´t reached that city yet.

There are so so so many in-active returned missionaries here in our mission. I don´t understand it. Literally knowing the truth and being so close to the spirit. It may be difficult, but there is always a way back. The Atonement makes it all possible. My district is doing really well with the members and the number of baptisms goes up each week. I think that it´s amazing that I haven´t baptized in 3 weeks. I feel like a bad DL doing that. This week we´ll start up the rhythm again though.
Our bishopric was so pumped up about the attendance at church that they all went and did visits to all of the inactive people that were there last night. Next week we have Ward Conference and one of the members is making us little flyers to pass around to everyone. Our goal is 180 for my last week. There were some members that were sad when I told them that it may happen last night. I have totally fallen in love with the members in this ward. We´re going to focus this whole week on getting everyone to church that has been in the past. My area book is full of names of people and that´s all I´m going to do. If we hit 180 the Stake President has promised a new chapel to the ward, since it´s the smallest chapel in the stake and there are two wards that attend there.
We did a service project this morning for Anderson and Angellica to help them move houses. We found them their new house out of one of our investigators, Fatima. They´re going to live right next to her, and the family of Jefferson and Sandra. It´ll be perfect for them. We made some funny district shirts this past week as well. I´ve never felt so much unity inside a group of missionaries before. We are all great friends.

A scripture I really have come to understand is Isaiah 55:8-9. I also read and studied D&C 18:10-13 this week. I love doing the training exercises in the mornings with my companion because it also helps me stay up to beat with my studies and my teaching skills. I sure hope that I get your package soon cuz I need my razor blades!!

We finally were able to get Cristiano to come to church. He was one of the men who got married the same day in the church. His wife is really firm and we were finally able to get him to come because we gave him a specific promise. He was really worried on Saturday night that he wouldn´t be able to come up with the money to make the payment for his motorcycle by today. I told him on the phone that if he came home early from his mototaxi job and was to church on Sunday, that he´d get the rest of the money by Sunday night. He ended up coming to church and let us know that he got 99% of the money he needed before midnight. SO COOL. he said that he´s never had that much success in one night in his life. I know that the Lord blessed him for his faith that he showed. Our work this week will also be focused on getting Claudia to come to church with Marco. She´s so ready, just so nervous that she can´t get herself to church. She get´s anxious. 

I hope you all have a great week. The Lord has sure blessed all of us to have this gospel. I´m so grateful for the opportunity that we have to live in it every single day.
Sorry if there aren´t all of the details that you´d like in the emails. I´m doing my best! I love you all. Be safe and have fun!

Elder Shepherd

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