Hey there family!
What a week! We have been focusing on doing an activity for the ward... This ward hasnt had an activity in 3 years! No wonder everyone complains about not having activities. but more on that later.
Igor is an investigator that we have who has a baptismal date for Saturday but we will change it to Sunday after church... Those baptisms always have a ton of people! But we taught him yesterday after church and we had the help of one of the youth who is about to send in his call and another who is less-active and is returning to activity! What a powerful lesson! The less-active had tears in his eyes as he testified of Joseph Smith. What an unforgettable spirit! We have increased the attendance at church every week this transfer and people are really liking us! It is awesome! A missionary will return home to this ward tonight and the ward is so antsy to see him. Hopefully this will spark a missionary spirit in the ward!
But the problem in this ward is "Sunday Members." They come to church, TALK about doing visits, improving, being more loving, etc. But then they go home and before they know it, Sunday comes again and it is the same thing. My companion and I were lectured on how we dont work as hard in the Lord's vineyard as the members of the church... (Insert super humble and inspiring discourse on how they are right and that missionaries are prideful to say that they live the law of consecration...) "Living your religion" is the hardest part about about the church in Brazil. So when we live our religion we are being true disciples of Christ. We are being real members of his church (see this talk here)
I love this quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”
With these two examples, one being one of the most doctine-filled quotes of all time, my challenge for you guys is to live this principle. Can we say that this description of Christ's disciples applies to us? "What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do."
I sure hope so.
I know that the sacrifice is worth it. The reward makes the sacrifice that we need to make appear insufficient. It is all worth it. Nothing that this world or Satan can offer is worth giving up on the gospel because "it's hard."
Like Elder Holland says: "Salvation is not a cheap experience. The Gospel isnt easy because salvation is not easy."
Austin - I cannot believe that football has started. I had a feeling that it would be an ugly season for the Cowboys... I loved APUSH but I took world geography and colored maps all day, so I cant say anything bad about your classes haha. Everyone deserves an "easy" year every now and then. Just dont let the easiness turn into an excuse to not do your best! I am doing good! Just working working working haha! Love ya bro
Cam - email
Lexi - SEND ME AN EMAIL GIRL. I hope school is going well for you!
Love you all!
Elder Zac Johnson