Well it´s been a long week! We received our ministerial cards last Sunday. They certify that we are representatives of Christ and are authorized to preach His gospel. I love how the last sentence says: "We invite all people to listen to his (referring to the card bearer) message." Then it´s signed by both the Prophet and the bearer. It reminds me of D&C 35:13 where it says that God calls upon the weak things of the world to thrash the nations by the power of the Spirit.
During my last weekend at the CTM, all the missionaries got to watch and listen to General Conference. You can probably imagine what it was like when it was announced that 1 of the 70´s would speak in Portuguese. It brought us a lot of joy. Althought I had many favorite talks, one of them was Elder Bednar´s during the conclusion of conference. I liked his answer to the question, "Why are members of the Church so eager to share their beliefs?" Our religeon always has been and always will be a missionary Church! We take to heart the charge to invite all to come unto Christ. The Central focus of the gospel is sharing it with others. Who, when he or she has something desirable and good, doesn´t want to share it with their neighbors? The gospel really is good news. We can be together with our families forever! Throught Atonement we can have all our burdens and sins wiped clean!
I arrived safely in my mission last week. Porto Alegre is the best! My first area is in Novo Hamburgo, with the actual city I´m working in being Ivoti. My trainer is Elder Nielson from Virginia. He´s been out for a year and 3 months and is awesome! We´re the only elders working in the area. When I arrived we got right to work doing service, street contacts, visits to less-actives, and lessons to investigators. It´s crazy and I love it. While walking home on the second day we found a huge tarantula just sitting right in the middle of the street. I´m in Brazil!
Unfortunately the public computors that we use here aren´t taken care of very well so they are often riddled with viruses. This means I won´t be able to send many pictures home for fear of corrupting my camera and flash drive. My companion already experienced this a few months ago as he attempted to do the same, and now one of his memory cards is cooked. So I don´t want to risk that, but if the oppurtunity arises and I come across a clean looking and trustworhty computer I will for sure send the best ones home!
One of the highlights of this week was my first baptism! We encountered many obstacles during the week, but in the end the Lord made it happen and we added another member to the small branch we´re working to build. It was such a great feeling to watch her begin a new life surrounded by other branch members also recently baptized.
Well it´s time to go to the temple so I will write again on Monday! I also hope to respond to all those who I haven´t responded to yet. Have a great week :)
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com