To start off the week we had a Family Home Evening with a less-active member family. My companion and I decided to cook them an American meal so we whipped up some alfredo pasta with chicken for dinner and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. They´d never had it before and loved it! They invited us back every night the rest of the month, but unfortunately we had to decline haha. After dinner we shared with them a scripture (Alma 7:10-12) and the video "He is the Gift." It was great to give them a taste of America and share a message about the reason for Christmas.
A few days later we visited a lady that had attended church with us and her less-active husband last Sunday. Last week we had challenged her to be baptized but she was very hesitant and scoffed at the idea of being baptized "so early." Then as we met with her after she had gone to church, her whole story changed. She told us something that re-affirmed our testimonies that church attendance is of paramount importance to really feel the Holy Ghost to the convincing of what we´ve already taught. That´s because church is where they can see the Church: one is hard pressed to experience a desire to join a church that he or she has not already attended. Church is where the Spirit will work on closed hearts, whispering to them that this is where they belong. What this lady said was, "As soon as I left the church meeting I wanted to go back!" That´s the most powerful experience I´ve seen yet. Right now they´re working on gettting married and after that (Hopefully I´ll still be here) she´ll be baptized.
On Thursday we had the Mission Christmas Conference in Porto Alegre. Because I´m currently serving on the very borders of the mission, we had to travel to Passo Fundo the previous day, sleep for 2 hours, and board a bus at 2 in the morning to arrive in Porto Alegre in time for the conference at 9. During the Conference we listened to various talks and presentations by the secretaries, assistants, and the President and his wife. Sister Wright told a Christmas story, told us how much she loves us, and gave us all a little treat bag. Then right after, President Wright showed us a new certificate he´d come up with and then proceeded to lead us in singing Handel´s Messiah while the music was blasting at top volume as if he was Handel himself! I´ll never forget that, they´re the best. After that we went to the gym of the church building we were meeting in and watched each district do a short Christmas performance. Most sang a variation of a Christmas hymn, but others were quite inventive. We next ate lunch, had dessert, and returned to the chapel to watch the slideshows the secretaries had put together of the past year. Lastly we received packages that had come and made the 7 hour trip back to our area.
It was a good week! I hope the next week is wonderful for you guys, and I´ll hear from you this coming Monday.
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com