It´s been a great week! Last Mondy we arranged to hold a Family Home Evening with our member neighbors. For the activity I taught them how to make Chocolate Chip cookies. For not having the correct measurements (my recipe is in cups and tablespoons while they use mililiters and grams here) and substituting a few ingredients for others that are difficult to come by in Brazil, the cookies turned out very well. Some of the best ones I´ve eaten. The family also enjoyed them a lot as you can tell.
The rest of the week had some ups and some downs, but overall was quite good. Unfortunately Marli´s baptism fell through. We tried everything in our power, even filling up the font and filling out the baptismal record, but when it came down to it, her daughter had quite the negative influence on her and she wasn´t there when we went to pick her up. The adversary´s power is real! The up side is that we found a family and two other young men that have potential to be baptized in the coming weeks. We´ll be working closely with them to prepare them to make their first covenant with the Lord.
One of the times we went over to Marli´s house to teach her, we were surprised to find her daughter´s pastor there. It´s always annoying when this happens because all they want to do is Bible-bash and try to prove how so hopelessly wrong and lost we are. As missionaries and members we know that there is a much better way to clarify doctrine and invite the Spirit to provide an environment of learning, instead of contention; that is, by bearing testimony and honestly seeking truth. We changed our plans and instead taught my favorite lesson: The Restauration. At every point he challenged us, and attempted to talk over us and spew out scriptures to try and confuse all in the room. At one point he tried saying how because he is married and we´re not that he somehow knows more about the scriptures. Of course as it always does and always will, the conflict came down to Joseph Smith. Never can anyone try to slander and discredit that man to our faces withouth being born "down in pure testimony" (Alma 4:19). We bore solemn witness of the divinity of his calling as the prophet of the last dispensation. He saw God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. Of that I testify. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same Church that Christ himself established when He was on the Earth, was restored through Joseph Smith. Praise to that man. As has already been said, "Joseph Smith has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it" (D&C 135:3). I love the talk that was given by Elder Neil L. Andersen in this past conference titled "Joseph Smith," and I encourage all of you to study and ponder the truths found therein.
Yesterday in church we focused on Elder Ballard´s talk last conference about staying in the boat. It was funny because I´d already shown all of them my guiding pictures from the Colorado River so they all looked at me when the analogy was given. It was cool because I was able to give more insights and explain in more detail how the river works and how well the analogy applies to our journey through life. Stay in the boat!
Até o próximo semana, tchau tchau!
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com