Saturday, November 3, 2012

Elder Young in Brazil

Hello! This week we found two more families to teach. Well, I´m still not sure how everyone is related in one of the families. The mom´s name is Janet. She lives with her 3 kids and their cousins. There are a few houses next to hers where more of their extended family lives. It´s cool that they all live together so close. It´s like Mom´s dream. The other family (same condominium) consists of Lucio, Lilhiam, and their two sons Flavio and (I didn´t hear the other one´s name). Flavio was someone we talked to at the bus stop a few days before we visited him. We went to his house and his mom and dad talked a little about what a great son he is. They said that he is going through a difficult time with pressure from friends and such. The conversation with them flowed really well. We talked about faith, about how he can apply it. They agreed to go to church but didn´t show up. There´s a chance they went to the one in São Sebastião though. Almost all of the investigators we have been visiting in Itaipú said they wanted to go to church, but the church in São Sebastião is always more convenient to go to so it´s hard to follow up with them and to make sure they have a good experience there. We taught the Word of Wisdom to Leo this week and he accepted it right off the bat. He essentially said, "well it´s a commandment isn´t it? I´ll stop smoking and drinking right away." He is progressing a lot. He´s great. He has a really friendly manner of communicating and his family really likes us. ´ 

Eduardo is an interesting person. He still doesn´t trust in receiving a confirmation of something through prayer and he hasn´t tried to sincerely pray about the Book of Mormon. The interesting thing is that he likes all the principles in the Book of Mormon and agrees that it concords with the bible. He likes all the people in the church and gives excellent comments in Sunday school, but doesn´t believe that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith or that he was a prophet. He sustains the assertion that he was a very creative young boy. I love Eduardo, he´s awesome. I really enjoy talking with him and learn tons every time E. Parada and I visit him. I just hope he gains confidence in the power of prayer. Because he loves to read and studies like crazy, we gave him a copy of "Jesus the Christ" by James Talmage. I know he´ll love it. 

Yesterday (occurrences like this seem to happen frequently with us) we were getting off the bus and heading for the chapel when a lady speaking Spanish called us over to the meridian between the two roads we were crossing. She said she is a member but hasn´t been to church in a year and wants to go back. She asked where the church was. We planned a visit with her this week and also told her to meet us in the same exact spot to go to church next week. It´s cool to have so many little encounters like this with people.

The theme in church yesterday seemed to be all about taking time during our busy lives to think about what´s important. Pres. Monson gave a talk in May entitled "A Corrida da Vida" about this. It was a nice reminder to stop and think about not only what´s important for our life in the next 10 years but also what´s important for eternity, life after this. We gotta stop and smell the roses sometimes. Just because E. Parada doesn´t laugh and doesn´t think it´s funny, I like to literally stop and smell the roses sometimes on the way to appointments. What a good phrase. I´m grateful for its literal applicability. Like Alma says in the Book of Mormon, all things denote that there is a god, even the earth and all things that are upon the face of it. I was struck by the thought yesterday at how time might function outside of our sphere of living. The concept we have of time in this life will not continue in the same manner in the next. Time is a trivial thing elsewhere,(for sure for God) but here, time means everything. It controls all aspects of our lives. In order to keep an eternal perspective at all times we need to minimize our preoccupation with time and focus on the quality of our activities rather than the time required to complete them. Living in a immense growth of productivity, it´s hard to keep a constant eye on minimizing our preoccupation with time, but that´s just one of our trials these days--healthy resistance that helps us grow. Considering that time is much more trivial after this life, and that this life is a time of probation and a time to prepare to meet God, (Alma 12) the real focus should be on preparation. And that involves taking TIME (our  precious resource) to re-align our priorities, to study things of eternal value, to remember our covenants with God, to focus on our family and on our spiritual development. I love that merely looking at the sky or the stars or other creations can prompt questions that have to do with eternity. There´s no way it´s a coincidence that they do. I am thankful for the inspired words of those who guide the church and the thoughts they invoke. It´s so cool that meeting together at church acts as a realignment of priorities every week as well as a renewal of covenants we´ve made to God. 

Have a good week fambam! I hope you all are whale(s). 

Elder Bryce Young

1 comment:

  1. I love to literally stop and smell the roses, too. Part of it is due to my nature, but the other reason is I used to work for flower shops, so I love how there are so many different smells. I always check for bees, though :)