It was a good week this week. We worked really hard and found joy in our work this week. I am very grateful to be serving as a missionary of the Lord´s church. It is very very wonderful. To be involved in this work is a great blessing.
This weekend we attended the Belo Horizonte Pampulha Stake Conference. It was presided by Elder Mozart Soares, an Area Seventy from Pernambuco. It was an amazing experience and totally devoted to missionary work. The First Presidency asked that the full time missionaries attend the Saturday Night Adult Session because it featured a training by Elder Soares about missionary work. The whole zone was there and it was inspiring. The leaders invited and challenged the members to share the gospel more, to invite their friends to come to church and learn about the gospel. We watched many clips from the hastening the work website and were inspired by the true stories of members and missionaries working together. It got me really really excited and I am so grateful that I am here on the mission.
Then yesterday we had our sunday session. It was packed in the chapel and Pres. and Sister Fortunato spoke. They both were brought into the gospel because of the missionaries and to hear their stories, and their testimonies of how sharing the gospel can help change the lives of thousands was incredible. Elder Soares told a story of a missionary who was so poor that when he went on his mission in New England in the 1960´s, the only coat he had was his grandpa´s that he had used in World War 2. He was a scrawny young man and the Assistants and the President were thinking of sending him to Labrador, way in the north of the mission, and leaving him there for 2 years. The assistants were afraid that he would affect the image of the Church in Cambridge, home of one of the most famous universities. But the President had a dream that told him to send this missionary to Cambridge so he did. About a week later, he got a phone call from the Head of the University of Cambridge. This man was a great and famous scholar, had been teaching there for over 20 years and was considered the most important man in the city. He called the Mission President and said, `President, will you baptize me tomorrow?` The Mission president, shocked, said of course and then asked for the story. The head of the University of Cambridge said that our scrawny, good-for-nothing missionary went to the office of this world reknown scholar and asked to talk with him. After waiting three hours, the scholar let him in. The scholar was closing the door when the missionary asked him if they could say a prayer. The scholar agreed and was returning to his desk when, before anything else could happen, our missionary fell to his knees and bore out his soul to the Lord. This scholar then told the mission president that he had been studying and teaching about the Holy Ghost for more than 20 years, knew every single scripture in the Bible that relates to the Holy Ghost and yet, in that moment, he felt the strongest influence of the Holy Spirit of God that he knew that boy was a messenger of Christ and his message was true. That world reknown scholar was baptized, thanks to the humility and faith of a simple poor country bumpkin who was called to the Lord´s work.
I really loved that story. It helped me realize how important humility is in this work. It isn´t about me. I don´t have the power of conversion, that is the Spirit. But I can be a channel for it. I felt the Spirit very strongly in this conference. As the choir sang the last song, Mais Perto Quero Estar, I felt the Spirit tell me that this truly is the Lord´s Church. We don´t say that to boast or to belittle anyone else but it is the truth. The Lord is guiding this church. It isn´t the church of Elder Soares, Pres. Monson, Joseph Smith or anyone else. It is the Church of Jesus Christ. And it is through Him and His Power, the influence of the Spirit and the direction of God that we are able to have success.
I am grateful for this week. We are excited to go to a leadership council tomorrow morning. We will be inspired and directed.
I love you all! Have a great week!
I love you all! Have a great week!