Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas! (Week 82 --we didn't get a letter for week 81 :( Elder Jacob was busy practicing for the Christmas Conference)

Dear Family,

Merry Christmas first of all! :) I hope the Christmas spirit is alive and well at home, because it is in full swing here in Brazil! 

Elder Wensel went home on Tuesday.  We had a great last few days together, getting him all ready to go.  We had a big family home evening with a ton of ward members to send him off and it was really spiritual.  

My new companion is Elder Stadler! From Curitiba Brazil!  I like him a ton.  We are getting along super well.  He is a new Zone Leader but really really animated and excited to work, which I like a lot.  He and I have big plans for the Zone - we want to animate and inspire our missionaries to have faith and believe that God will bless us.  We are talking to everyone about baptism - in our street contacts, we explain that we help people to repent and be baptized like Christ was baptized and the response has been really wonderful.  We have found elect people, people waiting to be baptized.  It is a very inspiring and gratifying way to work. I feel and have felt great joy this week working and helping God´s children.  I have gained a strong testimony that the gospel really is the truth.  In 3 Nephi, the Savior teaches HIS gospel.  What I learned as I read this chapter today was that there are many gospels, philosophies and doctrines in the world.  Even in Christianity, there are millions of doctrines and ideas.  But the fact is that there is only one true gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why it is so important to find and follow the TRUTH because the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ is the ONLY way that someone can truly be saved.  It is the ONLY gospel that is eternal and has the power to save. I am learning this more and more and I am so grateful for this.  It is blessing my life a lot. 

We didn´t have anyone with a date this week, but we sincerely prayed, worked and exercised faith that the Lord would bless us with someone. We were blessed yesterday with two baptisms.  Jaime, who is the father of a less active in the ward and Breno, the brother of a member here in the ward.  I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this great blessing.  What made the difference was our faith, our desire to have success and our diligent faith that the Lord would bless us.  My testimony grew a lot this week.  The Lord truly blessed us and gave us these two baptisms.  We are very excited to keep baptizing and helping this wonderful ward grow.

On Saturday, we got together with all the ward missionaries and the sisters and we sange Christmas Carols on the streets of Florença, handing out pass-along-cards like President had encouraged us to do.  It was a whole lot of fun! You know how I love to sing, and there ain´t nothing like Christmas carols to bring the spirit! We met a lot of people, sang all the Christmas songs like ten times and had a grand ol´time.  We are planning on doing this again this Saturday.  

Tomorrow is the Christmas Conference! It´s gonna be great.  I am very excited.  Pray that I can sing well and bring the spirit with my words and that all the other missionaries can do the same.  I am very grateful for Christmas and I am even more grateful to be a missionary!

I send you all my love and gratitude and devotion.  Have a very merry Christmas! :)  Love you!

Elder Jacob

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