Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 Leaving the Place Better than He Found it . . . Transfers

Transfer week this week! Tomorrow actually. I was pretty surprised when I found out Sunday night I´d been transferred after just 6 weeks in Ponte. What happens happens I guess. I still have all my packing to do and a house to clean for the rest of my P-day...yay! But I´m excited for a new area and for the energy that always seems to come along with a change in the regular routine. I hope I´ve been able to leave Ponte in at least a little bit better of condition than how I found it. The ward has been starting to catch the flame of missionary work lately and I´m excited about that. Friday our Elder´s Quorum President organized a ward party in his neighborhood just for the recent converts to have an excuse to come and socialize with the ward. Sunday the Stake Presidency came and gave a training during Priesthood and Relief Society about the importance of members and missionaries working on the same team and on the same page. They´re starting a family night program here in the stake that is totally designed to help us find investigators and less active families to teach. The training was pretty cool. President Silva, 1st Counselor I think, showed a 5 minute clip of a herd of buffalos that got attacked by lions. The lions dragged the youngest buffalo into the nearby lake and started tearing him to shreds. Then a crocodile (true story) pops out of the water and wants his fair share too. That goes on for about a minute before the whole herd of buffalos comes back and takes it to the lions and the crocodile. President Silva talked about our responsibility to work as one to rescue the one that may have gone astray. It seemed to have a really positive effect on the members. Some of them came up to us afterwards asking when we could go on splits with them without his having to say anything. A bummer I won´t be able to be a part of them, but we have 3 nights locked up with the members for this coming week, and a ward activity. We participated in 'Comitê Executivo' with the bishopric afterwards and were able to help them get our ward mission plan going. So I´m excited with the potential for progress here.

The teaching this week was awesome for me to be a part of. We didn´t have a ton of appointments but the people we taught have real challenges and doubts that have forced me to study, pray, and practice even more than usual to be prepared. I went on a division with Elder Renato in a neighboring area and we taught a man (28) named Fábio. He knows the Bible cover to cover and kind of came at us with an attitude of trying to find a fault in our message. The whole lesson the Lord´s promise in D & C that He won´t let us be "confounded before men" kept coming to mind. Fábio directly challenged Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and doctrines of the Church ranging from eternal marriage to our belief that we can grow to become like Heavenly Father. I knew he wouldn´t be the type of investigator who would progress, but it was super neat for me to watch how the Spirit helped us defend the truth in ALL aspects during the lesson. Several scriptures, especially from the bible, came to mind that at least helped Fábio to see the basis for our beliefs. There were a few occasions where he had to keep quiet because the Spirit was not letting him doubt what we believe in and know to be true. It was the thrid or fourth time I´ve met an investigator like that, and the third or fourth time I walked away from the lesson knowing, absolutely knowing, that anyone who wants to can challenge the Church, but no one will ever be able to prove that it is not directly governed by God Himself. There´s just no way for this work to be stopped. I´m hoping Fábio´s able to open up his mind and heart a little bit to be able to come to that conclusion. The only thing anybody ever needed to do is be sincere and ask God as Joseph Smith did. That´s what we invited him to do in the end. Elder Renato and I passed by the mission office to undo the division and President happened to be there. So I talked with him a little about the lesson and he emphasized the same thing. He told me he´s met a lot of people just wanting to argue and wasted a lot of time trying to do the convincing that only the Spirit can do. I am 200 percent confident the answer will always be 'yes' when someone who really wants to know asks if this is the only true church on the face of the earth. I´m really glad I have that answer for myself.

I´ll let y´all know where I end up going next email! It might be Wednesday, just a head´s up. Go BYU!!!! Brayden, best of luck to you at the Y, and Elder Krogh, best of luck to you on your mission. You both are going to tear it up.

Love, Elder Sears

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