Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hello Dearest Family!!

It is great to hear from all ya´ll! I am happy to know that ya´ll are doing well and the Lord is watching over you. With babies raining down from heaven and life being wonderful, all I can say is praise be to the Lord Almighty!!

Rachel/Sister Ellis III – sounds like Elder Cook´s visit was fun and uplifting. Speaking of Apostles and visits, Elder Bednar is coming to Lisbon! He will be giving 3 firesides, one just for full time missionaries, and the others for members in general and then single adults. We (the missionaries) can go to the other two firesides if we can bring an investigator or less active member with us (of appropriate ages, like for the Single Adult one). Exciting!! So Elder Bednar and his wife will be coming and giving these firesides on the 15th and 16th of February.

This week has gone well. We had a good lesson with Osvaldo and Daniel about faith, repentance, and a little bit on baptism, with the young men´s president with us, and Osvaldo and even 13 year old Daniel expressed interest and desire of being baptized. Daniel is a funny kid, it´s hard to think he´s only two years older than Warren. It is so great to see the Lord´s work progress!

Tuesday was my first normal interview with President Terry. It was great to see that he truly is a man called of God to direct the Lord´s work for the Portugal Lisbon Mission. The first thing he said to me was asking how I was feeling, since I looked `a bit under the weather´ thanks to a small cold I started having on Monday. Anyways, during the interview he gave me (and all of the missionaries) some advice on immediately teaching while we are finding, whether it is talking to people on the street or at their doorstep. Not using the obscure ´we have a message we´d like to share´ but rather something more like ´we are here to talk about how Jesus Christ has restored His Church through a modern prophet…´. Then when asking about when we could later meet with them, we should be sweetly bold (haha, I love that term) in not leaving ´no´ as an option, such as `would it be better for us to pass by during the week or weekend? Afternoon or evening? …` Great stuff. So when Elder Corry and I were contacting and knocking that evening, we applied President Terry´s advice and immediately we had better results in having potential investigators and having better conversations with people on the street. I love being a missionary!!

I noticed this morning in my personal studies that I would like to share with ya´ll. Our Heavenly Father wants us to become like Him, and we can only do that His way, on His terms, and on His timetable. Looking at the example of Mahonri and Alma´s comparison in Alma 32, we develop our faith gradually into perfect knowledge, line upon line, as we attend to our faith. That is the Lord´s way, and when we gain knowledge His way it will be ´sweet and delicious´. But when we don´t do things the Lord´s way, we will taste bitterness. Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of knowledge at Satan´s tempting persuasion, when they had been commanded by God to not eat. Their experience was sudden, nearly all at once / instantaneous, instead of God´s line upon line. And in 2 Nephi 2:15 (I think) Lehi compares the fruit of life, which was sweet, with the fruit of knowledge, which was bitter (because they partook in transgression). Anyways, that was just something I wanted to share with ya´ll. I love all of you and hope you can have a great week! Fica firme!

--Elder Ellis V

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