It was a serious struggle to find internet here in Industriario, Cuiabá. It was great to hear from you mommy and I´m glad to hear that everyone had a great thanksgiving...it just came and went her like any other day. I received one of my Christmas packages and I haven´t decided if I´m going to open it or not now. I am glad to hear the chickens survived the treacherous Sydney and Turkish terrorist attacks and that Ben and Rae had a good time visiting fam and friends. I´m glad to hear all went well with Brother Anderson´s funeral. It is strange...It feels even less real (thanksgiving and holiday season) because as the temp. gets colder and colder for you it gets, believe it or not, more and more hot here in Cuiabá Brasil.
Well....this week...I learned a few more truths in my life. In Brasil there are only two volumes of music....loud and break your ear drums. I hear both everyday and normally someone in their house screaming the music equally as loud...good stuff! I learned that in our house some days we have water and other days we don´t. I learned the difference between the word picado (bite- normally insect) and pecado (sin or transgression) imagine the difference this makes in my ability to teach repentance. I learned that Elders really don´t know how to clean or maintain a house...or at least the ones that used to live in ours didn´t. Anyone preparing to serve a mission...remember when you are on a mission that other missionaries will live in your house after you leave..so keep it clean please :) We also had the confirmation of Suellen this week. We are working away in this ward...
...this week we worked a lot with less active/ inactive members in our area. We visited many and confirmed that many would come to church but unfortunately not one showed up. This was another lesson that Elder Bednar taught: The difference between testimony and conversion. Everyone that accepts the restored Gospel in their lives has a testimony however, the process of conversion takes a bit more perseverance. I am learning how to help people become converted and not simply have a testimony of the truth. I visited a returned missionary that married a non-member and he said to us that `he has a testimony but doesn´t have a desire to come to church` interesting that he used this word...testimony...I would challenge everyone within the sound of my voice to question whether you have a testimony or are truly converted...only true conversion can stand the test of time and fulfill the ever crucial part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ- to Endure To The End! How do you know if you are converted....simple things we do everyday...do you pray? do you read the scriptures? do you serve others? do you go to church? how important is your family in your life? how are you bettering yourself everyday? Do you know that Jesus Christ is your Savior?
I know that Jesus is the Christ. That he suffered for all the sins of the world in a great action of love. I know that the same church that our Savior and Redeemer organized when he lived on the earth was restored by the prophet Joseph Smith. I know we have a prophet and apostles living today that lead and guide the true and restored Church of Jesus Christ. I know that God ordained families and that we can have eternal families. I know that we have commandments to liberate us from sin and addiction. I know our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of his children...because of this he gave us a plan to follow, a path to return to him. It is real. It is important...and you need to know it for yourself! Pray with a sincere heart and you too can know these things. Read the Book of Mormon...the proof of the restored gospel! Love more, Smile more, and know that a sunburned blond in Brasil is preaching this happy message with all the vigor of her heart and soul! I love you all, be true be good be safe and stand for what´s right!
Sister Libbi Sorensen