Well, I got my package 😛
The assistants came up on Saturday, bringing gifts! It was super cool, and I loved the legos 😛 Also, this crossword book is a lot harder than the last you sent. Much better 😛
This last week was super fun, although I had a “slump” day on Wednesday. I was feeling really put off for reasons I can’t really describe. In all truth, I’m not really sure what was going on. But, I went on a division with Elder Christiansen that day, and he helped a lot.
Something we’ve started doing here that I’m rally enjoying is calendars. We are giving our investigators with a baptismal date a calendar as we discuss what is a Latter-Day Saint. We help them realize what it is that a Santo dos Últimos Dias does. They write those things down, and we help them put it into a daily task list. It helps people see exactly what’s expected of them and start to do the things that they will continue for the rest of their lives. Elder Christiansen and Elder Gray, the other companionship in our house started doing this a couple of weeks ago. Since then, one of their “eternal” investigators has done a 180 and is going to be baptized this Saturday. I had the privilege to interview him, and I am super excited for him. He has changed his life completely and has a super strong testimony. It’s pretty cool 😛
New Years was pretty cool. The assistants came up Saturday night and spent the night with us. We bought some ice cream and made some treats and had a grand ol’ time. At midnight, we went out on our porch to watch all of the fireworks. Wow! There were some low-hanging clouds, but it wasn’t raining. The fireworks weren’t the best quality, but everyone had some and, from our roof, it looked like a war was going on. In every direction, nothing but explosions and color. Pretty much the best ever.
So, on to yesterday. I may or may not have broken our washing machine (it’s almost fixed! I swear! :P), so we didn’t leave the house until 15, because we were looking for someone to fix it. Elder Jeffs and I both felt kinda bad, but we decided to work. First, we went to Elton and Ricardo’s. Ricardo is a member, Elton, his brother, is an investigator. We had them teach us something that they researched (an idea we got from our teachers in the MTC), to help teach them about how to receive guidance and how to study. It went super well. We found a new scripture (the last two verses in Alma 3) that is super awesome. Afterwards, we went to Nick’s. He is the painter who has that problem with controlling his body (I can’t remember the name of the disease, but I’ve seen it before). We had a nice lesson on what is a saint, and what he needs to do to be one. Afterwards, we headed out to Tambara 2, one of our areas that is the furthest from our house. We got out there with the original intention to talk to a contact I met with on Wednesday. When we showed up, there was a huge party (lots of drunk people) so we just walked past. I couldn’t remember any of the other two people we contacted, so we kept walking a bit and stopped for a short break. We both weren’t felling very good, but decided to go visit an inactive member, another 20 minutes away from our house. When we got there, the member wasn’t there, but his brother and sister-in-law were. So, we sat and had a discussion with Alexandre, the brother. We decided we were just going to talk with him for a bit, and that’s what we did. We talked for an hour, not even mentioning the church. He mentioned several times that “the other missionaries have shown up here, but they just want to talk to my brother.” After about an hour or so, we asked to say a prayer and leave. After the prayer, he asked a question. “Can you help me find the true church?” He was tired of the “businesses” that masquerade as churches, and kept telling us, “I’m tired of lies.” Well, we decided to have a lesson with him. After our closing prayer, it was already dark, so we moved over to the weak light by his front porch. He had a Book of Mormon already, and wanted to know about Joseph Smith. “I felt bad about reading this book, because it talks so much about Joseph Smith.” “I feel I’m not worshiping God, but a man when I read it.” We took some time to explain about what the Book of Mormon is, who Joseph Smith is, and what he can do to find out for himself. At the end of the lesson, we asked him to pray. He said no. I was devastated. I had no idea what to do. But we explained to him why it’s so important that he prays. The second time, he accepted. I have never prayed harder in my life than when he was praying. He had one of the simplest, most expressive prayers I have heard from someone in a long, long time. He really wanted to know. I felt the Spirit so strongly, I was moved to tears. As we left, I thanked Heavenly Father with all my heart, might, mind and strength. Elder Jeffs and I stopped and prayed on the side of the road, thanking Him for the wonderful blessing we had received, and asking Him to help Alexandre desire to pray and receive his answer.
I am so glad to be here on my mission, and so incredibly glad that the Lord trusted in me enough to grant me the opportunity to talk with this wonderful man.
Well, that brings us to today. I’m tired, sore, and I think a little sick. But I have never felt better in my life. I have never been so incredibly happy, nor so incredibly thankful in my life.
I love you all!
Elder A. Spencer Leake