Monday, January 28, 2013

Weather warning for Santos: If it's ridiculously hot and sunny, prepare. Real soon it will dump a rainstorm!

Come listen to an apostle's voice!! This week my life was permenantly changed! We had a special conference with Elder Bednar on tuesday and is was AMAZING! He really is a living apostle called of God. We fasted, read his talks, and were really prepared for his visit. We woke up at 4:20am (yikes!) to get to São Paulo for the conference. For 4 hours straight we just soaked up pure Spirit. The way he taught was so radically different--completely by the Spirit. He told us to get rid of the bad "traditions of our fathers," including avoiding the impulse to write down every word that he said (that would be the large plates of Nephi) but to just write what we learned by the Spirit (the small plates of Nephi). Yeah, pretty sure my large plates are pretty large all these years..but my small plates sure got filled! It's amazing to me how we can all go with questions different, but we all receive very specific answers. The Holy Ghost is amazing! I have a lot to change and improve. But I'm here to serve and just bless others! Here we go!
Other amazing news....miracle baptism! We were able to teach R and witness her baptism and confirmation on Saturday. It was really beautiful. She laughed at how quickly it passed by. She said she thought that the bishop would hold her under water a while to really wash away her sins. We all laughed, but for me, this is a symbolism of the love and forgiveness that Heavenly Father has for us. It doesn't matter what we've done, how many sins or how serious they are--the moment we decide to repent and we start to follow His plan (partaking of the ordinances of the Gospel like baptism and the Sacrament), he forgives us. Just like that! It's quick. It's real. It's beautiful.
So pretty sure that Heavenly Father's lesson for me this transfer is PATIENCE. And the more I try to be patient, the more opportunities Heavenly Father gives me to "practice" :) Until yesterday. We were in a lesson and at the beginning she gave us a huge glass full of juice of maracujá. Well they sure are talkers and not even half way through the lesson I was in desperate need of a bathroom! Oh dear, talk about test of concentration! Alright, but on the serious, I'm really grateful that I have such a patient companion and all that I am learning here.
We played Indiana Jones adventure trying to get to another appointment this week. We went all the way across town in the pouring rain to teach a recent convert. Well the closer we got, the more  flooded the road became. I would have just trekked through it, but Sister M says it's not safe. So we strategized like two mad chess players, and miraculously made it!
Remember everyone, FAITH IS ACTION. I hope that all of you are praying with faith and acting on your prayers. I know he hears and answers, if we are willing to follow His Spirit.

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