Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hello mom and dad!  Joseph, Alayna, Desmond, Grandma, Grandpa.

So, this is the voice recording that ended on the 31st of March.  The month of March is officially over.  Which means that next week is general conference.  Woot!  I am really excited.  This week was a pretty crazy week.   I don’t know if I told you this in the last voice recording or not, but like Dad, I consider myself pretty much a road warrior now.  Call me a road warrior.  Because I spend so much time, traveling on buses, that its almost ridiculous. 

We went to a city this last week, it was an hour and a half outside of our city.   Because we got a member reference.  The member reference was from the apostle, Neal A Anderson.   So, it was a pretty heavy member reference.  What is was, is, there’s an international law professor who lives near our city.   He is fluent in English and everything else.  He was invited to give a seminar at BYU about international law and international religious freedom, and stuff like that.  So, he went there, spent some time there, then he had lunch.  But, when he had lunch, all the seats were pre-arranged,  and he said that he sat right next to Neal A Anderson.  And, they talked the whole time about the gospel.  And then, I guess he took his address, and he gave it to us.   This professor, his name is Algier.  This professor, I don’t know how to say it in English, But he’s an Adventist.  Its that religion that Ellen White made whenever she left the church.  The one that says that the Sabbath Day is still Saturday.  He’s one of those, and he has been that since 1994.   So, we went to his house on Saturday, to talk to him about the Book of Mormon, and our message and everything.   It was pretty awesome.  He is really rich, really wealthy.  The thing is, it doesn’t really matter if its our religion, or his religion,  or any religion, he is not really into the whole faith thing.   Its more, like, the biblical proof, or the logic behind it.  And, I learned a really interesting story this week, in regards to all that.   WE have him, right?  Who has had years and years of education.  He showed us his library, which has 1,000 books, and he has read all of them.  Crazy educated, all that stuff.  But, he didn’t have the prerequisites in order to grow his faith, which is humility and receiving the word.   He doesn’t feel like he needs to read the Book of Mormon to know its true.  He’s like, No, I need to know Joseph Smith is true to read the book.  Or, we said, you need to read and pray about the book to know its true.  He said, ‘no, I can just read it, and if the teachings are the same as my church, then it’s the right book.’  So, he lacks the prerequisites in order to exercise faith: including a desire to even receive a response.   He told us that other missionaries had talked to him,  and other people had talked to him and told him that a response will come in the form of a feeling, right?   That’s the way we explain it, because we have no other way to explain it.   Its really hard to explain.   He told us that, ‘I don’t believe your feelings, your heart, is what guides your responses from Heavenly Father.  Because it says in the Bible that you shouldn’t follow your heart, you should follow Heavenly Father.    So he didn’t understand, I tried to explain it to him, but he didn’t feel like praying is that necessary.  He felt like the response that we that we always talk about was a good enough of a response. 

So, there was another person we were teaching this week, his name was Alichandree.  We found him last Saturday, so a week and two days ago.   We taught him the second lesson, because his Dad had passed away, about 2 or 3 years ago.   And, he was 14 years old.   He’s just a really simple kid.  He stays at home playing video games a lot.  And, he doesn’t really have a desire to do anything, one of those really lazy kids.  But, we taught him the second lesson, and he’s like, ‘yeah, I’ll go to church!’   So he went to church with us last Sunday, and we gave him a book of mormon.  We told him to read and pray, like we do to everyone else.   And so, he started to do it, he started to read, and started to pray.  And, he received a response on Tuesday.   And, he already wanted to be baptized.   And, we asked him, ‘how did you feel when you were reading the book?’  He said, ‘I felt like the spirit was by my side.’  And, he prayed about it.  And, he said, ‘I never felt that feeling before whenever I prayed.’  It was a really good spiritual experience, a really spiritual kid.  He got baptized yesterday. 

And, I wanted to share both their examples today, just to show the difference.  Because you have one guy who is really educated.  Who is an international Law professor.  He has gone to other countries besides the United States to give discussions and lectures and all that,  and then you have this humble kid, who doesn’t really want to do anything in life right now.  Doesn’t even like to go to school.  But, a humble kid that has almost no experience, he chose to humble himself, and to read the book, and to pray with a pure heart and real intent.  And, he received his response.  And, the Adventist guy didn’t, because he chose not to believe that he could receive a response.  It is a really good life long story that I will definitely keep with me about the difference that makes.  And that, you really just need to humble yourself, and be open to what Heavenly Father has to say, and not to what you think you can find.  Faith is a process, right?  So the beginning of Faith is just when you want to know, then you pray to know.  Then, you get a response.  The faith that Algier, the international Law Professor, wanted, is the faith further down the road, where you can actually see the fruits.  Whenever you use your faith as a principle of power.  He wanted to see a sign almost.  He wanted to see actual manifestations if the things we were talking about were true.  You have to use your faith first. 

So, that was really cool, that was a nice story.   Also, I met someone named, Guy this week.  There’s a lady in our Branch named Bianca.  She’s like 60 years old.  She has a husband who is 70 years old, and he’s an American.  And, he’s been living in Brazil for 8 years now, and doesn’t speak ANY Portuguese.  And, they are really, really rich, and we went to eat lunch with them on Friday.   He’s really cool.  He is a huge Glenn Beck Fan.  I was telling him how you guys are really big Glenn Beck fans and he got really excited.  He told me about some bracelet that they were trying to get the kids studying in America to use.  It like, tracks them, right?  And he says that Glenn Beck is talking about it all the time.   Basically, he told me he was a huge Fan.  I told him you guys went to the rally in Washington DC.  He says he definitely want to talk with you and meet you when you come out to get me.  So that will be a really cool experience because he’s a straight up American, so you will be able to talk to him in English and everything. 

Other than that, everything is going really well here.  I am getting to know the Branch really well.  Whenever I got the call to go to this city, I thought, no we don’t have to go there with my parents, because we already have it all kindof planned out.   But now that I’m here we might have to make plans to pass here, maybe one day.  There’s a lot of people here you can talk with, and it will be really cool. 

But, that’s all for now, I hope you guys are having a great week.  I am having a great week, and I will talk to you next Monday, bye!

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