It’s been another interesting week here in the southern hemisphere. Starting with last week’s P-Day. It was the first day since I’ve arrived here in Brazil that I didn’t put on a white shirt and tie at all. We had been around our house and the office (where it was just us) all day, so we hadn’t put on our normal dress clothes. President called us in a little early at the end of P-Day to talk with him about some ideas he had, and we still hadn’t changed our clothes. He ended up keeping two of the four of us with him in the office working on some things while the other two went to our appointments we had marked. By the time we got done it was time to go to bed. It felt really strange!
This week I’ve also been getting ready the paperwork for a group of missionaries to renew their visas, which includes me! Tomorrow I’ll have been on my mission 10 months! Seems crazy that it’s already time for me to renew. We’re going to be going Friday of this week to get everything taken care of. So unreal!
The rest of the week we had Zone Conferences. We’ve got a total of 7 zones now because President combined a couple of them. We spent three days in between the office and the churches where we had the conferences. We left around lunch each day and arrived back between 11:30 and 12:30 each night, so we were pretty wiped out all week! We got to get a little bit of much-needed sleep today, for which I’m immensely grateful.
One of the cool things about going to those Zone Conferences is getting to hear the talks and training all three times. The basic message was always the same, but the way it was given changed just a little every time. I learned something new each day.
One of my favorite things that was discussed during the conferences is the scripture John 15:16. It reads, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask f the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” As missionaries, we’ve been called and ordained to go forth and bear fruit. The “fruit” of our work is the lives of the people that we touch as part of our missionary service. That scripture, together with some of the others that they shared, gave me more desire to “bring forth fruit”.
Serving a mission isn’t all the glitz and glamour that it appears to be looking from the outside in. On the outside we look like a bunch of well-dressed young people walking the streets and talking to everyone in sight. But in reality, it’s hard labor that requires all of your focus and dedication. But, that’s what we signed up for. This mission has absolutely been the most fruitful experience so far in my life. I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time that’s it’s hard to believe – things about God, things about Christ and their teachings, as well as things about myself, how to push harder even when I don’t want to, what I want from my life, and so forth. I know that I’m going to need every second of the allotted time to learn and grow into the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be.
I love you all! Until next week!
Elder Chapman Tew