This past week has been super rainy here in São Paulo! I now have only one pair of dry shoes of the four that I brought with me. It’s been difficult trying to encounter and teach people with all the rain, but we’re doing our best!
This week on Tuesday we had to go to Jabaquara for a training for District Leaders. The training was awesome! They talked a lot about our duties and the examples that we should set for those we lead. I was able to learn quite a bit, and reflect on things that I can do better. Right when it got over, the new missionaries fresh out of the MTC arrived. We were able to see them walk in and then had to head home!
We taught a man this week named Moisés (Moses) while we were searching for another address. Turns out that the person we were looking for was his dad! He used to be a preacher at an evangelical church. He’s super intelligent, and has a pretty broad knowledge of the Bible. As we got to know him a bit, he told us about his hesitations with religions and the things that they do that he didn’t think were right. Every single thing that he mentioned was answered when we told him about the Restoration. We were able to feel the Spirit very strongly as we testified of the truthfulness of the things we taught him.
I was pleased to find out today that I have a friend from home who has recently become interested in the Church. I sent an email to him, and I would like to share a part of it with all of you.
“Since I was eight, I’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the ‘Mormon’ church. I grew up going to church every Sunday with my family. Throughout my childhood and into my youth I was consistently taught the doctrine of the church, and was able to slowly gain my own testimony of its truthfulless. Although I was never a saint, I almost always tried to do my best to live my life in accordance with the things that I had learned.
When I turned 18 in December of 2014, I became eligible to serve a mission. As a child I had decided that it was something that I wanted to do, so I began to prepare myself to submit my application. At the beginning of March I sent in my papers and awaited my response. About 10 days later I got a large, thick envelope in the mail that, amongst other things, included a letter from the President of the Church stating where I would serve. I was called to the Brazil São Paulo South Mission, with a report date of July 29th, 2015. I spent the next several months preparing myself physically and spiritually for the journey that I was about to embark on.
July 28th arrived, and I boarded a Delta flight to Atlanta with connection to the Guarulhos International Airport on the northeastern rim of the city of São Paulo. In Atlanta, I met several others who would be accompanying me to Brazil. We all arrived in Brazil, and spent six weeks together in the Missionary Training Center. There we learned a little bit of Portuguese, and studied the material we would be presenting to people a few short weeks later. Over the last 18 months, I have been working in various parts of the southern metropolitan region of São Paulo teaching people about what we believe to be true.
You’ve recently met two young men that are doing the same thing that I’m doing, just in slightly different circumstances. Within the next few days, the Elders will tell you about what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so different than others. I hope that as you listen to them you’ll open your heart to the Holy Spirit, and allow him to testify to you about the things you learn.
I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of my own wants and desires to serve my mission. I walk daily in the rain and under the hot sun searching for anyone that will open their door to listen to what we have to say. I had to leave behind school, work, hobbies, interests, and my family to do so. However, I know that what I have to offer to the people that I’m serving is much more valuable than any of that which I have elected to put on hold.
I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the responses to all questions, and the solutions to all problems and difficulties that we may have throughout our lives. I know that what the Elders will teach you will have a profound affect on your life, and that it will change you for the better as it has changed me. In my time here in Brazil, my testimony has been consistently strengthened as I’ve learned even more about my Savior and His teachings, and applied them more in my own life. I know that Christ lives, and that He loves each one of us individually. Satan would have us believe that we’re worthless, or that we’re beyond repair. Christ promises us that we are not. His atoning sacrifice satisfies all justice, and guarantees us our spot in Heaven if we’ll accept Him in our lives, and do our very best to be obedient to His commandments while we’re here on the Earth. I testify of the truthfulless of Book of Mormon. I know for myself that it is the word of God. Coupled with the Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and points us to the path that we must take in order to return to live with Him again.”
I’m so grateful for the privilege that I have to serve my mission here in Brazil. This place and these people have made a mark on my life as I’ve grown so much over these past 18 months. I know that this is a very necessary stage in my life, and I’m thankful that I made the choice to serve!
Until next week!
Élder Chapman Tew