May 15°, 2017

Olá!

Another day, another Real spent! Time seems to be slipping through my fingers. I can’t believe that in seven weeks I’ll be back home!

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We’ve had lots of progress made with the people we’re teaching, and we’ve recently found a bunch of new people to teach that look promising. Last Sunday night, one of our investigators was run over by a car. Well, he’s actually the father of one of our investigators. He had fought with his son and was inebriated. He decided that it was not worth living anymore and walked straight into the freeway that runs along the side of our area. The oncoming car was able to swerve a bit and he hit the side of the car rather than the front. We had just arrived at his house when his family got the news. They jumped in the car and went to go see what had happened. We made our way there and found him laying in the middle of the road all cut up and out of it. He was moving and moaning. We got there just as the ambulance arrived. They whisked him away to the hospital. He’s now alright, but still in the hospital. His lung was punctured so he’s staying there until it heals up. Lots of fun!

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Renato, whom we’ve been teaching for a month or so, was supposed to be baptized last week but was not. He got to church with all his stuff in hand and was all ready to go. Right before the last hour was about to start, he said that he had to go home to resolve things with his wife. We later found out that he had texted her during church to tell her that he was going to be baptized and she, obviously, kind of freaked out! We went there during this last week to talk to her about everything. She’s still not super comfortable with his baptism, but we believe that everything will work out for him to be baptized this week.

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Renata, who is the woman with two kids that we’ve been teaching, told us last Sunday night that she was ready to prepare herself for baptism! It’s been a long battle with her, trying to get her to go to church and keep the commitments that she makes with us, but we’ve finally reached the point where she’s really excited about it. She told us later in the week about some problems she’s been having in her life, principally with her divorce from her now ex-husband. She said that in her hour of need she looked to the Book of Mormon, the Liahona articles, and prayed to receive comfort. We’re beyond excited to see how wonderfully she’s progressed in the last few weeks!

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As I sat in sacrament meeting yesterday trying to entertain Renata’s 8 year-old son Gustavo, I stopped for a minute to think about how happy I was in that moment. I identified clearly in my mind a number of recent situations in which I’ve been able to feel an overwhelming outpouring of joy from my soul. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is centered on love and the constant search to become better in an effort to be able to return back to God’s presence some day. Being 100% involved in the work of spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has taught me how wonderfully full of the Spirit our lives can be if we but search to fill it with His presence. Missionary work makes me so happy! It’s really hard at times, but it’s totally worth it when I’m able to see the difference that it has made in my own life, and the lives of those I teach.

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I thank the Lord daily for the things that He’s done in my life over the past 22 months. I feel as if I’ve progressed emotionally and spiritually more in that time than I could have in 20 years had I decided not to serve a mission. I testify that Christ lives, that He loves us, and that He wants our best. He never will abandon us even though we often choose to abandon Him. All of us are qualified to receive bountiful blessings by His hand if we do our very best to live the commandments and repent of our errors. There does not exist a “point of no return” as far as our salvation goes. Christ has given all of us the invitation to follow Him, and quite the reception awaits for all those who accept it.

With much love,
Élder Chapman Tew