Monday, October 6, 2014

The Lord speaks with Prophets today!

Well, might I say, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ, here, on the earth. 

Conference was amazing! I'm so grateful that I had the chance to hear the real Prophet of God testify of the the real gospel of Christ! So before I talk more about General Conference, I'll let you know a little bit about my week. 

So, Tuesday was Zone Meeting and it was pretty good. We broke up into districts to make goals about how we are going to increase the frequency of members at church on Sundays. We talked a lot about how we want each ward in the stake to have a "frequência" of 100 people at the end of 2 months. We made goals for what goal we wanted to fulfill every Sunday until the end of 2 months, and what we are going to do daily to reach that goal. It was pretty sweet. Normally, the "frequência" of the wards here are about 50-60 people every Sunday. It's kind of sad, but we're going to change some things here in Alegrete!

Also, Tuesday, it rained all day, and my companion didn't have an umbrella and I had a water proof jacket, so I let him use my umbrella. Even with the umbrella, we got soaking wet. We went and visited Eliane, and she wanted to give us dinner, but there was a meeting at the church that we had to attend. Right as we were about to leave her house Bishop called and told us the meeting was canceled because of the rain, so Eliane told us that we had no choice but to stay so that she could make us dinner. It's food and we're missionaries, so of course we didn't decline that. We also had the opportunity to stay and study in the Book of Mormon with her son, who was once addicted to drugs, but is now getting over it, working, and wanting to go to church. What a miracle!

Ward Party

Thursday, we did an activity at the church. It was super awesome. We did a play to demonstrate the parable of the seeds that were planted in rocks, thorns, and then good ground (. There was a prophet, 4 people, and the Devil. I was the Devil, and Elder Mamani was the prophet. He was preaching about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. Little by little, as he was preaching, I would sneak up behind one of the 4 people and invite them to a party. The first one (who represented the seed that was thrown on the path and the birds ate), went to the party without thinking twice. Then, I went to the second person. He didn't want to go the party and wanted to listen to the prophet. So I ran to the other side of the room and changed my clothes. I then went behind him and tried a new method. I invited him to watch a soccer game. Then he gave up and went with me. He was the seed that was planted in the rocks and whose roots weren't that strong. The 3rd didn't want to go to a party, or watch a soccer game, but when I offered free food, he totally fell for it. He was the seed that was planted among the thorns. His roots were strong, but his company didn't strengthen him. The last one didn't want to party, watch soccer, and wasn't that interested in free food. Her only interest was to listen and heed the words of the prophet. She was the seed that was planted in good soil. It was cool to see how the ward understood the principles much better, and I think it prepared them a little better for conference. But always remember, plant your seeds in firm soil so that the devil doesn't tempt you. He will try many different ways, but if you are in firm soil, you want fall into his lies. 

Me as "The Devil"

General Conference was amazing! The Saturday Morning Session, I watched in English with all the Americans in the zone. It was amazing and I loved it. I really like D. Todd Christofferson's talk about free agency and accountability. Really, we are accountable for our actions, and we need to use our own agency to make the choices that lead to eternal happiness, like keeping the commandments, repenting, going to church every Sunday. Those little things are actually the bigger and most important things. After the first session, President Parrela sent a text to the Zone Leaders saying that nobody could watch Conference in English, even the new Americans that arrived this transfer and barely say anything. I don't know why, but it didn't really matter to me. It was an act of faith for Elder Hayes, an elder in my district in hasn't even been in Brazil for 3 weeks, and didn't understand anything, but we all watched it in Portuguese. I offered to translate for him, but he said he'd be fine. Before conference, I made a list of questions that I wanted to know about, and every single one of those questions was answered. And the ones that weren't answered, I received distinct feelings that I didn't need to know the answer in that moment, and that the answer would come at the right time. It was amazing! 

This one's for Cooper
On Sunday, a little miracle happened. We needed to watch conference at the Stake Center, and Elder Mamani and I were running a little bit late. The Stake Center is about 30 minutes from our house on feet, and we were just leaving the house 15 minutes before conference was going to start. And it was raining really hard. We started running, and then we happened to stop running right at a bus stop when a bus arrived. And guess what? The bus rides were free yesterday because it's election time here. So we got on the bus, and it happened to stop right in the front of the church, and we walked into the chapel, 10 minutes before conference started. It was super cool!

Isadora the Hipster
The last session of conference, Elder Lemos said that he was worried about Elder Hayes and asked if I would translate for him, so I did. Holy moly, translating is not easy, but for my first time, it went pretty well, and Elder Hayes understood. It's hard because conference is in English, and then it was being translated into Portuguese, but then I was translating back to English. So the conference that Elder Haye's heard might be a little different then the conference that everyone else heard. But the important thing was that the spirit was there. It was also an amazing experience to hear a talk in Portuguese, from the conference center, without translation! It was history and it was amazing! When the talk started in Portuguese, I didn't even notice that it was Portuguese until Elder Hayes asked me if I could translate. I just thought the translaters had stopped talking, but nope. It was actually Portuguese over the pulpit at the conference center. It was amazing to  hear it and to be part of that historical moment. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for having the Prophet of God testify to us! I love the church!

The Church of Jesus Christ is here on the earth. I know it!

I love you all so much! I hope your week is amazing! 

Always remember the tools for peace in this life:
1. Pray
2. Read the Scriptures
3. Have family night
4. Go to the temple/prepare to go to the temple

Let's head the words of the Prophets. 

Elder Hintze 

P.S. -Here's my thoughts about conference in Portuguese:

Sessão Sáb. de Manha. 
Eu gostei muito do discurso de Elder D. Todd Christofferson. Nos precisamos usar nosso livre arbítrio para tomar responsabilidade para nossas ações, e para escolher a fazer as coisas certas. Os mandamentos são bem claros, e precisamos usar este dom maravilhoso de livre arbítrio para escolher seguir estes mandamentos, e ser obedientes. 

Sessão Sáb. da Tarde. 
Antes da Conferência, eu tinha escrito a pergunta, "Como posso me preparar para ser o pai e marido que O Senhor quer que eu seja?". Eu recebi minha resposta durante esta sessão. Primeira, eu senti que eu preciso me casar com uma moça que tem as mesmas crenças que eu e os mesmos desejos que eu. Segundo, eu senti que eu preciso ser mais obediente ás regras da missão. Se eu consigo cumprir meu propósito como missionário, eu vou conseguir cumprir meu propósito como pai e marido no futuro. Também, eu preciso aprender os princípios do evangelho mais claramente, e saber como ensinar estes princípios para que possa ensinar aos meus filhos. 

Sessão Dom. de Manha. 
Eu estava assistindo, e eu senti um sentimento muito forte de que realmente, eu estava ouvindo os Profetas de Deus. Eu soube muito mais naquele momento porque nos temos profetas, a porque eles são importante. Eu recebi mais uma confirmação do Espírito Santo, talvez mais forte que eu já tive, que Deus chamou um profeta novamente aqui na Terra. É um sentimento maravilhoso. Eu sei que Thomas S. Monson e os Apóstolos são profetas de Deus.

Sessão Dom. da Tarde. 
Eu recebi uma outra resposta para uma pergunta que eu tinha. Eu queria saber o que eu posso fazer para ajudar minha família fortalecer os testemunhos deles. Eu aprendi que eu preciso ajudar eles orarem, leram as escrituras, fazerem noites familiares cada semana sem falta, e iram no templo com frequência. Eu vou falar para eles hoje para que possam começar agora.

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