He won a Reader's Favorite Award for his book, Attrition: The First Act of Penance. So yes, he's kind of a big deal.
Okay, so my week.
Last week at church, an old investigator of ours, Clovis, showed up at the church. His wife and daughter are active members, but he never wanted to be baptized. Well, he showed up at church all alone...his wife nor his daughter were there, just him. He told me that he has been going through some changes and he was ready to let God into his heart. We then visited his house during the week, and he explained that he was having some problems in his family and that he wanted to have a happy family. He told us that as he saw his father-in-law (who was the bishop before) live his life in the church, he saw that their life was a happy one, and he wanted that for his family. He told us that he was ready to do the right things and to be the man who God wants him to be. We were going to teach about the Restoration, but I had a strong feeling to talk with him about repentance, We taught a very strong lesson about repentance and that he can repent and be forgiven of whatever thing he has done. We explained that when we cut our fingers, we need to put a band aid on it
and then wait a couple of days, and then we're all good. But if we break our leg, we need to go to the hospital, maybe have surgery, and wait a couple of months for it to heal. And then, maybe for a couple months after, it still might hurt a little. We explained that sin is like that. Sometimes, we make little mistakes, and we just need a little bit of time to heal, if we repent. But sometimes, we make big mistakes that need a whole lot more of time to be healed. But we can always turn to our personal Healer, the Savior Jesus Christ. Through sincere repentance, and restitution of the things we've done wrong, we can be forgiven, and the Lord will help us rebuild ourselves up. He will shape and mold us into the person that he wants us to be. But first, we've got to show our faith to him, and in humble and sincere prayer, kneel down and ask for forgiveness. Just like our body feels pain to indicate to our brains that something is wrong and needs to be fixed, our souls send us signals, guilt and shame, to indicate to us that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Don't hide from your guilt or shame! Be humble and show it to the Lord, and he we help heal you! Repentance is an amazing thing! As we explained this to Clovis, his countenance changed. He told us that he was willing and wanted to go kneel down before our Savior and repent sincerely so that he could be the father and husband that God wants him to be, and so that he could prepare himself to make the sacred covenant of Baptism. It was amazing as we worked with him to really help him understand that he is important to God, and that God loves him! I could really feel God's love for him, and for me, as I was teaching him the importance of repentance. God really loves each and every one of us!
On Thursday, there was another activity that we attended and we were able to leave a message about families. We showed a little church video called "Expressões de Amor" (Expressions of Love). It talks about couples who show their love for each other by doing nice things, leaving sweet notes, hugging each other, and doing fun things together. We related this to the family, and how, in order to have a happy family, we need to show our love for one another. We talked about 3 things that a family can do to be more happy.
1. Center your family in the Gospel, daily.
2. Forgive, sincerely and completely.
3. Express your Love for your family.
I shared a story that, whenever I would talk to my family on the phone, I would always end with, "Okay. I love you! Bye!". I did it so much, that it became a habit. When I would see my friends talk with their moms and their family, they never said "I love you! Bye!" and I thought that was so weird. I remember one time that I was talking to a friend on the phone, and I hung up saying "Okay! Love you! Bye!" It was awkward as anything, but it's funny to think about now. Through these simple gestures that say "hey, I love you!", our families will be strengthened and fortified. I heard a quote that went like this: "Love isn't one big thing. It's a bunch of little things" It's true. Every member of every family should feel like they are cherished and important. And it is through small and simple things that great things come to pass.
Anywho, I love you all so much! I had an amazing week and I hope you all have amazing weeks. Always choose the right, and live the Gospel daily.
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH