Oi família e amigos!
Your week sounds pretty sweet. Finals, a boring meeting, and snow! Woo hoo! The fact that my bros got good grades is pretty great though. I´m definitely glad to hear that. I´m also hype for the Holy Grail. All of the choir stuff sounds pretty sweet too. Also, I have to ask, have you seen Star Wars yet? I haven´t (obviously).
As for me, the life here is good. No baptisms this week, and this week in general was pretty rough, with a lot of appointments failing. Everybody here is traveling, seeing as it´s the week before Christmas, so it´s tough to find people at home to teach. As a result we spent a lot of time searching out the less active members of the branch and inviting them to go to church, and to the big branch Christmas Dinner we had on Saturday. It was super cool. We did the decorations, and had more than 10 investigators there and a ton of less active members. It was a lot of fun. I wish I could share some pictures, but I didn´t get any myself, so I´ll see if I can get the branch president to send some that I can send to you guys later. I´ve been really working on my cooking skills this week too, seeing as I fried some ham one day. That´s right. Hard core.
I had a really cool experience with following the promptings of the Spirit this week. Last week we had a bit of an issue at the house of Tereza, one of our recent converts, when her husband decided to pick a fight with us because we don´t drink coffee. We tried to keep the Spirit, so we said our goodbyes and stayed away from her house for a while. This week we were heading to contact some references in that same part of town, when I felt really strongly that we needed to visit Tereza. I told my companion this, and he didn´t want to at first, due to the results of our last visit, but he trusted me and we went anyways. When we got there, she met us at the door and told us that she had been praying that we would come to her house that night. She works for some house cleaners in the area, and she had been in the house that day of a woman with a disease that gives here really swollen hands and feet. While there, Tereza started to talk about the Gospel with her. She then told here that she would bring two special young men there to help her out. When we showed up at Tereza´s house, she took us right over, and we shared a message from the Bible. This woman then went to Church two days later, and tomorrow we´re going to give her a blessing to help her with her illness. I know that the Spirit guided me there that day.
I´d also like to share a scripture with you guys. While I´m out here destroying my shoes with all this walking, we also teach a lot of people. One scripture that we use a lot is found in Matthew, chapter 9, verse 9. It reads ¶And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him." This scripture is from early on in the Savior´s ministry, and it´s perfect for this Christmas time. Often, the main focus this time of year is on worldly things, presents and such. Matthew too had a focus on worldly things, being a tax collector before Jesus called him. But, as we can see here, he was willing and ready to follow the Savior. When Jesus Christ asked him to follow him, he did say "Oh, I need just a little more time to know about him" or "I want to put away all of my possessions first." Matthew had probably heard of Jesus, but not too much, as it was still early in the Savior´s mission. But he had heard enough, and he recognized the Spirit. So Matthew, right away, stood, left the world behind, and followed Jesus. I urge you all to do the same. When the Savior calls, whether it´s a chance for service, a church meeting, or someone else who needs the Gospel in their life, don´t wait. Arise, and follow him. This is why I´m serving a mission. I want to follow the Savior. And with his example, I will succeed.
Élder Benjamin Murray