Monday, February 8, 2016

Feb 8th - Guy on a Horse

Oi gente!

This week was pretty good in general. The other group here in Itajubá baptized a woman named Sylvia that was Miss Itajubá one year in times long past. She had a lot of problems when she tried to stop smoking, but in the end she made it through with the help of the Lord and the other companionship. They actually found her on accident, when Elder Fossum and I were going to find people to bring them to church one Sunday morning. Elder Fossum was still new in the area, so we knocked on the wrong door, and Sylvia came out. Later that day they started to teach her. Knocking on that door wasn´t an accident, it was the Spirit. This week I went to Campinas with Elder Cruz to watch the mission leadership meeting, seeing as Elder Cruz is our district leader here. It was really cool, I got to see the big city and I got to sort out some lingering problems in the mission office. They also upgraded our cell phone which was sorely in need of an upgrade. We walked a ton this week and knocked on a lot of doors, but in general the people weren´t very receptive. This week is/was Carnaval here, so everyone just wanted to party. We´re still working hard though and pretty soon we´ll find some people willing to make commitments. Brazil continues to suprise me. It´s both super modern and weirdly backwards at the same time. I saw a guy riding on a horse down the main street, iPhone in hand, with his dog sitting on the back of the horse behind him. Needless to say, it was epic.

As far as spiritual experiences go, I´ve been really enjoying reading the book of Isaiah. It´s got a lot of good prophecies about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and it´s really good to use on spiritual matters. Since we´re basically always talking about Jesus Christ and focusing on the Spirit during our lessons, I find a lot more depth to Isaiah than I did back home. I also found some good advice in the book of Matthew, chapter 13 verse 9 "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear". This is an invite to the whole world, because all of us have ears, but at the same time, it´s a much deeper lesson than that. We need not normal ears to hear and understand the Savior´s teachings, but spiritual ears. He always spoke in parables, because in parables, we need to really focus and ponder on the message, and it becomes deeper and deeper, and we get more and more out of it. Sometimes, our ears are clogged with wax, or the things of the world, and this prevents us from truly hearing. Other times, we don´t use our ears, willfully ignoring the Savior´s message. All of us need to open our ears, use the gifts we have been given, and really ponder the teachings of Jesus Christ. I´m striving to do this here on my mission, and I´ve really learned some truths that I need to improve on. This week I´ll strive to be a better person and missionary, and with the Lord´s teachings at my side, I will succeed.

Elder Murray

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