Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Do You Have Faith?

Hi Everyone!

Have I already mentioned that I love Brazilians? Haha, this week we were in the grocery store and a woman had the coolest Brazilian shirt and I told her I liked it. She got so excited and told me to wait right where I was standing. I was confused, but obeyed. She returned a couple minutes later wearing a different shirt with the Brazilian shirt in her hand, and gave it to me. She said it was a gift, and I was laughing, because I couldn’t believe what just happened! Long story short, I bought the shirt from her because I felt bad, and we talked to her and got a reference for other missionaries! The next day my companion and I were walking and we saw a man and we decided to talk to him. He was saying that this was the best day of his life because he was talking with two princesses in the road and similar stuff, and which was hilarious, and we were just trying to teach him about the gospel. We weren’t succeeding, but we were able to get an address and plan a day that we could pass by his house. Then he pulled off his glasses and handed them to me! He said that he wanted to give them to me for a gift, and I said, "But sir, you can’t see, and I don’t need these glasses”, haha! I tried to give them back and he wouldn’t let me. So I left with a pair of glasses as a souvenir, and still really confused. I have so many stories about these people that crack me up. The people here are so great, and the members of the church are true pioneers. Because the church is relatively new here, everyone has a conversion story, and everyone is making huge sacrifices to continue to be firm in the faith and they don’t even realize it. One recent convert was sitting next to me during Sunday School, and as they were asked to open up there bibles to read, he pulled out one of those cardboard bible story books for children. When I saw that my heart was just so full. I am so lucky to be here with these people.

This week I have been really focusing on faith. I started reading the New Testament and have a goal to finish it before Easter (probably my favorite holiday). I am able to see how the Lord is able to work and serve the people through the power of faith. I have learned that faith is believing and knowing, but it also is doing! When we have faith we think and act differently. We have hope that our Heavenly Father will bless us when we are obedient, but also that, through the Atonement of Christ, we can become better with each passing day! Most of us understand that the Atonement is for the sinners, but I am not sure that we understand that the Atonement is for the saints … for good people, who are obedient, worthy, and striving to be better. When we have faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, we CHANGE.

We were teaching a first lesson this past week with a young adult man, and we started teaching about the restoration of the gospel (my companion and I agreed on that). When I started teaching I felt such a prompting to not teach this, but instead to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t know how I did it, but it was a 180 degree turn from what I was talking about, and my companion looked at me wondering what the heck I was doing. Soon he became emotional and said that the message we shared was exactly what he needed that day as he was going through some trials. We invited him to be baptized and he is committed to change and have more joy in his life. It is funny, because half of the time I am here I feel so unpredictable, like I have no idea what the Holy Ghost is going to prompt me to do or say. All I know is that I am going to do it, because I am able to see the blessings that come to these people through the influence of the Spirit.

We set some really, really high goals for ourselves last week. When we started the week, we were already feeling a little daunted, because we felt like there wasn’t enough time in the days to reach our goals, but we were determined and we prayed and prayed. When Sunday rolled around, the last day to accomplish our goals, we worked and worked, ran and ran from place to place. When we got tired we would just look at each other and say "voce tem fe?" and continue on. I can’t count the miracles we saw on Sunday, the small tender mercies, as we accomplished our goals. Our head hit our pillows by the end of the day and we said a prayer of thanks. I know that when we have faith, everything is possible, but we also have to do our part as well. Faith is a perfect brightness of hope; that we don’t need to rely on our own strength because we already know God’s endless power and mercy. My faith is truly growing and I have more hope and trust in my Heavenly Father than ever before. I know that while I am working here, being obedient and doing my part, I can EXPECT miracles. The same is true for all of you as well. When we have faith and hope we won’t just endure; we find joy in our journey home to our Heavenly Father!

Love you all!

Sister Vance

No comments:

Post a Comment