Monday, July 25, 2011

Esta semana!

Até que em fim tivemos um batismo! We finally had a baptism after so much time. Jonathan was baptized on Saturday and it was wonderful. It has been a long time since we´ve had a baptism but I really liked something our zone leader said the other day. He told us that the wards which we´re serving in will be much more appreciative of an empty baptismal font for a long time and baptisms every so often of people who are elect and will stay firm in the church, rather than having baptisms every weekend just to have them all go less active soon after. (did that make sense?) He basically told us not to worry about numbers. That really made me feel comforted. When you really forget about the NUMBER and focus more on the people. Jonathan is so elect and we feel privileged to have been able to help him prepare for his baptism. The promise the Elder gave held true too because yesterday we had lunch with the second counselor of the bishopric and he said that very thing! That there was a time when the missionaries here were having soo many baptisms. Unfortunately many of those individuals chose not to remain in the gospel. Obviously we all have our free agency, but for this reason there exists a special preparation BEFORE baptism, oh better I like the word conversion.

As missionaries its our job, our privilege to find those who are or ready or are willing to make the changes necessary to be baptized. It´s an important and essential covenant that we all need to make. It´s a commandment! Even the Lord Jesus Christ, who was perfect, was obedient to Heavenly Father and was baptized. I love being a missionary. I may not convert a nation like the sons of Mosiah, but I can do my part and help the individuals while I am here!

-Sister Peck

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Deus é um só

I have never had more appreciation for other faiths until I became a missionary. It´s our "job" to talk about religion so we interact with people with various beliefs on a daily basis. It´s interesting to me that many will smile and reply "Bom Dia" to us while others simply look at us strangely. The Brasilians have a phrase that is very common to hear here "Deus é um só." or "There´s only one God." And it´s true, we really are all worshiping the same God and doing the best we can to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is so easy to find the good in every religion. For example, I always admire the Jehovas Witness for their dedication in proselyting. There are members of some faiths here that have strict rules about how to wear their hair and what to wear, and they follow! It´s very impressive to me. No matter where we are or who we are talking to we always hear "Oh because those people believe blah blah blah....". We find ourselves defending other religions and ask "Have you actually visited their church to know for yourself is that true?" I was impressed with a young man who came to church on Sunday for that reason! He belongs to the 7th-day Adventist church and was reading a book about religion. When he read the part about his church he told us that everything was a lie. He thought to himself "Hm, if all the doctrine about my faith is wrong, probably everything about all the other faiths is too." So he decided to find out for himself and he showed up at church! I told him "Wow, good for you because usually NO ONE does that. Unfortunately they just listen to the gossip that others spread and believe anything."

We were talking to another young lady we are teaching and she said "We study religion in my church, you guys believe, blah blah blah and this religion believes blah blah blah" She then said a lot of mean things about other faiths and their beliefs. I asked her if you had a question about your math homework would you go to your English teacher? She said "No of course not, my math teacher." We explained that it should be the same way with religion, if she has a question she can ask us, or about any other faith she should ask the member of that faith instead of discussing and ridiculing other religions in her church. I asked her if she thought thats what Christ would do. If we try we can really learn a lot from everyone. We can look for the good in everything that other religions practice and their doctrines. Truly "everything good comes from God" and all is a preparation for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have made so many friends from other religions and I am grateful! I have learned so much and have gained so much respect for each and every child of God, no matter what their beliefs. Deus realmente é um só and His love for all of His children is infinite!
-Sister Peck

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weekly Email

I read an article in the Liahona (Ensign?) this week that was written by a man who served first in the war and after served a mission, in about 1948. The story was beautiful. Times were so different then. Instead of just knocking doors to prosylte, they had to knock doors to ask for food and to even find a place to sleep! But they were positive and had great attitudes and were blessed for their efforts, I´m sure the difficulties faced in the war had a lot to do with it. It made me feel very spoiled even as a missionary to read about the DAYS when they went with out food or baths or at least the peace of mind of a warm bed waiting for me at the end of an exhausting day. I love being a missionary. There are a lot of highs and heaven knows a lot of lows. It is one incredible emotional roller coaster but I wouldnt trade it for the world! The lessons I am learning are priceless and could never be learned anywhere else. The opportunity to serve and to feel pain and heartache for others like I have never before felt is a new concept for me. Every day we explain to people how a mission is a preparation for the rest of our lives, marriage if you will, and really it is! My hope is to put into practice every thing that I have learned here in these short months. Even if the tag comes off, the call to serve still remains!

Our little elect Jonathan is as great as ever. He makes us so happy and puts more confidence in us that the Lord is truly preparing people to hear the restored gospel. His eyes literally glistened when we spoke of a living prophet "Really??," he said. He accepted the invitation to be baptized without hesitation, stopped drinking coffee the very day we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and told us that he can hardly wait for our visits to learn more and for church on Sunday because of the sweet spirit he feels. The Lord loves and knows Jonathan.
Sister Pedroso is as amazing as ever! Sometimes it scares us how alike we are, yet we grew up in a completely different country and culture. I love her so much and miss her incredibly already. Hope everyone has a wonderful week and até semana que vem!
ALEX!! CONGRATS ON GOING THROUGH THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!! I sure hope you take the marvelous experience seriously and fast and pray before in order to truly feel the unexplainable spirit that truly abides in the literal House of the Lord. I sure wish I could be there but know that I am praying for you and know that it will be an unforgettable day. I love the temple!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Birthday Sister Nowling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!