Let us review the past week.
It went great! We had to travel to Juiz de Fora to attend the mission counsel meeting on Tuesday. When we arrived in the bus station, who was there to greet us but Irmão Geraldo, one of my most beloved members from Juiz de Fora. Apparently Elder Alexsandro had gotten into contact with him and combined with Irmão Geraldo to meet up with him when his bus arrived. Well, we also arrived at the same time, so Irmão Geraldo lifted Elder Alexsandro and his companion together with my companion and me to his house to eat hamburgers! It was so great! It was a nice welcome to the city.
We had the conselho da missão. It went great! Like I have said before, I love being able to learn from President Cascardi. We talked about how our ultimate purpose as missionaries is to bring people to baptism. There is no way to avoid it. We must continue to invite, and determinedly so, all to come unto Christ through baptism. We had the opportunity as well to do some study activities together from the end of chapter one of Preach My Gospel. In particular, look at the activity that talks about ´erguer a voz de advertência´. I think that would read ´raise the voice of warning´ in English. Anyway, that was a great activity. Really, we must lift the voice of warning. We must go forth as with angels to raise the great cry to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him. If we don´t, the blood will be upon us. Especially look at chapter 33 of Ezekiel. What a chapter! From that point forward, Elder Goes and I decided to have every day be a day of warning. How would we warn someone about some natural disaster? How would you warn someone about a fire in a building? You would do so directly by quickly inviting all to leave the building. We must do the same. We know the consequences of sin, and the day of reckoning is coming. We must then invite all to quickly do that which will protect them against the danger, that is enter into the true baptism for the remission of sins. I know that that is the only way to be saved from the pressing weight of sin. Repent and be baptized and have your sins remitted, then get the spirit´s zeal.
We had our zone meeting this day, that went great! Everyone felt the spirit. As part of the meeting, all of the missionaries had to go out into the street to raise the voice of warning by inviting everyone they saw to receive baptism in the true Church of Jesus Christ. It was a great experience!
We had the opportunity to contact a media referral. It was great! It was a young couple with two months of marriage. One of their member friends offered them the chance to receive the Book of Mormon by sending a referral on the interweb. We were able to contact them. They had so many good questions! They also knew the scriptures well. That is quite uncommon here to find someone in the world who studies the scriptures and still is humble enough to listen to the spirit. I couldn´t even finish the First Vision account before the husband was repeating the end with me as he recognized the words that the Father had used to introduce His Son at baptism. At the end they started asking a bunch of questions about the Plan of Salvation and we started marking a bunch of chapters from the Book of Mormon for them to read. It was wonderful! We are going to return there tomorrow because they had to travel this weekend. Let´s pray that everything goes well! Their names are Arquimedes and Helenice.
Today Elder Goes woke up super sick. He was looking like a 40-year-old man because of his sunken face. Anyway, we taught one lesson and then he informed me that he wouldn´t be able to go on. I agreed. Anyway, we passed by a member´s house so that we could go on splits so that Elder Goes could rest up a little. We went to contact some people, but nothing was working out. We stopped for a bit, and I felt like we should knock the door by where the gente was standing. We knocked and started talking to a very nice woman. She informed us that she had family members who were members of the Church in Juiz de Fora. Come to find out, her cousin is the daughter-in-law of the Irmão Geraldo the gente had visited on Monday. What a tender mercy and small world! It was great! We taught a great lesson, and vamos voltar.
Elder Goes was still sick. We taught a lesson to an ex-Jehovah´s Witness. He liked the message. It was great, but Elder Goes was so sick that he let me teach the whole lesson and only spoke at the end to testify. It was very sad. We then walked around town looking for a hospital that accepts the mission´s medical card. Later that night, I went with another elder to teach our pesquisador who has a baptismal date. We got there right at the moment that he was having a verbal battle with his mom about us. That was interesting. We were able to calm him down and have a good lesson, using the Book of Mormon. I know that that book really is the word of God. It has taught me so many lessons in my life!
We partook of the sacrament.
Sorry, this whole day by day thing took longer than I thought it would. Just know that I love you all! There are so many daily blessings! Let´s each search to have daily converting experiences that bring us closer to the Savior! I know that this message is worth raising and lifting to all of the world. Keep on keeping on. Or in other words, keep a goin´.
With so much love that my arms can´t even reach that far,
Elder Parker Alan Ayer