Sunday, June 23, 2013

April 15, 2013

Ola Família!

I'm still here in Portugal! and its still lovely loulé. Except that its even more lovely now because the weather has changed. and for the first time in my life I am grateful for dayight savings. Its warm when we leave the apartment and the sun doesn't go down until about 8:30 and then its still not really cold which makes it great for talking to people in the street ALL DAY LONG.
There was a massive festa here for some saint or other. There are often festas here. But that meant that the only people who stayed home were people who really didn't believe in saints. Which was cool. We met this guy named Miguel who when we first showed up said that he didn't believe in God, but then we kept talking to him for a while and he opened up a bit more and talked about how its so wrong that everyone goes to worship the saints and that we should only worship God (its so funny how often people who "don't believe in God" have things to say like that) and then he said that if God really existed why didn't He ever come talk to man, why does he only send Christ. Basically he was all primed to accept the 1st lesson so we taught that as simply and briefly as we could and invited him to pray. So when we find him at home today or tomorrow I hope he will have prayed. Because I know, 100%, that Heavenly Father answers every humble heartfelt prayer, in His time and in His way, but He absolutely answers, and that ANYone who prays sincerely to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith is a prophet will receive an answer. Its that sincerely part that gets people, because God is so incredibly merciful that He doesn't give us more light or knowledge than we are ready or willing to receive. He respects our agency soooo much and wants us to succeed sooo badly.
I love this simple explanation in Alma 32 for the question that soo many people have.

17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us aasign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.
18 Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to abelieve, for he knoweth it.
19 And now, how much amore bcursed is he that cknoweth thedwill of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into etransgression?
How merciful is the Lord that He lets the specific direction we need be the part that sinks into our hearts. If we don't have any intention of following the direction He gives to us He only gives us a little and then we can't be punished for more because we didn't know. That we can't see everything is really a huge blessing because it gives us the opportunity to learn a bit at a time instead of being responsible for everything all at once. It makes enduring to the end possible and worthwhile.
Those people who really know how to trust the Lord, who are really willing to do what the Lord wants in that moment often receive the direction more quickly than those who just think it would be nice to know. 
The Lord is preparing people everywhere.(Did you hear how many times the prophet and apostles talked about that in conference, about sharing the gospel?!) Its up to us to be worthy and willing bear testimony of the truths they need to hear wherever and whenever its right for them. And like mom taught me last week: He promises to give us the words in the exact moment, and if its not the right moment their not going to remember anyways :)
I love you all!
Also, Hannah: Andreia is a girl from our ward, she's been a member for a few years now and is the only member in her family. She speaks English really really well (written its probaby less perfect but spoken its completely normal). I told her to go find you on facebook cause she likes speaking english and you like writing people and you're about the same age. So you should just be friends with her and be willing to share you testimony with her too- things you learn in the scriptures- as well as just be a normal teenager cause she's cool and watches shows you like. the end. love you.
Also, as for advice: make the most of your last moments in school and your last summer in Utah (if you guys don't move before then). You won't ever get these moments back, so go help somebody or make cookies for neighbors or help mom with cleaning and try not to stress about that italian.. He will be ok if he's half as good as you say he is. If he trusts the lord and loves his family enough to be working to help them the Lord will teach him the things he needs to know for life with these experiences. Its up to you to learn what you need to know for your life right now :)
Oh and Heather emailed me so no worries.
Also, when you guys move I need your new address to give to the mission office.
If anyone wants to here's the study plan Pres. Fluckiger just gave to us:
In a clean copy of the Book of Mormon, underline the following in 4 different colors:
1. Every reference to Christ (any one of His names or pronouns referring to him or the prophets describing what he did during His minister on earth
2. His words (spoken by Him or by prophets when they say "thus said the Lord"
3. His attributes, and
4. The doctrine of christ (faith in Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism (water and fire), and enduring to the end)
At the bottom of each page, count the total number of each reference you underlined (1-4 above)
Numa cópia limpa do livro, sublinha o seguinte com quarto cores diferentes:
Cada referência de Jesus Cristo (qualquer um dos Seus nomes ou pronomes referentes a Ele ou o que os profetas descreveram o que Ele fez durante durante o Seu ministério na terra);
  1. As palavras Dele (faladas por Ele ou por profetas quando eles dizem, Assim diz o Senhor);
  2. Os Seus atributos; e
  3. A Doutrina de Cristo (vejam o cartão o nosso Propósito e PME p.5).
No fundo de cada página, conta o número total de cada referência que sublinhaste (itens 1-4 acima).

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