Monday, April 28, 2014

Going back even when you're not welcome.

April 21, 2014
I really am enjoying training Meu Filho (my son) Elder Costa e Silva. He´s from São Paulo. Like many of my companions, he excited to be the first missionary from his family. I am grateful for his Child-like attributes of love, patience, and kindness he shows for the people. He has already taught me much. 
This week, while searching for people to teach, the name of a past investigator came to mind. I was hesitant to visit this investigator, she was someone I was teaching when I first got to Barrieras. She had been going to church, reading scriptures each day, saw miracles in her life, bore her testimony to me and expressed her desire to be baptized. 
Yet, somehow the faith she had, had turned to doubt. She began canceling appointments, lying, denying everything she once claimed to be true, and asked for us to not come back. 
I didn´t go back for over a month, yet, this week I felt compelled to return. It was difficult for me. I did not think we would be let in, but I felt these words ´the savior goes back, even when He knows they will reject Him.´ I thought, there´s no possible way I could be more forgiving or merciful than the Lord, and If I´m willing to go back and try again, so is He. 
Through expressing our love for the investigator and the Lord, hearts were softened and we were let back in. 
I know that Jesus is the Christ. That He walked with apostles serving and blessing others. And He still walks with us. He spent His time showing people that they matter to Him. Those who were judged as terrible sinners and unworthy of His presence, but he reached out in love and mercy for them. His love is unchangeable. Whether we feel worthy of it or not, it´s always there. And He´s willing to forgive as many times at it takes. I am often astounded of the Love God has for us, I feel it in each hug I give and receive. I feel it for each person I speak to.
I have come to believe that the repentant sinner must suffer, should suffer and feel sorrow for sins, to bring about a change. This suffering is not punishment. Sometimes we face challenges and problems because of our own mistakes. Other times we face hard times, like Job, or many prophets, or even like our Lord, some challenges, whether physical, mental, or emotional are not always linked to sin or lack of faith, but rather that we may learn to become more like Him. The Savior who suffered everything, when we suffer a little we can chose to develop His character becoming more humble, meek, loving, patient, faithful, ect.  
I was sick one night this week, perhaps I ate some bad food or something. I went through the tough night, trying to get rest to get better. The next day I asked Elder Gonçalves for a priesthood blessing, with the amen the stomach cramp stopped and I was healed.
Never doubt the faith you do have. Miracles do not produce one´s faith, but at times miracles do affirm one´s faith. 
I love you so much. I may not be able to fully express the Love I have for my family here, but I am so grateful for who I am becoming because of my amazing parents, sisters, cousins, family, and friends. Ate maís, com amor Tchau. 

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