This week has been awesome. Everyday there have been miracles, but I especially enjoyed yesterday. We headed out early to bring some investigators to church. First we stopped by at some recent converts Gabriel and Hanatan, they were baptized just before I got here, but they have basketball training on Sunday mornings and haven´t been to church for weeks, Hanatan still has not been confirmed. They understand the commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy. They have a testimony of the church, yet, still play basketball on Sunday, rather than go to church. We just are not sure what more we can do to help them. I am open to ideas or suggestions of how we might help them. On Saturday, they told us they would go with us to church on Sunday, but they were not home, left to play basketball. So we went to a family that we had found this week after praying that we find a family to teach. A father a mother and 2 teenage boys. Awesome family, but they too failed to keep their commitment to us and they were not home either.
Luckily, we told quite a few investigators that we would come walk with them to church, but one after another they all fell though. We were now an hour late, hoping to just get one person to the last hour block of sacrament meeting.
´I don´t get it! We are not doing anything different than I was beofre the last transfer and we had lots of people at church!´ My companion exclaimed ´He´s trying to teach us something, the Lord is trying to teach us to be Christ-like. But what´s Christ-like of having no one keep their commitments?´
Then, the spirit taught us when he asked. In short I learned, that it was patience, hope, and certainly charity. It was staying the same happy, merciful, joyful, grateful, and loving person, regardless of circumstances. That is Christ-like! Being the same kind and patient person in the bad times, as we are in the good times.
Elder Driscoll was going to give a talk on the Book of Mormon, his goal was to wake people up, in a loving, yet firm way, leave them feeling desire to repent, to get fired up about the work and the sharing of the Book of Mormon. We had an idea to go home an bring 2 cases (40 copies each case) of the Book of Mormon to church, so that the members could grab afterwards. We were hesitant, our home was far from the chapel, and those cases were heavy. (Just a side note there was a mistake in the office, and they sent our home 90 cases of the Book of Mormon to our home. That´s 3,600 Books of Mormon. The lord expects a lot from us or something. They are stacked up to the ceiling and take up a large part of our home, we used them for our tables and chairs, we even once pulled a prank and sealed the other elders in their room with a wall.
We went home, I actually dropped the case my companion handed down to me, forgetting how heavy it was. (If it really is 10 pounds added to your wife for dropping a Book of Mormon, I´m toast, because I dropped that box) Don't know where this urban legend began but for those of you who don't know it's kind of like... Break a mirror have 7 years bad luck. Drop a Book of Mormon add 10 lbs to your future wife.
I remembered a line from a poem Rayna had sent me, in which the savior says ´I remember how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my back.´ Just then, my companion quoted ´Whosever will come after me, let him deny himself,and take up his cross, and follow me.´(Mark 8:24)
With these heavy boxes on our shoulders, in the humid heat of Bahia, with our ties on, we quickly began to sweat a lot as we walked across the city. It was a spiritual highlight for the both of us, because in that moment the spirit came, and bore record of our Savior.
I could distinctly and clearly picture the savior as I walked, as He walked a path much more difficult. Having a heavy cross slammed on His back, stumbling with his steps to move forward. Tears filled my eyes, as I thought, just moments before He had thought about me when He was in the Garden, bleeding from each pore. Now, walking a lonely path, in which none were with him. The imagery I saw was deeply impressed on my mind and soul, that I know I alone could not have just imagined it.
I feel so grateful, for all the people who had given their lives to preserve the Book of Mormon that we might have it. Because it was by this very book, I gained my witness of the Atonement in my life. It gives a powerful witness of His divine character and sacrifice. I too like Lehi can say ´ The Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell, I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in his arms of love.´
The goal of Elder Dricoll was accomplished, the members after sacrament meeting went rushing to the table we had set up outside with copies of the Book of Mormon, and grabbing them for their friends they so desperately wanted to help. To the point, that we soon ran out, and then they came to us asking for more to give to people.
Till next week.