Late at night my companion and I were on our knees praying, and my companion asked an inspired question ´what is the greatest thing I could learn on the mission?´The answer came, was ´To Become.´
We then began to discuss and receive revelation. We spent about an hour of excitement writing down impressions and getting back on our knees asking if there was more. But in short, we learned the greatest thing we can learn here is the process of how to become. If we learn to become, we can learn to be whatever the Lord would have us be. All the rules and life-style are to help us become missionaries. We are to become humble, faithful, charitable, patient, and all other good things. The word BE COME means literally through the atonement of the savior we change. BE COME is the past tense or the after affect of us living the savior invite to come unto Him. How do we become? We become when we are willing to sacrifice everything we are for that which we could be. We, through Him, can become a missionary, a spouse, a parent, a church leader, successful, most importantly we become like Him, our fullest potential. Become as God is.
Our purpose is to invite others to COME unto Christ, so that they (and us) can BECOME like Him, through us arms where we are WELCOME. (As Joslyn once taught me, we are welcomed at all church meetings to become)
It is the moment we decide to do something, that we start this process, and give our will to His.
We aren´t accepted of Lord when we are perfect. We are accepted once we decide to act. ´Decisions do determine destiny.´ (Thomas S. Monson)
This transfer has been so amazing. I have changed so much, I feel more confidence, love, and joy. We´ve been focusing on the less-actives here, once we learned there are about 150 active members and over 600 inactive. As Gordon B. Hinkley said ´If they are worthy of baptizing they are worthy of saving.´ One has told me that here in our state of Bahia, there are enough members to have 2 temples by now, if we could just active the members we already have. The closest temple is far away in another state, so let´s get going! We´ve been creating good relationships with active members, who take us to the homes of inactives, I have come to know on a much deeper level the power of the Atonement of Christ through the sacrament as I often pondered why we go to church. I bear witness of that divine sacrifice, I know He gave his body and blood for each of us, we can´t give up, we must be strong, because He was.
A 55 year old woman named Angela was baptized 8 years ago, months after seeing the amazing change the baptism of her daughter Ana had done to her. Angela struggled with an addiction to coffee before her baptism, but over-came and told us at her baptism she felt amazing, so clean, and uplifted. But, later, fell short and began to feel unworthy to take the sacrament, returned to drinking coffee, stopped going to church, stopped reading scriptures, etc.
We asked her if she could feel the same way now, that she felt at her baptism, she said she couldn´t and asked why the Lord would do that, and leave her. We told her, that the Lord never leaves us, it´s us who leaves him, and then we try to fill our lives with sins to fill in that emptiness we feel from the lack of His presence. We testified and read of his love from the Book of Mormon. Than we invited her to repent, to quick drinking Coffee in the moment and return to church. She responded she would try. But as Yoda once said ´Do or do not, there is no try´ Because just saying I´ll try, shows doubt, and doubt and faith can´t exist in the same person.
We gave her a blessing for her pains and for strength. After which, she was smiling and expressing how good she felt, like she use to feel. We asked if she knew why she felt so good. Then tears filled our own eyes as the spirit spoke through us and said ´It´s because you´ve been forgiven of all our sins, go and sin no more. ´ She then answered in her own tears, that she will. There was no word of doubt when we invited her again to quit drinking and get to church, that she would.
Among others and amazing miracles. there is a family very close to my heart that I love greatly. That is Gilson, his Wife Luicana, and their 5 kids age 11 Samira, 9 Yasim, 6 Ruan, 4 Mateus, and a few months Samuel. Gilson was a less active, who isn´t married to his wife. He use to be really strong in the church, but fell away. He thought things were all good, he had lots of friends, drinking friends, and party friends, soccer friends.
His leg became infected, nearly having to be taken off. Was in the hospital for 40 days, without any visit from his so-called friends. Just his family, and other good Christians who invited him to return to church. Humbled. He has returned, and we´ve been visiting his family nearly everyday. Samira and Yasim were baptized yesterday. We love them so much. They live at a bottom of a massive hill down by the jungle in a dangerous area. They live in a small one room brick home, just months ago, they had nothing and slept on the floor. But now with beds and never lacking food we are grateful for the Lord Blessing them. It´s tough for Gilson to make the walk to church, with his still very infected leg, but He does it every Sunday, and promised us he will until the day He dies. He and his wife are working on marriage papers, because she wants to be baptized as well. They are family to me here.
The other is a photo of Gabriel who was baptized last week.
I love you guys so much. I love you mom, I enjoy every email each week, and with excitement I tell my companions and others your primary stories, each time we feel the spirit. I love you dad, the greatest role model I could have is you. As I have felt the mission has prepared me for parenting, I often reflect on how kind and generous you were to me and sacrificing for my wants, but without spoiling. I love you Joslyn, I think you did a lot of the package, and I´m so grateful for your testimony. I love you Nate, I treasure every word of advice that you learned on your mission, send more. I love you Kendyl, I know you´re just being amazing and I love your personality and humor. I love you Rayna, I´ve never seen a more loyal friend (except for Toby) I love you Sienna, you´re just awesome, how´s the braces? I love you Lilly, I´m grateful for your angelic prayers for me. I love you Dylan, your friendship and support means the world to me. I love you Seth, when I think of pure in heart and intention you come to my mind. Also grateful for my Grandparents, other Family members. And friends, incluiding Moranne who has been a ray of sunshine and support as well. With love, (and that´s about all the word love I can take for the day) Elder Pollard