Monday, July 20, 2015

96 weeks- where has the time gone?

Hey there everyone =)

Yes, we are just weeks away, and I have no idea how to describe how it feels. I honestly don't think it's hit me yet that I'm going home. I know that I am, and I know it's soon, but the emotional aspect hasn't hit me yet. I'm scared for that moment haha. It will be a tearful goodbye to Brazil. I didn't cry a single tear leaving home, but I'm sure there will be many shed as I go back home. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited, but scared out of my skin too. Every time I talk to someone, it's, "you go home so soon Elder!" or "are you excited to go home Elder?" The reminder is daily. I don't feel like it will be hard to adjust to being home, but there is a chance. Yes, we came on our mission to come home from our mission, but that doesn't mean that we want to, it's just one more thing we have to do. Like I said though, I really am excited too, even though it will be sad =)

Our week was pretty good. We didn't baptize, but did find a baptism for this week! I think I told you guys about Louis (the 79 year-old man who is partly deaf that I baptized), well we're going to baptize his ex-wife. She has to be about the same age as him and has been a Catholic her entire life. We started teaching her and talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end). She asked, "but I was baptized when I was a baby, does that still count, or is there another baptism?" We explained that her baptism as a baby was great because it already gave her a reason to follow God's path and to believe in Him, but that baptism should also be something we choose. It shouldn't be forced upon us or given to us without our understanding or knowledge of it. It will be much better in the final judgement to say, "Yes, Heavenly Father, I was baptized because I wanted to be and because I chose to follow Thine plan." The Spirit was really strong and she obviously felt it. She then said, "okay, then I want to be baptized, if there is a "right baptism" I want to be baptized." It was awesome! She has been Catholic her entire life, but the Holy Ghost testified to her that our message is true and that she needs to be baptized in the same way that Jesus Christ was baptized. 

We also went to the temple this week. It was great! I'm going to try and go one more time before I go home =) While we were there, we had a little bit of time before our session, and so we just sat there and enjoyed the peacefulness of the temple. President Souza, the first counselor in the temple presidency, came over and began talking to me. He asked me to share a scripute with him as if he were an investigator meeting us for the first time. I shared Mosiah 2:41. He thought about it for a second and then said, "Elder, I can't imagine how many times I've read that scripture, but it hasn't ever stood out to me in such a way. Isn't that amazing? Isn't it marvelous that our ability to learn and understand scriptrues is like that? Sometimes, we just have to hear it from someone else for it to all come together." He then shared with me that every year he tries to set a goal of reading the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. He said that this year he read them all in 40 days! We talked for a few more moments and then he said he needed to go. It was a really neat experience to talk to him and he said the same about me. 

I also taught an English class for the community. It was awesome! There were about 15 or so students and they seemed to really like it. I was trying to get their ideas and opinions on what they wanted to learn, but everyone was too shy to say anything. So, I thought to myself, "what would they like to learn," and the idea came to me: how to pray. Brazilians are almost all Cristians, and they all like to pray. I asked them if they would like to learn how to pray, and almost all of them said out loud, "Yes!" Haha, I love them and their faith =) So, that's what we learned. It was fun to teach and they seemed to really like it. If I didn't love the United States so much, I would come back to Brazil and be an English teacher, it's really fun to do and pays pretty well here. Don't worry mom, that won't happen =) I will be teaching another class today for another 15 or 20 students! 

Other than that, the week was just normal. We are trying to find even more people to teach and I know the Lord will provide a way! I'm just going to keep on working hard! Last interviews with President are in two weeks, and then we're headed out the door. Can't believe the last day of my mission (the last working day) is three weeks from YESTERDAY. I have no idea where the time went, but have enjoyed every minute of it!

I love you all and can't thank you enough for your prayers and support!

Elder Sanderson  

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