Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011

Ola Familia!,

Como foram suas semanas?! (This means "How was your week?" Guess Jordan is trying to keep up on that Portuguese!) I bet it was great! Or at least I hope it was really good. It sounds like everyone is doing good there. I have gotten so much love and mail and packages from everyone this week. Thank you so much it is way awesome! A real missionaries dream! And thanks mom for sending Elder Bezona that package he really needed that and I know he is super grateful to you for sending it to him. He didn't grow up in the greatest home environment and just a little boost now and again can really perk up a missionary and help the work.

This week we had a zone conference with a General Authority, Elder Ringwood, he is a member of the the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was such a great experience! He gave us some great counsel and it gave me renewed strength to do better and to always improve. I have quickly discovered that missionaries are not perfect, including Elder Bezona and myself. I always have looked up to missionaries and thought of them as the best people on the planet and now that I am here, my eyes have been opened. Elders and Sisters truly have to improve everyday. I can see the difference in the Elders like Elder Ringwood told us are consecrated servants of the Lord and ones that are just merely going through the motions. And I see how Satan works on everyone, even missionaries! But it is how much power you allow him to have over you that determines how much you love your companion, the work, the mission. The Dallas Texas Mission has some Elders that are just straight up amazing missionaries and I love seeing them and feeling their spirit and how they carry the Spirit with them all the time. I feel sometimes lost out here in a sense. I wonder sometimes if I have the Spirit with me or not because I should always have it and the more I have it the more I get used to having it so it is hard to really recognize the Spirit sometimes for younger missionaries like me. An experience that I would like to share with you this week was when I was on exchanges with Elder Thatcher. He is my Zone Leader and one of those missionaries that are just incredible! Our appointment with an investigator "punched" (fell through) Elder Bezona went on splits with another missionary that evening. I being the companion that stayed in the area, was the Senior Companion so it was up to me to figure out what we could do from 7-9 that night. I have not really taken charge of scheduling what we were going to do out here yet, so I guess you could say I was kinda nervous and flustered because the appointment fell through. Elder Thatcher asked me what we were going to do and we just headed out. We visited one part member family and a less active family before we could find anyone to just let us in. So after hearing, "we are too busy tonight" and "come back next week," We were guided by the Spirit to the Nuttall family. I have never met them and they were unmarked on the ward directory, so I didn't know if they were active or part members or recent converts. They let us in and we sat down and talked to them some and I felt like it was time to share a message. I was kind of flipping through the scriptures and I opened up to 2 Nephi 31:19-20 and read them that scripture but something Irmao Perry, my MTC teacher, showed me was to put an "almost" in front of each thing you have to do it really put everything into perspective. It reads in 20:

Wherefore, ye must "almost" press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a "almost" perfect brightness of hope, and "almost" a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall "almost" press forward, "almost" feasting upon the word of Christ, and "almost" endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall "almost" have eternal life.

We cannot afford to just "almost" do what the Lord has commanded. We must "do it" if we want to have the blessing and reward of eternal life with our Heavenly Father in the highest kingdom. The Nuttall's are a good family. They are well rounded in the gospel and are teaching their girls good things, but we ended up finding out that they have not been attending church that often. After the lesson we snacked on some candy that they gave us and said goodbye. As we got into the members van that was taking us around Elder Thatcher said to me, "that lesson was inspired." And when he said that it blew me away. I realized that the lesson and scripture we shared and bore testimony of ( p.s. I have started to call it testiMONEY now ha. cause only good comes from a pure and honest testament of what we believe) was sent from our Heavenly Father and the Spirit told me where to stop in the scriptures and I read the lines. I have been really struggling to know and recognize if I have the Spirit with me always and in that instant, in that 30 minutes that we were in that home the Spirit guided and directed me, to know where I needed to go in my scriptures to help these people, and all it took was for Elder Thatcher to help me recognize that I do have the Spirit. I am realizing now that my Heavenly Father is answering my prayers and he is doing it in a way that I get more out of it, through missionary experiences such as I had with Elder Thatcher at the Nuttall Families home. I can truly see how my Father in Heaven has his hand in all things.

By the way Brittney got baptized!!! It was so amazing and the Spirit testified to me that what she was doing was right and what her Heavenly Father wants her to do! After she was baptized, and I'm sure I will never forget this, she walked up the stairs and I was a witness and she looked over her shoulder at me ..... and she smiled. I have NEVER seen someone look so radiant and pure in my life. I love my Heavenly Father and I don't know why he consistently has mercy on me because I do so many things wrong but I knew at that moment in time he was smiling down on her and I. Just like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 50: 22

" Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
I guess I thought I was the one preaching and she was the one receiving, but I see that Heavenly Father preached and I was one that received, soo much.

I love ya'll! ha

Elder Brown

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