Oh my wonderful friends and family at home. Boy, I love you guys. I say this every week, and I will probably continue saying this until the end of my mission. If there is one thing that you learn above the other things... it is love... Amor! Love for our Heavenly Father, and for everyone around us. For, isn't that the greatest commandment? I hope this week was a good week for you all. It is strange to think about you guys having a nice, slow, and normal week, while I am here and the days pass like hours! Really, this week passed as if there were only two or three days. I remember Monday... Thursday... and Sunday! Everything in-between just kind of disappeared. :) However, I was able to learn lots from this week in many aspects, and strengthen my testimony even more.
First off, I would like to give you guys the updates on Reinaldo and Aline. They are doing wonderful! Earlier, we had been a bit nervous about Aline, because she wasn't progressing like Reinaldo. She didn't always participate in our messages, and she never liked to read or say prayers. This week, we found out that they are both reading the Book of Mormon (she is reading more than him!), and they say a family prayer at the end of each day. Monday night, they found the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" on YouTube, and they watched it together at like 2AM. As we visited them last Saturday, we taught them how to have a Family Night, and they are already inviting other friends to participate! They told us that they are already converted to the Gospel, even to the point that they want to share it with all their friends and family. :) What greater miracle exists on all the face of the earth? I began thinking back to the first time we knocked on their door and saw them, and now to what has happened. Miracles from our Heavenly Father exist. Sadly, they couldn't be at church yesterday, for Reinaldo was taking a shower, and a certain bug crawled out of the drain and bit his leg... he got sick. But he is good, and already is getting better. Here on out, I am keeping an eye on the drain as I take a shower. Anyway, they are still strong for March 15, and please pray that all works out! They are wanting to bring some of the family that lives a bit far, and they are not sure if these family members will be able to make it on this date. I believe that this is the only aspect that could move the date of their wedding/baptism... however, let's pray that all works out!
This week, I have learned a lot about the Holy Ghost and his role in our work and in our lives. On Thursday, we had a Zone Conference, and in preparation for the Conference, I studied up on Revelation, and Reverence. As I studied, I came to know much more about how we can receive personal revelation in our lives. There is a requirement to receive this revelation... We must be living the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. When we are doing these things, the Spirit will touch us and guide us in all things. Before the Conference, I had written down four questions that I wanted answered during the Conference. Through the words that were spoken, and personal revelation, all four of these questions were ansewered. My testimony grew so much on the Holy Ghost! I believe that I am finally understanding how to recognize Him in my life and how He personally guides me. My companion and I had an experience this week that helped us to recognize the Spirit in our work. Yesterday night, we had finished an appointment, and we had some down time before our next appointment. We remembered a family that we had planned to visit the other day, but hadn't worked out, so we decided to go there and see if they were at home. The sun had already gone down, and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. This family lived in a favela, and the area was supposed to be rather safe. However, as we arrived closer to the favela, I began to hear some guys talking. Immediately, I had realized that there were some "secret tradings" going on, if you know what I mean. I began to feel a bit weird, so I asked my companion how he felt about still visiting this family. He, not feeling anything, said that it was fine to enter. So we began to enter. At that moment, a lady who was sitting in front of the entrance stopped us and began asking about the church. We had the chance to teach her a little bit about the Restoration there at the entrance. We left her with a prayer, and I said the prayer. As we finished, my companion said that he was finally feeling that we should leave. I quickly agreed with him and we left that area. As we left, he told me that during the prayer, he had felt that we should leave. Looking back on the experience, I could see that the Spirit had touched me, telling me that we should not enter. I had recognized the warning, but not followed completely. For this, the Lord prepared a special person to be in our path to stop us from entering, and with this, warned my companion that we should not enter. The second time, we followed and we left.
I am grateful for the guidance that our Heavenly Father gives us in this work. He is above all, and He loves us so much. He wants us to be safe and protected. I strengthen my testimony in the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I know that as we listen to the Spirit, we will be guided in all things. We will be living our lives in the way our Heavenly Father wants. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and that the snow starts to melt finally. :) Stay safe and happy! Always do what is right. I love you all SO MUCH!!
Elder Steven Bennett