Monday, April 7, 2014

Conferência Geral!

Steven Braun

1:03 PM (13 minutes ago)
to me
This is a photo of Elder Evans and I with quite possibly two of the greatest people I´ve met in my mission, Aguinalda and Rogério, my dear friends from Alcântara

Hey Family!

Sorry this email is coming a tad bit late. Elder Evans and I had to make a surprise trip to the mission office this morning because Elder Evans had to sign a paper for the police about his visa. So a lot of our p-day was spent doing that, spending lots of money to travel there, and we are just now having a chance to reado and write emails. But with an awesome weekend like what we just had, there´s no need to complain! This weekend was an awesome experience for me. One full of tons of inspiration and uplifting moments for me.

First of all, you all probably didn´t notice, but during the sustaining of new general authorites, in the section where they sustained the new area seventies, we all had the opportunity to sustain Elder Geraldo Lima as a new area seventy. On Friday, he was a mission president in the Rio de Janeiro Mission.... well, to be honest, he still is our mission president. I kid you not! Check it out and watch the reruns of conference! We´re all super excited for President Lima and his change of responsibilities as he finishes his time being our leader here in  Rio. In other news, I did receive a package from home. A small one, which I assume to be my birthday package, so I´ll wait to open it next Friday. I just thought you ought to know that it arrived :)

I also had the chance to watch conference in (drumroll please).... Alcântara!!! The chapel there is the only one in the stake with a satellite capable of receiving the transmission. So I was able to see all of the great members in that ward and visit them again. I watched all 5 sessions there (Priesthood session early on Sunday morning) and in English too! I think my favorite talks that really inspired me were the ones by Russell M. Nelson about faith, Dieter F. Uchtdorf about ´´Are we sleeping through the Restoration?´, and M. Russell Ballard speaking about following up, all important principles we need as missionaries. But let´s be completely honest, they were all very magnificent, and it wouldn´t make sense to state that one talk was better than another.

Mother, you asked if I had been doing tracting here in Maricá. To answer that question, I have an awesome experience to share that Elder Evans and I had. First of all, yes, we still knock doors like normal in this area. Houses here are still similar to those of other areas, in size and such, just that the city itself and streets are cleaner and safer. We were knocling some doors close to the church building. Actually, we were ´´clapping´´ doors since it´s more common down here, and an elderlyish lady answered with her daughter. Their names were Cremilda and Maria Jose, and they invited us to share a message about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we were sharing the message, they initially seemed relatively uninterested and didn´t show much desire to participate, but instead only listen and enjoy what we taught. However, as I shared the history of Joseph Smith, how he decided to pray to ask God which church on the face of the earth was true, along with the words of the first vision, they immediately opened up in tears and smiles. Maria Jose said that memorized words of the first vision that I said seemed as if God himself was talking to her. Cremilda also showed her desire to attend church, and keep our invites because this week, she was talking to her husband about the need for them to find the right direction in their life. She interpreted our visit as an answer to her prayers and asked us to visit again. So those women were a great miracle that we enjoyed and needed here in Maricá. We'll certainly revisit them soon to see how they liked the Book of Mormon. All from knocking doors.

Do you remember Marcio and his family that I mentioned last week? We had a very difficult and rather sad experience with them this week. Marcio has a strong role in another church, but was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints about 20 years ago. When we followed up after our first visit, he was a totally different person, saying that he didn't want to change his path as of now. He said when God tells him that what we´re teaching is true, he´ll return back to the LDS Church, and wouldn´t let his family visit without that happening. We were sad, but thankfully he´s still a very nice man and invited us to visit him again. We´ll be patient with him, because we have hope that he´ll understand God sent us to him because God knew he was ready for us.

Let´s all take a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the words of our prophet and apostles and other general authorites this week. I loved how M. Russell Ballard invited ALL MEMBERS to study Preach my Gospel in their homes and in their daily/weekly studies. I don´t know how I´d do this wonderful work without such a wonderful tool as it, so if every member is a missionary, it makes sense that everyone should study that great resource. I love you all and wish you the best!

Elder Braun

All of the Elders in our zone. That´s right. No sisters here. Only madness.

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