Monday, October 20, 2014

Understanding the Atonement

Hey Guyz,

As always, I´m so grateful to hear from you all and the wonderful adventures that take place back at home. Ever since I´ve heard about it, I´ve been dying to see the new "Meet the Mormons" movie that recently came out. Jealous.

I´m planning on putting together a Christmas package for you guys. What do you want? Is there anything brazillian that you´ve always wanted or that you want me to include in the package. I´ll try to have it sent by next week. Brazillian postage is so unpredictable :(

So this week.... was tough. One of the toughest I´ve had my entire mission. Since we´re opening this area, we arrived with a teaching group of 0 people. Starting from the ground up, and at the start of this week, I did a fast that way we could find people to come to church this past sunday. I´ve never worked so hard than this past week. My companion, is a bit special. He has social problems and doesn´t have a very good memory, so I´ve learned a lot of humility being with him, but I´ve taken on about all of the responsibility on my shoulders. Planning, most of the teaching, just about everything. And it hs been overwelming. Unfortuntely, even though we had 5 investigators who said they´d be at church, we had none. Even after passing by their houses on saturday to confirm their visit, calling sunday morning, and even passing by some of their houses. I felt like a failure during all of the church meetings and have been really self-critical.

I´m been feeling really lonely lately, and negative against myself. I´ve been praying a lot, begging for help, but it just seemed like nothing was working out in the end. But as I entered my email today, I read a super touching email that Marlon sent me (The man we were teaching in Maricá whose wife was reactivated). He thanked me for teaching him and shared breifly the difference the gospel made in his life. He included pictures from his baptism last saturday (The 11th of October, the Saturday after I left Maricá). Words can´t describe the joy and happiness I felt hearing his brief testimony and seeing the pictures from his baptism.

Even though our life is full of dissapointments and trials, we can always have certainty that our Father in Heaven is watching over us and cares for us. Even though I haven´t found his elects in Bangu yet, I felt comfort knowing that the work I did in Maricá helped the branch grow there a lot. I´ve truly learned how to understand the Lord´s atonement in my life, and I wanted all people to have this same knowledge. As a representative of Christ, I know it´s necessary for me to pass moments of rejection, humiliation, suffering, even lonliness, for if I never passed through moments like these, a tiny price of what was payed during our Savior´s atoning sacrifice, I´d never have a true testimony of the Atonement.

Please continue to include me in your prayers as I faithfully seek to do good for this people in Bangu. It´s been a tough (and hot) 2 weeks, and I need all the help I can get. I love you all and am happy to have your wonderful support!

Elder Braun
Some sick graffiti in the heart of our area.

We had a churrasco.

This is the email I received from Marlon, who was baptized last saturday in Maricá. I hope you enjoy the pictures! It brought tears to my eyes to see this wonderful family prepare to be sealed for eternity, starting off by following the example of Jesus Christ, being baptized. The Branch President baptized him. I love you all! 

Elder Braun,

Olá meu amigo! fiquei muito triste mesmo com a troca de missionarios. Mesmo com pouco tempo considero você como uma pessoa muito importante na minha vida! Nesta ultima semana realmente eu senti o espirito santo tocar minha vida, vejo a iluminaçao que isso trouxe para mim e minha familia. Espero que o Pai Celestial esteja com voce e pode ter certeza de que a sua missao já é vitoriosa! 

Thank's for all my brother!


Talvez demorou alguns dias para mandar as fotos para vocês, mas aqui são as fotos que prometi. Não sei se Elders Inácio e Floriano falaram, mas eu foi para Bangu! Estou muito animado por você e seu batismo este Sábado. Estou triste que eu não vou conseguir assistir a reunião, mas eu vou estar lá em espírito. Qualquer coisa que você quer compartilhar/falar para mim, pode usar este e-mail. Manda um abraço para a família toda para mim! Amo muito vocês.

Elder Braun

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