Monday, April 27, 2015

Sheep Searching

Hey Guysz,

As always, it was another wonderful week for Elder Neuman and I! We´ve got one more week in this transfer to work together. Next week, we´ll have transfers again, and it´ll be my last one before I get transferred to Spokane.... whoaaa. I´d be surprised if Elder Neuman and I end up staying together, which makes me pretty sad because we get along super well, and we´ve been able to make a big difference in this ward that was having very little succes with respect to Missionary work before I got here.

Question: On one of those balloons you sent me (you know, the ones with the messages written on them), one said "A=L+SE". I know it´s been a while since I´ve done math, and it happens to be my favorite subject, but I couldn´t figure what it means! Help me out? Also, on a completely unrelated subject, I was wondering how much money I have in my checking account. If you could let me know by next week, that, too, would be fantastic!
GOOD NEWS! We have a new ward mission leader! I think the bishop was getting pretty overwelmed with all the responsibilities he had in the ward. Other than his duties as bishop, he took over as the young mens president and in charge of the ward missionary effort. He has definitely got to be the most dedicated bishop I´ve worked with in all the wards I´ve served in during my mission, but we´re happy with the new brother who has been called. He lives on the house on top of ours... literally! so having a meeting with him requires nothing more than us yelling "AIRTON!!!!". We´ve been given a list of 20 names from the area presidency of inactive members whose location had been lost, but now they´re found. Together, Elder Neuman and I with Airton, we´re sheep searching, bringing that one lost sheep to join us in our fold of 99. (Interesting how our attendance at church was 99).

The very first family I taught when I arrived in Bento Ribeiro was a slightly elderly couple, Roberto and Eulalia. After teaching them many times without them being able to come to church, we decided to leave them in our area book. A few weeks, months passed, and they stopped us in the street and wanted to know why it had been so long since we visited them. We were honest with them, and said we didn´t feel they were progressing any more, but they said they´d do better. Yesterday, with the help of a member, we were able to bring them to church! They also offered to make us lunch on our p-day today! We´re so happy that they didn´t give up on searching the truth, and we´re hoping that we can help them prepare for marriage, that way they can take the next step closer to a life headed towards salvation.

We also found another family this week that is SHOW. Their names are Suelane and Marcio, and they're inactive, together with their 3 daughters. All three of their daughters are married now, to men outside the church, and when we visited them they received us super well. We taught them about enduring to the end, and they felt sad for not having endured after their baptism. One of the daughters' husbands, Thiago, said that he had much desire to visit the church as well! Unfortunately, although we´re not sure why, they didn´t come yesterday, but we´ll definitely follow-up this week to see what happened. They seemed really happy when they said that they´re needing help painting their house and we offered to help them. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks, we´ll be painting their house!

I also gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament meeting about enduring to the end with respect to Missionary work. I used the example running a marathon. After trying and trying to do missionary work as a member, at times it feels as if we´ve hit a wall, and there´s nothing more we can do. Jeff, Bryan, and Mike can probably relate with this metaphorical "wall" you hit during a race. But nothing beats the pride and joy of crossing the finish line, knowing you surpassed that wall and kept on trying. The same will be for us on the day of our ressurrection. How great shall be our joy in heaven when we see the fruits of our missionary work and seed sowing, and constant perserverance in sharing the gospel with everyone, even though it feels like at times we´ve hit a wall.

I love you all so much! I hate how fast the time seems to be passing, and I´m doing my best to end my mission shining. I know that when we pray and fast with faith, Heavenly Father will bless us with opportunities to share our Lord´s Gospel with those who are being prepared in his hands to receive it.

Elder Braun

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