Monday, July 7, 2014

Well NOW things are really heating up here!!!

One of the 2014 Brazil World Cup Practice Stadiums

Hey everyone! Well it is that time of the
mission again which is.... Transfers! I am being transferred!! Usually we are transferred on Tuesday but something happened last Friday that changed that. I am sure all of you soccer fans know what that is... BRASIL HAS MADE IT TO THE SEMI FINALS IN THE WORLD CUP!!! Well NOW things are really heating up here!!! It seemed like Brasil was celebrating the 4th of July!!! There were Fireworks and loud noises. We even had people throwing fireworks that look like sticks of dynamite on our front door. The celebration was great!!! We also had a BBQ with the Relief Society President and that was awesome.
On Tuesday we had an interview with our new Mission President, David E. Young from Salt Lake UT. President Young is way cool, hilarious, and a SPIRITUAL GAINT!!! I am so excited to get to serve with this Man of God. He really is an amazing man! After meeting with him we were able to talk to Marly who finally accepted our invitation to be baptized. She was baptized on the 5 of July. It was super spiritual! Just as my friend Elder Jeremy Thacker said in one of his emails, that he remembered Christ explaining the importance of baptism to Nicodemos:"
John 3:3-5
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

Elder Thacker says that he was touched by this 77 year old lady who was born again through the waters of Baptism just as sweet Marly, the 54 year old lady we have been teaching here. Both of them were able to be 100% clean again by excepting Christ’s invitation to "Come unto me.. [and] be perfected in HIM". Marly will now be the key to the rest of her family! She brought her daughter and one of her grandsons and they all seem to be really interested and excited in her decision. I hope that they will accept the invitation as well.

These were the highlights of the week. Every missionary will have difficulties and trials in their mission but the blessings that we find are so worth it! This morning during my personal study I studied the talk given by Elder David A. Bednar titled Converted unto the Lord. In this talk Elder Bednar talks about the difference between conversion and a testimony. Elder Bednar gives us the invitation to do all the things that the Lord has given us, to always have the Lord in our lives that way we can ALWAYS have this conversion with the Lord! He states that
“Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection we need. Some members of the Church with testimonies have wavered and fallen away. Their spiritual knowledge and commitment did not measure up to the challenges they faced.”

I have always said that I want a testimony when I leave my mission that will never break but after reading this talk I have changed that thought to be that I want to start a conversion that will continue for the rest of my life starting with a firm foundation, being my testimony. I know that the Lord lives and that this work that I am doing is so important! I love you all and again want to thank you for all of the love and support you give to me.
Love you,
Elder Stilson

Here is the link to Elder Bednars conference talk I studied for those of you interested in reading it.

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