Wow what a hectic week this was for us. To start it all off, we had a three-day training session take place for all of our trainers and district and zone leaders. So all of them went to another city and they received all of the new training from Salt Lake while the rest of the missionaries had to take care of the areas. We spent the majority of our time escorting missionaries back and forth from our area to their area to do a division with a member because we can´t leave them alone. We didn´t have near as much time to teach this week as we have had in the past, but somehow, we still were able to get a lot of opportunities to teach. The training kind of threw things out of whack for a while, but I know that it was necessary and the Lord took care of our areas. I know that He compensates for us when we are doing what He has asked.
As everyone knows, this weekend was like Christmas for missionaries! Haha General Conference was absolutely amazing! I have literally been waiting for Conference since the last one ended in April. I love to hear the words of the Prophet and Apostles because I am not a very good at setting my own goals, but they always seem to say something that I want to improve, so they basically set my goals for me. The thing that I was most excited for was to finally watch something in English! They usually set up a TV in another room for the American missionaries to watch in English, but can you guess what happened this weekend? The satelite signal from Salt Lake was only picking up Portuguese and Spanish. I was pretty bummed because I am still not completely fluent with Portuguese and I didn´t want to miss anything important during the talks, but I didn´t have any other choice. I said a prayer right before the beginning of the first session on Saturday to ask for more help with understanding the talks in Portuguese, and when the session started, it was like a light bulb had flicked on or something. I was understanding almost everything they were saying! I missed a few parts of the talks because I have to be paying extremely close attention to pick up everything, but for the most important things, I was completely in-tuned with the message the Apostles were trying send. I know that it was only by the help of the Holy Ghost that I understood as much as I did. I would like to share a few of the things that I learned this weekend with you guys.
I loved Elder Ballard´s talk about the fishermen. I think this should´ve been Grandpa´s favorite talk (haha). But as a fisherman, you have to know which bait will catch the certain types of fish. The exact same concept is applied with Satan. He knows what our weaknesses are and he is a very good fisherman. He will use exactly the right bait to try to lure us to committ sin. Our goal as children of God is to never submit ourselves to the temptations of the devil. Anything that looks dangerous our goes against the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, STAY AWAY! The only difference between a real fisheman and Lucifer is that the fisherman will let you go, but Lucifer won´t. Trust in the teachings of Christ and you will never be snared by the bait of the devil. And if you´ve already been caught, Christ has given us a way to return.
I also loved President Monson´s talk on Sunday morning. We have been given so many blessings in our lives and if we can recognize how blessed we are, we are opening the windows of Heaven to pour out more blessings upon us. Our job is to recognize our blessings and show our utmost gratitude for everything! Gratitude is very important. Stay as far away from jealousy and pride as you can because they always drive away gratitude and bring bad thoughts. Always be thinking of someone you can thank or something to be thankful for, and then SHOW your gratitude to them. You never know when it will be too late to say "thank-you" or "I love you" to someone who deserves it.
I´d like to take advantage of this opportunity and put into practice what President Monson has asked us to do. I love you all! Thank you so much for everything you have all given me. This is to my amazing parents, step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends! There isn´t a single day that goes by that I don´t think of my family and friends and all the things that they taught me. I don´t want to be the person who waits to show his gratitude to those who deserve it, so this is to all of you. Thanks for being my support and teaching me how to deal with my stuggles with a smile on my face. I have the best family and group of friends in the world and I wouldn´t trade you all for anyone else in the world. I couldn´t have picked a better group of people to live with here on this earth and forever with Heavenly Father.
Hope you all have a great week! Remember the things that we learned this weekend and never stop trying to improve yourselves, because that is what life is all about (even though you´re already purty darn awesome). I love you all! Até Mais!!