This week we met our new mission president and his wife. They are adorable. And American. Sister Richardson is trying really hard to speak Portuguese. She uses a lot of gestures. President Richardson speaks quite well... but it's still a pretty dramatic change from the Portugal-Portuguese accent. We had a Zone Conference with them this past week. We're now trying to take this mission to the next level. I like changes because everybody gets reanimated and wants to get better.
I'm figuring out how to pray. I think that that may be the lesson of my mission. When I went to the temple I felt like I learned how to pray. And ever since then I keep learning new ways about how to pray and each time I feel like now I understand how to pray... but it's really exciting. Because I never was very good at praying. I'm learning! I loved Ether 3 this week. (I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese! Sister Teixeira in my Nova Força meeting challenged us to read it in 60 days. I finished today. Day 56. I might have read the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi in English... But the rest was Portuguese!) But about Ether 3. It's the Brother of Jared when he sees the finger of God... and always when I read that story before I thought "oh, what a nice story. He had faith and found out that the Lord had a body." But I didn't really apply it to me.
So I read it a couple of nights ago before bed and realized that there had to be more to it than that... so I prayed asking help to understand what more there was... and in the morning I read it again and it all made sense! So this is what I learned... I want to be like the stones that were touched by God and shone. I want to teach by the Spirit and reflect the spirit. And how many stones were there per boat? Two. One pair. Like a pair of missionaries. That light up the boat of our area. And what were the stones like to be prepared for this change? They were pure and white. So I have to pure. But also I want to be helping other people be these stones and be touched by God. So in another sense it's like we're the Brother of Jared. He went to the mountain (temple...and if you don't have a temple you make where you are a pure place...). And he prayed. Like we need to pray. And verses 2-5 have his prayer. First he acknowledged his unworthiness to pray, but he knew that it's a commandment to pray. Then he expressed his heartfelt, soulful desire that his brethren not be permitted to cross the deep without light. So as missionaries we need to be humble before God, recognize that we can't do the work alone. And have our only desire be that our brethren not be permitted to go through this life without the light of the gospel. And we need to have faith that God has the power to give this light. And THEN we can see the finger of God making the difference in our lives. And that is the greatest miracle... recognizing the power of God. That the Brother of Jared saw how the miracle was wrought. And we as missionaries will be blessed to reconize how the Lord is helping us do his work. That's what I want. And so I need to pray in Faith to recieve this spirit. There's a part of Preach My Gospel that talks about this Pray in Faith in Chapter 4. The only way we will have the spirit is if we pray in faith. And the Brother of Jared gave us an example of this. He also had a specific plan for the Lord. That's another part of the Prayer of Faith. That we think a lot about what needs to change to solve our problems and we promise that we will do our part if God will just make our part effective...That's the part of the prayer that Elder Bednar taught. I'm so excited by what I learned!
And time is up.