Sunday, June 22, 2014

Poco tristeza, mas vamos continuar! (May 19th)

Oi Família!

This week was another week of tough work in the mission field. Elder Marcondes and I are entering into a lot of houses and teaching a lot of people, but we´re not seeing a lot of progress with too many of our investigators. Actually, we cut pretty much all of the people we found last week. We kept 2 or 3, but they didnt go to church. Getting people to go to church has to be one of the hardest things in my life! People will use any excuse they can find not to go to church. Saturday night, we called all of the people who told us they were going to go to church Sunday morning, and all of them confirmed they were going. We went to all of their houses sunday morning, and none of them answered the door, or they told us they werent going to go. It was definitely discouraging after this week of hard work to see none of the people go to church and ultimately progress. Obviously the Lord is seeing something that we´re not seeing. We did all that we could do, and nothing happened. We really just need to keep working and hoping and having faith that the Lord will do his part. 

(Editor's note: This was actually pretty ironic since we also had a hard time getting Connor out of bed and to church on time many Sundays!!  Glad he now sees the importance of this!)

Its funny how the Lord works. As soon as I start studying or learning something that I know is important, I see little tests throughout my day or week of the thing I´m learning. For example, last transfer I was studying faith and patience for a couple days. We encountered more moments than I have ever seen in my mission of people rejecting us, and were left only with the faith that we were going to teach someone. Of course with faith, you need patience because without the patience, you´ll get discouraged after the 3rd attempt of trying. Pretty much all of the moments like this ended in us teaching someone, only because of faith and patience. 

So as I was thinking to my self ``Why is this so hard?´´, I remembered that Elder Marcondes and I were watching the talk that Elder Holland gave where he too asked this same question. He says ``Why is this so hard? Why 
doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joininthe Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trusin miracles. Why don’t peopljust flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionarwork that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. have thougt about this great deal. offer this as my personal feeling. am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap experience.Salvation never was easy.´´
This talk is absolutly incredible. He goes on to say that if missionaries can have an appreciation for the atonement of Jesus Christ, it will carry them throughout their mission. What a testimony I have of this. I have so many things to be grateful for. The Lord has called me to serve Him, and I am. How great is this calling! To be a representive of the only perfect missionary this world knew. I know this work is hard, but I also know that what I am doing is of the Lord. I have no right to complain when I truly have been given so much.
I love you all so much! São Marcos is still ghetto, but I love it here. Thank you for your love and prayers. 
Elder Stallings

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