I don't mean this in a mean way, but ... the week before Christmas and all i got was this little group letter? (written in third person?... mom!?) Thanks, though for the letter- if there had been NO letter i might have cried :-).
Well, sounds like things are all christmasy there, AWESOME! It is hot and humid here, and the only relief is when it rains. But, when it rains, it pours...
so... I sent you a piece of the letter that pres brinton sends every week, the part about “the phone call”! well, what happened is this: right now, i don’t think anyone has invited us over for christmas, so... i don’t know what we are going to do. Also, p-day has been moved to christmas, so i won’t be working until 6:00 PM. (i think that part was in portuguese) , so SURE, you can call me at 9 or 10 AM. I will just be sitting there waiting. :-)
I PROMISE- for sure this time that i will send all those forgotten letters that i wrote and haven’t sent. There are a TON of them! As for the work here- things are slow. We don’t have anyone who is chomping at the bit to get baptized or anything, we DO have a lot of new people that we are teaching along with the few old good ones.
We taught this family yesterday, and the father didn’t really want to participate in the lesson, but we NEEDED him so that we could teach. So we convinced him to stay. He seemed to like the lesson, and at the end we asked him to offer the closing prayer. He had never really gone to church or prayed in front of anyone before, so we helped him with the prayer. It was beautiful, heartfelt and sincere. A rare prayer to hear done here, because it wasn’t tainted with all the “senhor-meu pai”s that the crentes use, and it wasn’t memorized like the catholics. It was truly a man talking with his God, for perhaps the first time. At the end of the prayer, i looked at the wife, who is true-blue-evangelical, and she was crying. She was so excited that her husband listened to something “church-y” and prayed. Her husband was really neat too. Like when we were about to explain about apostasy and move into joseph smith, he stops us and asks: “but why are there SO many churches today? Why don’t they teach the same thing? Isn’t there just ONE jesus, then why does everyone talk about him different?” we said that we had just the answer for him; that a young boy once had the same questions, and that was why we are here. Truly, it was a lesson different that most. Later the wife too, softened and said, in not so many words that if HE would follow this church, so would she. And they have a pretty big family too, so it was a great day.
So, that scripture that you sent was the scripture of the week for me [scriptures on charity]. I am always thinking that there has got to be something more that i can do to be a better missionary, and we always read about how faith is necessary to be the kind of missionary like alma and his brothers, to move mountains, and more importantly to move people. But, like paul says, all this and no charity, it means nothing. I can love and desire to help ALL of the people in my area, i can try to develop the faith to be that instrument of power for the Lord, but if i can’t truly love my companion, it is all in vain. So, i am working on it.
Tomorrow we have interviews. I LOVE interviews, and it is so sad to see missionaries that don’t like them. Missionaries only are afraid of the president if they aren’t doing their best. Because, the best is all he asks, right? It just kills me to talk to missionaries that DONT UNDERSTAND. But, love right?, that is the answer.
So, i gotta scram, talk to you on Tuesday.
Love, elder helland
Letter from Elder Everton (Adam's companion):
hi helland family . thanks for the letter . i have one brother and 5 sister . but only my youngest sister and i are member of the church . i was baptized to almost 4 years ago and i ´m so happy to be a member of the church of jesus christ . i love all my mission and i´m very close to finish my mission but the best part of the mission is when you see a person that you helped been baptized. i ´m so grateful unto the lord to have this opportunity to serve a mission . have a good merry christmas