that was this weeks diet. the secretaries in our mission goofed something up and we didn’t end up getting our allowance for three weeks. it was too much of a problem for US, but i had to call all of our missionaries a few times to tell them that they were NOT going to get money for a while- and THEY were not happy to hear the news. i would call and say something like: "ok, I’ve got good news and bad news- the good news is that the church is still true, and the bad news is that you guys aren’t going to get any money for another week." i would then pass the recipe to make a 'vitamina de gelo' - something that i was sure they could afford. (for those of you who DONT speak portuguese, 'vitamina de' could be interpreted to mean ''a shake of' and 'gelo' means 'ice'. HEY,... i thought it was funny, but yeah... they didn’t either.)
so this last week was cool. we did some more trainings and divisions with our missionaries. it is really neat to be able to help other missionaries learn how to be better, and at the same time LEARN FROM THEM!! i think that my favorite experience this week happened this sunday: i was feeling down because we had a ton of AWESOME investigators that we had planned to take to church with us, and then at the last minute they were all falling through. none of them seemed to be at home, even thought we had called the night before and set everything up perfect with them. some of them seemed to be lying to us for some reason or hiding from us. we got to church without ANYONE with us, i was feeling a little sad, because they really were AWESOME investigators. i said a prayer and asked the Lord to take the sadness out of my heart and give me the power to do his work is HIS way and not worry what I THOUGHT. i really wanted to feel the spirit and learn something at church. well, after the first class, one of our investigators showed up, and then i felt a little bit better. he is excited to be baptized and kept on asking cool questions about baptism and priesthood authority. the last meeting of the day is sacrament meeting, and because the stake president asked us to speak in church last week for the funeral of the YW pres, THIS week was fast and testimony meeting. it was really neat, because the whole ward is really tender right now. about two years ago the bishop of the ward died. then a few months after that the wife of the new bishop died. a few months after that some other man in the ward was killed. last december, the family of the 2nd counselor was in a terrible car accident and they lost their one year old girl, and his wife was seriously hurt, and lost one of her eyes. and then our fist week here, our first sunday, this other sister in the ward died suddenly of cancer. SO, this sunday the ward was still really sad. they all bore sweet testimony about the plan of salvation- a VERY REAL plan to these members. then this sister, who lost here daughter recently, got up and bore her testimony. she is the RS pres, and we have been in close contact these weeks trying to find lunch everyday and eating a lot at her house. she had gone to the hospital almost everyday before this other sister had died, and had stayed with her. as she talked, she expressed her sorrow for the family and her love for them. i realized that SHE now has an infinitely greater capacity to help and comfort others in times of trial BECAUSE of the trials the she had passed. her heart is infinitely more capable of love and compassion to others BECAUSE she has already felt that way. that is when i thought of the Savior. i remembered that scripture in alma 34:10- i don’t know that i can really write everything that i learned that day, but maybe most important was the love that i felt from my Savior- the he WILLINGLY suffered so the he can now be able to help me. ... it sufficeth me to say that i was touched greatly in that moment and learned so much more about the atonement of our Lord.
well, you know how it is, time is winding down- let’s see if i can respond to a few of your comments in your letters:
mom: it is funny that you talk about dreams and practicing in them. that is what i do every night. apparently i have taken up the habit on the mission of talking sometimes in my sleep- and ALWAYS, they say i am teaching lessons. i did a division and that missionary said he actually got up to listen to the lesson i was giving to the investigator. sometimes i remember the lessons the next day, but usually i have to hear about it from my comp. :) i don’t know how mother’s day is going to work, but chances are that i will find out first, then tell my zone, and then you. oh-yeah, dangue, that stuff is NOT COOL. elder rhodes already has had it once. it kills about as many people here as stray bullets. (don’t worry, there aren’t TOO MANY stay bullets going around. at least not where we are working. (just kiddin- this place is pretty safe- but is would still be good if you guys prayed for my not get hit by a ... mosquito :) lots of love to the missionary-mom
dad: sheesh- think you can find sadder news to send next week?!? missionaries going home is like someone dying out here!! (well, not really, but it really is sad) tell g-ma that i am praying for them and that they might want to read the Book of Mormon. really, i think that it would be great if they did that. and , why sure, save those clubs for me, and we’ll go golfing... some day. dad, remember that one time when i asked about how YOU decided to be baptized?? the truth is that, to me, there is nothing cooler that being able to say that my dad is a convert. really. love you "dad-da-daddy-o". (quote from 'back to the future I')
POLYCE: whatzup girfriend!! it was totally awesome to get BOTH letters this week. it was like "double the pleasure, double the fun", yeah, just like double mint gum!! and WHOA!!, i am totally stoked to get that awesome letter!! (guess what i found in my suitcase... the letter that i was supposed to send for YOUR bday!!!- well, as soon as i get more money (tomorrow) i am going to have to mail stuff) so, you didn’t tell me... did you let him kiss you at the end of the night ?? :) prom has always been bundles of fun, hasn’t it?!? senoritis, sounds like you got it. in the mission, we call that 'trunky' or 'fubeka'. DONT BE A FUBEKA!!! It’s not worth it. work hard to the end. you know, that jazz. love ya little lady
alrighty-then, im out.
love elder helland