Monday, August 1, 2016

Letter #50

Dear Family and Friends,

One thing that's struck me recently is how many people don´t know about Christ or His plan. I am eternally thankful for you, my parents, who have taught me these truths. One person we've been teaching recently, Estephanie, lost her dad a couple years ago. As she learned about the Plan of Salvation, and how not only people can live again, but can be together as a family after this life, she could not hold back the tears. She´s very, very excited to be baptized, and we are excited to help her.

I've learned that there is always opposition when we are on the right path and becoming better. One recent experience underscores that. A family of recent converts has of late been visited every single day by their old pastor who has accused and verbally abused attacking their new beliefs. As we've tried to help them, I've wondered and amazed at their faith, and am reminded of Pres. Uchtdorf´s quote that we should, "Doubt our doubts before our faith." They've had questions brought on by the crazy accusations, yet have chosen to have faith.

I´ll admit I was a little hesitant to start up more classes as they can be tough to teach, (and I wanted a break) but, we´re starting back up this week, due to the demand here, with an English class, and a piano class. It's interesting that I feel like I've been exceedingly blessed in terms of piano playing here. I never played very well before the mission, yet without practicing, have gotten much better, and find it a joy to pass my knowledge on to others.

Sunday, our attendance went up, to 52. Yet, sadly, we are not close to being a ward. I think I've commented before, but the women are much stronger than the men here! The Relief Society is full, and Elder´Q quorum is empty. It's something that we as missionaries are constantly trying to help with. Find more potential priesthood holders. I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting, about having a pure heart. The Rio de Janeiro temple has started construction and will help many people here be able to go to the temple for the first time, and frequent more often.

Olympics start this week! We've seen some people in the street selling the Olympic coins here. The set of 16 coins, along with a book, sells for 250 reais!!!! It's crazy! I don´t think people realize you can just pick the coins up at the bank for 165 reais.

If I have said it already, I´ll say it again. The Book of Mormon has the power! I've been much more dedicated in reading it in Portuguese recently and it helps so much with the language. When I was reading it the first time in Portuguese, I noticed the difference, and then stopped reading, and honestly my Portuguese went down. So I've made it a goal to keep going this time, because it really does add another dimension.

I´ll share one part of my talk that has given me lots to think about. It comes from the classic story of Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. All through out my life, I´ve wondered how someone could do something like that. But the thought recently being, we often do the same things. We have a divine birthright and when we sin, are trading that birthright for momentary pleasure, or money, or perhaps simply cheating on a test. Don´t trade!!


Elder Schenewark


Bachland :) said...

My day has been brightened and my life made better! I do so love reading these weekly letters.

shirlgirl said...

Loved this letter, as all letters that Hunter writes. He is really loving his missionary work.