Monday, January 19, 2015

The Peak is in Sight!

My district with our Zone Leaders- lunch at Irma Iara's who remembers all of the missionaries who pass in the area including me.
The peak is in sight! Thursday makes 1 year that I've been on the mission yea! Lots of memories and emotions thinking about this past year. But working hard doesn't give a lot of time to enjoy the view from the top, haha. As for one year traditions there are some elders that burn a shirt (tie 6 months, suit 2 years) but I think that's crazy! haha so I'm just gonna take some commemorative pictures and maybe get a pizza... 

So its been a month since I've arrived here in São Pedro but it still feels like last week or something. This Friday we will hear about transfers ooo someone here is getting the feeling that he is gonna leave, haha. I just told him not to get sad when nothing changes because I too thought I would only stay 3 transfers in my first area. 

This week has had some blessings and other opportunities to be grateful (for challenges). There is a video called "The Atonement in Missionary Work" (translation? in Portuguese its "A Expiação na Obra Missionaria"). The video puts together two talks, one from Pres. Eyring and the other from Elder Holland. I remembered one quote in particular this week from Elder Holland: "As missionaries you will have many opportunities to ask: why is this so hard?... [Its] because SALVATION ISN'T A CHEAP EXPERIENCE!" in his awesome Elder Holland.Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Missionary Work and the Atonement"  (Click here to hear a brief message) So when we meet with investigators who have so much potential fall to temptation again, or for the hundredth time didn't come to church, or when the sun is going down and we are just praying to find someone who will listen I remember this phrase and it gives me comfort. Because, as Elder Holland explains, if this wasn't easy for the Savior why would it be easy for us? 
When the bus broke down on our way back from a District meeting

Besides the times for spiritual endurance and tests of patience Elder Alvarenga and I have also received some out of the blue blessings. Like after lunch one day getting 20 references from a member who will go and visit some of the people with us. Or at the end of the road when that last person we are searching for isn't home but the neighbor who we talked with has a brother who is a member and reads the Book of Mormon  for comfort and was very receptive to our message. Sunday was the best one, in the second hour an elderly lady and her husband came to church. We had talked with them only once for a bit while Elder Knowles (DL look at the pics) was with us and he used their bathroom. So we told her about the church and she said she would make a visit (like everybody else also says). But she actually came! and we gave a class about the organization of the Church that Christ established on the earth and testified of the restoration of this organization today with a living prophet and apostles. And she was like "My church doesn't have that... I feel that this is true. So if I wanted to leave my other church and be baptized here could I do that?" haha of course! So we are going to go back and talk with her more about it this week :)

Love you all and know that I'm praying for ya!

Elder Pierce
Our District Leader (Elder Knowles) spent a day with us

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