March 3, 2014
Dear Family & Friends,
Thank you so much, Mom. I probably could have bought one here, but I appreciate it. It is a mattress cover, right? Like a thin sheet with elastic? Not a huge pad like I had at home? Because I probably won't have room for it in my suitcases if it is. Sorry, I should have been clearer. I am glad to hear my mission is influencing even people in Oregon. And Thank You Mom, for being a missionary.
Vitória truly is beautiful. And our mission is special. Every mission is special, but there is something different here. It is not a coincidence that the mission is called "Victory" and the state that this mission covers is called "Holy Ghost" in Portuguese. Thanks for that scripture in Alma it is very insightful. President shared with us Doctrine and Covenants 104:82 that talks about the Victory. The theme for this mission is Doctrine and Covenants 128:22 "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" It's pretty sweet. I've been thinking a lot about something my companion said in a lesson the other day. He said something like, "We only receive the blessings for the commandments we keep." In reference to the Atonement, we only receive the true blessings of the Atonement when we keep the conditions of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Those are the conditions the Lord set when Jesus Christ became our creditor and great Mediator. I think it is wonderful you get to talk on this subject. It is perhaps the most beautiful doctrine in all of the gospel. That bad men and women can become good, and good men and women can become even better. I have reflected again and again on a statement I heard in the MTC. Elder Bednar was quoting Elder Neal A. Maxwell, something to the effect of, "The infinite Atonement would not have been possible were it not for The Character of Christ." Also, in Kansas, Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy spoke to us. He said something like, "When we heard that Jesus Christ would be our Redeemer we all gave a huge sigh of relief because we knew His Character. We knew He would be good on His word. We knew of all of God's Spirit children, He would fulfill His promise." So, when you teach these youth, I hope they can feel the Spirit to truly understand why the Atonement was important. While entire volumes alone have been written on The Atonement, and I don't think we can fully comprehend it, we can at least gain an appreciation and deep and abiding Love for It. Something also that may help is a talk I read this morning from General Conference "Teaching With Power and Authority of God by David M. McConkie. Maybe this can help.
Thank you for that scripture, Mom. I hope You know you made me cry :')
I am glad you got to go to "A Casa Do Senhor" and Thank You for the experience you shared with me. Boy, do I have stories to tell YOU when I get home.
We had Stake Conference, too! Isaaque (our Elders Quorum President) gave a good talk on the Rescue. He said, "It's easy to think it's not my problem. But brothers and sisters it is always our problem."
I'll try and take more pictures of us this week. And please send me some. This is a two-way street :) But I promise. This week I will.
I Love You All. I Love The Leaders the Lord has blessed me with in this mission. Elder Alexandrino, Elder Williams, Elder Johnson, Elder Richards, Elder Quiroz. I will Always Love You. It's All True.