Monday, July 18, 2011

Investigator visits...and pictures? Oh no.

Part 1: Doing things a little differently today. We´re here early today so that the senior companions can enter in our numbers for the last while. I´ll spend a bit of time here telling you about my week. Then you can email me so that later today I can reply to your questions when we come back here.
This week was terrific. I´m getting the language more and more. It´s difficult because, for instance, there´s eight different rules/exceptions for how you form a word in the plural. The word de means of but sometimes it means to, at, in, on and a hundred other things. There´s no word for would but there´s a specific word ending that means "I would..." So instead of saying "I would like" you say Eu gostaria. The more I learn, The more I realize how clueless I am about this language but It´s beautiful and I´m realizing more and more how much I love it.
This week we met a family of two parents and a son. And *HIP-HIP-HOORAY* They are married! We commited them to baptism and I think they are very special and will be terrific members of the Church. We just talked to Ondina about keeping all the commandments and she seems commited and is progressing as well. There´s another family with a man, a woman and four daughters who aren´t married. They are progressing and we will be having a wedding for them at the church. Everything was going smoothly but on saturday we visited them with a member and they had visitors of their own. Their visitors were an evangelical pastor and his wife. The pastor just sat there not saying anything and watching tv. We had some small talk with the investigators and then asked if we could share a message. The pastor calmy said he´d be glad to hear the message as well. Then we asked for an opening prayer and the investigator thought it would be a good idea for the pastor to pray. The pastor humbly replied "oh no, no...I couldn´t" We said "Oh no that´d be great" He agreed. He stood up and started "praying" shouting and pounding his feet and COMMANDING blessings and said our Lords name about thirty times then sat down as though waiting for us to congratulate him. He then proceeded to monopilize our entire lesson, yelling and yelling. We couldn´t share a scripture because he said that it had to be inspired and we had to just open the book and read it. So we just flipped open to a random verse and started reading. He grabbed the bible as though he was the one authorized to read it and went on another rant. It was such a dark,ignorant thing and our investigators were, I fear, getting swept up in it. We tried to finish our message and leave. Then the wife of the pastor said "Elder, can we share our message with you?" We said "some other time perhaps." She said "it´s very short" so we for some reason agreed. Her "message" was her bursting into song and it was very uncomfortable.
We still have hope for these investigators but It´s so hard sometimes doing this work. People think that they have the truth but really they know not where to find it. Satan wants them to think that they need no more light, that they already have progressed and are already saved. The Lord said we cannot be saved in ignorance. We´re trying very hard to spread His gospel.
Many others are progressing and we have many baptisms marked. I love this Church, I love these people, I love Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. We can´t do any of this without them.
Elder Hanson 
Part 2:  Hope that you´re doing well. Unfortunately Raissa doesn´t come to the door when we knock for her. We still try sometimes if we´re in the neigborhood but we´re taking a break. It seems she doesn´t want to hear from us right now. It´s tough because If you had asked me about her a few weeks ago I would have thought things were going great. I know she´ll accept the Gospel sometime. In the past few weeks we have had a lot of success finding people. Still trying hard to make sure that everyone comes to Church and keeps up on commitments. We have a lot of hope. Speaking of hope, In Portuguese the word for hope means the same thing as wait. So if you say let´s wait it can mean "let´s wait, having hope". This week when we taught that married family, we finished our first message (The Great Apostasy and where the Lords Church is Now...Find out NEXT TIME!) and the son chatted with us afterwards. We were invited to have dinner with the family two days later. But after the dinner invite he said with a smile "I´m waiting for next time". He really has been waiting/hoping his entire life for this. We came two days later to eat with the family and commited them to baptism. They trust us and we´re working with them. They will be a great family.
Everytime that I walk the halls of the Church I feel like "I need to fill these halls!" I´m trying very hard. I know that I´m growing and becoming a better instrument in the Lords hands. The Lord is also preparing our investigators. I had a few times this week where I kept thinking about how I´d never be confident with the language. I really do grow in leaps and bounds with it but I was getting frustrated with it. These past few days have been great though, I´m understanding and I was able to start a few lessons in Portuguese. I´m really starting to be able to teach. The more I learn the more I realize I have a long way to go.
Pictures: Guess what. That cord you sent me for the camera looks like it would fit but it doesn´t so ... no pictures until you send me a different one.  [AHHHHHHHHH!!  -Joy]
I love you guys!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Elder H, Glad to hear you're in Santa Maria! It's very uplifting to read your letters & neat to see the pictures (hope you get to send more now that you're in the field). I'm sharing your mission experiences with Dawson. We continue to pray for you & the gospel to be shared! ~Love, Julie (ps, does Elder H get to read comments or should I send letters instead?)