But, as you may have noted, my rhyming skills are still going strong.
1) Good to See You Again- On Sunday we had the pleasure of seeing some very unexpected presences in church. As I may have mentioned, we work in the branch together with a companionship of sister missionaries. Often we trade references based on which neighborhoods are part of our area.
The first surprise was Geraldo: we'd taught him a couple months ago the first lesson, but he never came to church, and we ended up dropping him. Miracle of miracles, the sisters had contacted him in the street, he insisted they visit him at home, and accepted baptism. He showed up at church alone on Sunday, and will be baptized on the 30th. The other was a contact we'd made in the street, then passed to the sisters. He came along with two friends, and also accepted baptism for the end of the month. Missionary work is that much better united.
2) Family History- This part is going to make my dad happy. This week we had an emergency mission leadership counsel about...family history work! And how we can use it more fully to improve convert retention and reactivation. We returned to the area and immediately put it to the test, talking about genealogy with all of our recent converts and other less actives. The Spirit of Elias is catching here in Ipatinga.
Speaking of this, I'm feeling it as well, perhaps most of all. So, in a call to all my relatives out there, I need stories! I have all the dates, but I'd love to hear stories about the lives of my grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. So feel free to send them to me via e-mail. Truly this vicarious work is tied to missionary work, though we seem to separate the two more often than not.
3) Teach the People- This week we truly sought to teach people, rather than fall into the regular routine of lesson after lesson of the same thing. It takes a greater effort, but the results are considerable. The Spirit is powerfully present in lessons such as these. The most noteable was to a family that we've been teaching which seemed nearly ready to give up. They were tired and unsure of what to do. We taught a quick lesson on Tuesday night before catching the bus to Belo Horizonte that changed everything. We simply followed the Spirit and spoke the words that the Lord put in our hearts.
The next day, the family appeared at an activity in the church, excited and smiling. They told us that our visit had been an answer to prayers, and that they had never felt before the way they did during that lesson. And they informed us that they had full intent of becoming members of the church.
I love being a missionary. I love doing the Lord's work and acting as an instrument in his hands. I love you all. There are two types of people in this world: those that act, and those that are acted upon. I constantly strive to be the first.
We are children of God. We have so much potential to live up to. Let's try a little harder to be a little better.