Tuesday, January 12, 2016

O Começo do Novo Ano!

Below is Elder Olivier's letter he sent on January 4th:

Hi everyone!

I feel like I´m starting to say the same things over and over again in every single email, so I´m sorry! But we do pretty much the same thing every day. It´s weird though, because every day we do the same thing but every day is also so different. Some days are super spiritual, some days are funny, some days are sad, and some days are weird. All days are hot. And during this part of the year, all days are really rainy. Which is awesome because when it´s raining it´s not that hot!

So, finally the holidays are over, and everyone isn´t visiting/travelling/drunk/sleeping (actually, people are always sleeping here. We´ll go to someone´s house at any time of the day and someone there will be like, "that person is sleeping." I think it´s because there are so many hammocks here). 

Also, this week Elder De Castro and I will start teaching an english class! It´s going to be sweet! Literally everyone here is interested in learning english. Also, fun fact: Dora the explorer here speaks portuguese and teaches english (yum yum yum yum yum. Delicious!). I always blow peoples´ minds by telling them that Dora knows spanish too. Who knew?

So, with all the confusion with the holiday season, this week has been pretty interesting. And we have only a few investigators who are progressing. But, this week is going to be sweet for sure because we have a ton of new people to teach. 

So, my mom (thanks Mom!) sent me a really awesome quote by Jeffrey R. Holland (actually, almost everything Jeffrey R. Holland says is a really awesome quote) about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and how it is almost obvious that the Book of Mormon is true to those who take the time to read and study it. And because the Book of Mormon is true, Jesus is the Christ, God is our Heavenly Father, Joseph Smith actually restored the church of Jesus Christ on the earth, and the priesthood is actually the authority on earth to serve and act in the name of Jesus Christ. Here is the quote:

"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” 11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.” 12

I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days.

Brothers and sisters, God always provides safety for the soul, and with the Book of Mormon, He has again done that in our time. Remember this declaration by Jesus Himself: “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived” 15 —and in the last days neither your heart nor your faith will fail you. Of this I earnestly testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I have never known more in my life the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. If you haven´t read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again. It is true.

I hope you all have a great week! I love all of you so much!

Elder Olivier

Elder Olivier and his companion, Elder De Castro, in front of the Manaus Temple!

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