It’s hard to have a better week than general conference week! I can’t believe it´s October general conference already. I remember watching last October’s conference in the CTM, and then watching in April with Sister M. Ribeiro. April doesn’t seem six months ago! Conference was great. I am excited to study the talks again!
I was extremely excited to find out about the change to the policy on witnesses. A tender mercy to hear about the change from my Mom in my birthday call to her (not to mention the tender mercy of being able to use webcams and call with more frequency!!). I always hope people will progress to baptism, because it is an essential saving ordinance. Being able to possibly witness such a baptism only adds to that hope!
There were many wonderful talks. I especially loved the talks about the importance of joy as well as missionary work. As a long-time fan of The Hobbit, I was also a fan of President Uchtdorf’s talk. On the subject of joy, today I read part of the book about President Hinckley as a prophet. There was a quote about how every day in missionary work is a good day. Apparently he shook his companion´s hand and said “Today will be a good day” when they left and “Today was a good day” every day when they got home. I guess that’s true in life too — every day is a good day.
President Nelson’s talk reminded me of how many blessings we have. What a blessing not to go hungry — and a huge responsibility to help those who are! I thought it was interesting that he didn’t invite us to do anything as part of the talk. But I think there was an inherent invitation to act. Those statistics about hunger are an invitation to act!
Although we had more people than normal who said they would go to conference, we did not have a lot of actual success. But Ana Luiza went to church! Ana Luiza is a 12-year-old who I met a while ago with Sister Sousa. A different missionary later saw her in his area and contacted her. She told him she was already being taught! Because I ended up working in two areas and she doesn’t spend much time at home, we didn’t manage to see her for a while. But now we are teaching her again and she went to conference! Also, she became ecstatic upon receiving a Book of Mormon after having read part of the pamphlet of excerpts on the Book of Mormon: “I’m not managing to believe you are giving me a Book of Mormon!”
Aline did turn out to be a great investigator. She is interested and kept all of her invitations. She didn’t go to conference and we aren’t sure why, but hopefully everything goes well this week!
We are also teaching Ana Carolina and her family. Ana Carolina became excited about the Book of Mormon in our contact with her. She said it would be her birthday present because we promised to give her one on our visit the day after her birthday. We are also teaching her brother and mother. She almost went to conference but was sick the day of. She had some questions about how Joseph Smith could have seen God. There is lot of confusion about this here–people think that no one could see God. That kind of makes sense, except that the Bible also says that Moses spoke to God face to face and that John saw God and Christ in a vision, just like Joseph Smith did. That helped her with those concerns, although she still has doubts about prophets. But she hadn’t read the Book of Mormon yet, so I think it will help a lot. Also we invited her to watch conference online so I hope that works out!
This week we are going to do a service project and help Monique (the missionary’s mom) paint and clean her house.
This week it has been getting hotter every day. It is not winter anymore; not even close! People keep telling us it will just get hotter! Next week is transfers — I will find out if I will be in Recife in January (i.e., hot hot hot hot hot) or somewhere else! It is inspiring to hear President Houseman talk about how he receives revelation to transfer missionaries. I´ll go where He wants me to go —- o´er hill or beach!