So, this last week we ended up having no preparation day because of some organizational changes that were done to accomodate the craziness that was Christmas and New Years. But it ended up being pretty cool. Usually our P-day is just a huge hassel and we never get everything done, so having just a week to work right through the week without thinking about anything outside of our day to day activities was refreshing. We got way more done this week because we started too doing devisions with the adult members of our ward. Because most dudes in the church here are converts and their kids will go on missions but they don磘 get the chance, they get super excited if you bring them along, but even more excited if you split up and let them teach with you as a missionary. It led to a ton of really funny experiences. In one of the lessons I was like ``so, diego, explain to us how you recieved an answer about the Book of Mormon.创 and 20 minutes later he was still going and had explained everything in the gospel he had ever read, heard, and lots of stuff that doesn磘 box in with real doctrine. But I just let him have his moment because we were way ahead of schedule in our day, the investigator wasn磘 understanding anything he was saying anyways, and he was having a blast and smiling super big as he bore sincere testimony of everything he knows. And then after words I just nodded for a second, looked at the confused investigator, and said, ``moral of the story: you can pray to find out if this is true.创 and everyone ended up being happy and understanding each other. And after words we were walking to the next appointment and he was like, ``so elder, be sincere, how was I? Do I teach good?创 and I was just like, ``sure dude.创 and gave him a thumbs up when I was really thinking ``nope.创 and he got so happy. He is actually a kid that will go on a mission soon assuming he gets released from the army, and he was like ``ohhh mannn, I got soooo nervous... I am going to fast once a week for this next month and a half to get more prepared.创 It is always funny to see the huge lack of church experience, but the enormous desire that the people here have. I can say that I have seen here that God doesn磘 always call those who are qualified, but qualifies those whom he calls, because most leaders of the church here are examples of that.
In other news, the city government of S鉶 Paulo is trying to get rid of the favela in a number of ways, and considering that my ward here is the favela it磗 been cool to see what they are doing. For instance, they government will come to a street, condemn all of the houses on the street and give the people like $4,000 for their house when they need $10,000 for even a crappy house. So the members here are planning on unifying, buying up a whole bunch of land, and living in a complex of houses they磍l build or buy up with 3 families in a house. It is really their only option if they want to stay here, and they are all super amped to stick it to the man and succeed. More or less like what the old school saints did when they were moving to jackson county. Actually that is where they got the idea.
But it is incredible to me to see just how grateful some people here are. The younger generation that has internet and all that ``washing maching创 crap doesn磘 know how to do anything and they don磘 work and they are really ungrateful... but still way better than the entire american population. There are people here who will be sincerely grateful every day as long as they have their family and health. The clothes are falling of their backs and their house is full of mold and falling down and fills up with rain twice a week, but you go their and they are like ``man, I woke up early today and read the bible and watched the sun rise, and man, I just feel so grateful to have my family and my health创 and it just blows me away. Don磘 get me wrong, it is a increasingly small percent of the population, but that small percent is incredible to me. President Thomas S. Monson gave a talk in the last conference about gratefulness and it just reinforced that idea in my mind. I don磘 have the words with me right now, but he said something like ``to be grateful is gracious and honorable, the enact gratefulness is respectful and noble, but to live with a true spirit gratefulness in our hearts is to touch heaven创 and I am seeing here that this is true. The people that have so little, but are truely grateful for what they have and for the things that bring lasting happiness (family, ability, health, the knowledge of the restored gospel, etc.) are unconquerably happy. Stuff is hard for them, but they always find something that will make them smile.營 think it is kind of like what Henry B. Eyring said in his talk during the priesthood session of conference about george q. cannon. The guy lived a super tough life, but in his life he said that if we truely have the spirit with us, from morning till night and then from night until morning we磍l be happy, because the spirit isn磘 a spirit of sadness.
It磗 cool to be led not only by our heavenly father like all men on the earth can be led through personal prayer, but to be led too by men who truely hold the priesthood and recieve direction from Christ.
My life is super cool, and given that I read that talk today about gratitude I feel pretty grateful for it. Also given that I will forget about what I learned today in 2 days or less, it磗 cool that our Church is divinely led because I will always have the opportunity to not only pray for help, but learn from prophets who live in our days. I promise anyone that occasionaly reads my emails that it磗 true, and I dare you to prove it with the book of mormon.
Butttttt I need to go cut my hair. so latersss. I sincerely love you all a lot. have a good week