It was good to talk to you guys. I was pretty frustrated that I wasn't able to get that webcam working to see you guys, but it was very nice to talk on the phone. As you guys kind of heard in my voice I was in a pretty bad mood after that whole not being able to make it work thing, and it was nice to be cheered up. It also made me realize that after writing about my life of missionary work for an entire year, there isn't a whole lot more to say... other than the fact that I have hit 1 year on the mission. That is pretty nuts. I used a spray on deoderant bottle and torched a shirt. Woo.
One thing that happened recently is that a bum was drinking in the bar next to our house and decided it would be funny to light the dry weeds next to our house on fire. So he tossed some liquor in there and lit it on fire and it was really anticlimactic. When your house is made of cement and bricks, apparently it can't burn down. Who knew?
Other than that there is not much going on besides teaching and trying to teach more. This lady that we are teaching right now is having troubles with a ton of doubts, and so we told her she can write them all down and then we'll come back and answer them. So it seems like she took an entire week to find all of the most profound questions about this and that and write literally every doubt she had down, and then when we came back to explain we read through the list and said, "great. we can answer alllll of these questions with one answer." The answer is 5 minute explanation of how God always since the beginning of time has called prophets to guide his people on this earth, and how whenever there was not a prophet leading the people, those people had no way to be God's people or led by Him in a true sense. Anyone who reads the bible to a moderate degree will agree with that. There is literally not one instance of a people being led by God who had a fullness of God's teachings who did not have a prophet. Sometimes because people can be blind they rejected prophets, but when they did that they just wandered around aimlessly in a spiritual sense and to keep the people from continuing in darkness and confusion, God always found a way to restore the truths through one more prophet (and usually a chain of them). So for instance, Adam was the first one but people rejected the truth. God then shows us a cyclic pattern in the Old and New testaments of bringing it back (noah, abraham, moses, and even Christ are examples of this). And it is interesting, because each case was specific and different in some ways, but also each case is clearly God calling a prophet to bring order back to the earth and restore lost truths.
So then you come to our time. Anyone who has ever studied to any extent history of the earth immedeatly after Christ will see that once again, the perfect church that was organized by our savior that had the foundation of living prophets and apostles who recieved direct revelation from Christ and recieved authority by the laying on of hands in the same way that Aaron brother of Moses did in olden times (the only way to recieve authority before or after Christ) was corrupted and changed and after a couple of hundred years of confusion began to spawn the churches we have today.
So did God just forget about us and leave us down here without a living prophet or all the truths? nope. In the same fashion that he always did, He called a prophet and reorganized His church on the earth and the book of mormon is concrete proof of that. If it is true then the prophet today is named Thomas S. Monson, and he has the same aouthority that God gave to Joseph Smith, the first prophet in our time. If the book of mormon is false, then all of this stuff is just one more story of a church that has no real foundation in divine authority. So how can we know if it is true or not? Tons of people in the bible answer this question, and one of them was James. He said "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally (gives it to everybody openly and freely) and upbraideth not (doesn't throw it in your face), and it shall be given him." or something like that. I have it memorized in portuguese, but not english anymore.
So that lady with all of the questions about our church was left with one question: "is the Book of Mormon really the word of God like the Bible is?" So she is reading and praying right now and we'll see how she does, but I already know what will happen because we see it so much. She will recieve an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. According to the bible that will mean that she'll feel something in her heart like love, peace, joy, an excess of faith, etc. Everyone explains it a little different, but the feelings are the same. She'll be confident and sure that our church really is that same church that was always organized by God since the foundation of the earth, that like it always had, we have a living prophet today with the same priesthood authority and feel a desire to follow Christ by repenting of her things she was unknowingly or knowingly doing wrong and being baptised, so that she can recieve the gift of the holy ghost in the same way it was given in the bible. The only way it can be given (see acts chapter 8). Then she will be happy according to her faithfulness forever.
It is an awesome work that I do, but if it wasn't true it wouldn't be that cool. Luckily it is.
I love you all and I hope you have a great week. LATERSSSSS