Hey family….I feel really bad because I feel like this week wasn’t much compared to last week. It was pretty normal (nothing really exciting) except for the fact that Carnaval is over-thank youuuuu. And sadly we had to drop Sebastão and Auzira 2 very special investigators.
I will explain (I know I haven’t really updated you guys with them huh? sorry).So basically sebastão had been going to church (4 times until recently) and continued taking the lessons with us. He had such a desire to know!!! ANd he acted-followed through on commitments awesome! While this was happening Auzira would listen sometimes and NEVER went to church. She claimed she had her catholic faith and that was it. Even though she said she doesn’t agree with some things in the catholic church to a point where she doesn’t attend. But of course every time we invite her to come to ours instantly she gets high and mighty saying “quit trying to convince me or I will definitely not go. I won’t make any promises that I’ll go but if you keep pushing I’m not going to go!” hahahaha She is the most stubborn woman I have ever met. And I do love her so much but sadly I guess now is just not the time for her and Sabastão. He was completely alone in this…going to church, reading the book of Mormon, trying to find out if these things are true. It made me realize the difficulties of marrying someone outside of the faith. NOT saying it is a bad/wrong thing, but I would imagine it being difficult if you and your spouse or boyfriend/girfriend etc. can’t come to grips with the same beliefs.
This being said the other night we came over and taught the Word of Wisdom because Sebastão had continued to ask why we don’t drink coffee as members of the church. Well sure enough this discussion ended up being a make it or break it lesson with Auzira and Sebastão. As we tried comitting them to live the word of wisdom Sebastão told us basically; “look, I like going to church, I like hearing your lessons, I like you sisters-you’re like my own daughters, I like the members that I met and talked with at church I always feel good there and when you girls come to my home….but It’s hard to follow God and His commandments. It is hard to stay firm on the path. Right now I just can’t keep up with it all”. My heart sank so low….I wanted to cry. We talked more with him and Auzira interrupted telling us that our church was just another denomination like every other church. As we bore testimonies about the truthfulness of the restored gospel the spirit was there with us. But sadly Auzira’s heart remained hard and unopened…I bore my testimony and as soon as I said “I know that this is The Church of Jesus Christ”-she stood up and shouted “What about my church?! It’s Jesus’s too! Your church is new! In 1820, joseph smith started your church!…” I told her she needed to open her heart and ask God and she says “oh it is open!”.
andddd that is when I started praying REALLY hard for patience and self-control. I am not here to argue with people…that is Mackenzie, not Sister McCleve haha really though. I am always trying to remember who I am representing, the Savior.
I have seen on my mission that The Lord can touch hearts….He can and WILL testify about the truth of this gospel. But at the same time the individual MUST have an open heart and a desire to know. I know if Auzira really wanted to know if God had 1 church….HIS own church here on the earth, she could ask. But she is unwilling, maybe she’s afraid to know, sei la. But as missionaries we cannot and WILL NOT convince anyone of the truth. God will tell them. And that is why we IN VITE those we teach to always always always always take it back to Heavenly Father….ask Him not us. I have to ask Him myself many times if I am even in the right with all the rejection we face. He always confirms yes.He wants me here doing this. I wouldn’t still be here if it was on my own terms let me make that very clear. THis is God’s work family and friends. I am helping Him, not that He needs it because He’s all powerful and can do anything but He loves me, loves us enough to let us participate. I am so grateful for that.
I love you all and please know how much your prayers are needed and appreciated by the missionaries all around the world. We are fighting in this battle between good and evil. The adversary is real-I have witnessed that more than ever on my mission. If we don’t step up and defend the faith then who will?