Monday, August 8, 2011

Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?

We say opa a lot in this area. I absolutely love how dynamic the word opa is. It can mean oops, awesome, thanks, and just about any other word you want by changing the tone of voice. Also ``ohh´´ is a fantastic way to hide if you don´t like the food. ``elder, do you like the food?´´ ``Ohhhhh´´. It sounds like you like it but, really doesn´t necessarily mean you do.  such dynamic words.
I really don´t know why I explained that.
It´s been a great week. Kind of stressful but still great. We are having a tough time with get people to Church here, even the members. This area has a big fluctuation in the weekly Church attendance rate. What is normal attendance in the Auberry ward, or any other normal ward there? The best I have seen here was 70 people and yesterday was the worst, 42. And next Sunday will unfortunately be worse because it is Father´s day here in Brazil. EVERYONE is going to leaving town or having a BBQ. And of course BBQ is more important than the Gospel right? Sheesh
But things are actually going well. The District I´m in charge of is really showing progress. WE had some baptisms yesterday in the District with more to come shortly. Too bad I haven´t been able to set the example of baptisms in my area yet. But ``Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!?´´  I´m really enjoying the work these days. It´s been tough but I´m improving little by little each time. I just wish I was progressing faster. Just like was said in Conference ``the gopel is to comfort the afflicted and to aflict the comfortable´´. Every time you feel comfortable with your work and progress you need to lengthen your stride and step outside of the comfort zone to work harder.
We are currently teaching 4 couples in the same circumstances. I might have alredy mentioned them. In all 4 couples, the man in a member of the Church living unmarried with a non-member woman. The husbands are ``fubecas´´ or slackers, and the wives want to get married and baptized. Such a hurdle to overcome. But we have been able to help a bunch of them and resolve some internal conflicts in their relationships. LAst night I shared Mathew 11:28-30 with one of these couples. ``Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden...´´ I explained about the yoke of Christ. A yoke for oxen doesn´t work if only one ox is pulling. Both have to pull. meaning we need to pull alongside Chirst and he will pull with us. If we do so we will be able to ``run with patience the race that is set before us´´ (Hebrews 12:1). It really helped this couple realize that both of them need to put effor tinto the relationship, and most importantly include Christ.
I hope we all remember to keep including Christ. I have one more year to apply all the lessons I have learned on the mission and to keep learning. We had a training from Elder Godoy, an Area Authority. he made a graph showing the progress of Christ in his ministry. His progress never had a plateau (I have no idea if that is spelled right). At the climax, the very end of his mortal ministry, was the Atonement. The most important singular historic event in the world. Our lives need to follow this pattern. Always progressing forward without a plateau. I hope to keep progressing until the end of my mission to start the rest of my life on a high point.
Have a great week. I love you all!
Elder McLelland

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