Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oo - da - lally- golly what a day! (11-14-11)

``Every little town, has it´s ups and downs`` i don´t know why I´m
thinking about the disney version of Robin Hood today. But Birigui
sure has it´s ups and downs. This last week fortunately was one of the
highest ups that I have had. The best news being that next saturday
the 26th will be the baptism of a complete. I have never felt so much
jow. We have baptized several partial families but never a full family
of father, mother and children. We have been praying a lot to help
this family. The father was very active in other religions and was
disallusioned(is that spelled right?) by it all. He had a lot of
doubts. He oves the lessons we teach and wants to believe it all but
has difficulty because of his religious background. But yesterday he
bluntly said, ``i just need to stop asking questions and believing.
This gospel is changing my life, that´s the biggest answer there is.´´
It was one of the most joyous moments I have had.
he shared a really interesting experience with us. He had difficulty
accpeting the Book of Mormon. He had fear to directly ask GOd for an
answer. He didn´t feel worthy of such a privelege. But as he was
praying earnestly asking to know which is the right path he randomly
opened up in the Bible hoping to see an answer. He opened up to Isaiah
30:21 ``And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is
the way, walk ye in it.´´ That´s quite a powerful manifestation. It
took away any last traces of doubts that I had. This is the way. I´m
gonna keep walking in it.
It has really been neat to stay in this area for a long time. I´m
seeing so much progress in the ward. When I got here everyone was
super discouraged and didn´t really think the ward would go anywhere.
But it sure is. The attendance rate is worthy of moving to a new
location that is way bigger (and air conditioned!). When I got here
there were only two active young men now there are at least 7-8 coming
every Sunday. Sometimes up to 11. the young women´s program is
growing. The ward has a more stable attendance rate. The men in the
ward are eager to do exchanges with us to visit investigators. Things
are just going fantastic. I can´t complain about anything. And I don´t
want you all to think that it is me doing this great work. I have
little to do with it. The ward itself is finally deciding to pick
itself up and be better. I have been thinking a lot about Lehi´s
powerful counsel to Laman and Lemuel in 2 Nephi 1:23 ``Awake, my sons
(Birigui); put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains
with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise
from the dust.´´ It´s happening finally! I hope they keep it up at the
same great pace.
I also spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I based my talk on Titus
who talked about Christ who ``[purified] unto himself a peculiar
people, zealous of good works´´. I cited many examples of scriptural
personages that were zealous of good works. Joseph of Egypt who fled
from poitphar´s wife (Genesis 39:9,11-12), Job who never denied his
faith (Job 19:25-26), Peter and Andrew who imediately left their nets
to follow Christ (Mark 1:17-18), Nephi who trusted GOd would provide a
way (1 Nephi 3:7; 4:6-7), The Stripling warriors that obeyed every
word with exactness (Alma 57:21), and the Nephites who lived in
perfect unity for 200 years after Christ´ss ministry in the Americas
(4 Nephi). I love learning in the scriptures. I hope everyone can
learn to be ``zealous of good works´´ (but hope not overly peculiar).
Well I guess that´s about it for the week. I´m as happy as can be
right now. I hope you all have a great week and if you are feeling
discouraged follow Lehi´s counsel and ``arise from the dust!´´ The
promise is that we will ``dwell in prosperity long upon the face of
this land´´.
Elder McLelland

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