Wednesday, January 4, 2017

P-day 15: Day 111 - "I'm thankful to be here."

Here's the new letter from Nathanael. Even though he is still feeling some stress, I think he is starting to settle in to mission life.

I want to give a shout out to my friend Jack at the post office by my parents' house. I was trying to get a fairly heavy (17 lb) package mailed securely to Brazil and after learning that it would cost about $600 to mail it FedEx or UPS I was discouraged. I went over to the local post office and Jack was wonderful. He helped me fill out all the paperwork for customs, which is very intimidating, and helped me to understand that if you send a package through USPS by Priority Express mail (as opposed to Express mail), it gets handed off to FedEx as it leaves the country, making it a more secure experience. In addition, you can track it all the way to it's destination. It was $35 more to send it this way but it was totally worth it for my peace of mind. I walked out of the post office feeling great. Jack was a tender mercy in my life that I am very grateful for. Thank you Jack!

Enjoy Nathanael's letter!

Hey guys, 

Hope you are doing well. It's been quite the week. It sounds like you had a lot of fun in Denver. I'm jealous but I know I'm supposed to be here. I want to say thank you for the emails. You guys may have no idea but your emails and words support and sustain me throughout the week, so thank you so so much! I loved hearing from you.

Unfortunately the baptisms this week all fell through. Marco, who Elder Oliveira has been teaching since the beginning of September, was set to be baptized on Friday but now he said he wants more time to think about it. We are a little worried and frustrated but we're going to keep working with him. He and his family are awesome, we love them, and we really want these blessings for them. The good news is that we had this little old lady come to church on Sunday. She liked it a lot and actually asked us to come pick her up for church next week already. She's a Catholic but never goes to church, and I'm hoping that she can feel that this church has the full truth. 

Friday was one of the hardest days I've experienced on the mission so far, but there was a miracle too. With Elder Francato everything is a little unpredictable and there was a division on Friday -- he, my companion, and Elder K. Oliveira (one of the zone leaders) went to a nearby city called Pinhal to do a baptismal interview. I stayed in our area to work with the other zone leader, Elder Gomes. I was caught off guard, had no time or help to plan, and it was kinda crazy. We finally made some tentative plans and went to work. My stress level was 10/10 that morning and afternoon. We walked for about 35 or 40 minutes to get to the neighborhood we planned, and everything we planned fell through. We just sat on the curb for about 10 minutes, until Elder Gomes asked me to say a prayer and then we would knock doors. I prayed and said that I had no idea what I was doing and asked that we could know which street to knock doors and that we could find God's elect (a term we use a lot out here). When I finished we both had a really good feeling about a nearby street. We only knocked 3 doors and we taught 2 lessons, and one of the lessons we taught a family of 3 that accepted the invitation to be baptized! That was a miracle. Later that same day Elder Gomes had a feeling that we should stop at a certain house and we did and we taught the lady there too. I'm grateful for experiences like that.

Just wanted to say thanks for the little Portuguese hymnbook. I've been using it for personal study and language study sometimes and it's rad. 

By the way, when I was in Piracicaba I spent some time in the mission office and scooped a couple of letters -- a card from the Packers (totally rad) and the copy of my setting apart blessing you sent. Super happy about that. I read the setting apart blessing that day looking for anything that could help me feel a little better because I've been stressed and read that it says right in the beginning that I will have peace as a missionary. Clearly this is one of those blessings that will be fufilled a little later, haha, but I'm thankful for that promise.

I hope I don't sound discouraged. I'll be honest, though, I am discouraged. I don't know if it's the holidays or what, but man. I hope things will eventually get better. That being said I'm thankful to be here. I have faith that it's where I'm supposed to be and I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I saw the pictures of the heavy blanket and it looks so awesome. Thanks so much for that. I've been looking forward to it every day.

I love you guys. Talk to you soon.
Elder Sederholm

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