Thursday, February 9, 2017

P-day 20: Day 146 - "I had the impression to lift my head up..."

Here is Nathanael's latest letter. I'm sorry it took a couple of days to post. My goal it to do better at getting them up on Mondays.

He sounds really good this week. I feel like he is starting to understand that his best is all that can be expected instead of beating himself up for not being perfect. I'm grateful for that. 

He sent several pictures this week of the big rock they went to visit. I'll include them here. I not sure why, but I was surprised how green and beautiful everything is there. It's fun to see the green foliage with the palm trees sprinkled in here and there. Nathanael looks so skinny to me! He's lost over 20 lbs. Eat Nathanael, eat!! 

I love that I can count on the members in Brazil to take care of him. I recently had some members friend me on Facebook and tell me that they made a cake specifically for Nathanael because he is too skinny (thank you Google Translate!). It makes my heart warm with gratitude. Here is a picture of the cake that this sweet family sent me. There's also a picture of him eating ice cream. Keep it up Nathanael!

Just one more note: I think that package that has been held in customs since January 4th is finally going to make it to Nathanael! According to the tracking website, they are attempting to deliver it. I'm so happy about that!

Enjoy his letter!

Hello parents!!

How are you guys? It sounds like life over there is pretty normal and good which I'm glad to hear. I miss you guys like crazy but things are going great here, more or less, ish, haha. We didn't have anyone at church again and the work feels like it's basically at a standstill which is frustrating but I have had a lot of spiritual experiences this week. 

We found a few new investigators to teach and had a couple really neat experiences. We found a lady knocking doors and taught her the restoration. At the end we asked her to pray about it that night to find out if our message is true and she said she didn't need to pray because she had never felt what she was feeling before and she knew it was true already. Unfortunately that was Tuesday and we haven't been able to get in touch with her since then but that was still a really neat experience. Also, we've been working a little with less-active members to gain referrals and I was praying over a list of less-active members the other day and had a feeling we should visit a certain house. We went there and the less-active member wasn't there but her mom was and she told us her son had died three weeks ago. We taught her and I think the Spirit touched her heart. We're going to visit her again tonight and we'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, Marco is not progressing. I had a dream last night that he got an answer to his prayers and was baptized the next Saturday. The last time I had a dream about an investigator, it actually happened, so who knows...? Haha but that would be cool. We're also working with a woman named Nathalea who was taught by the sisters for 3 months before she moved to our area. She has a very strong testimony but hasn't been to church in a long time.

Guys we've talked a LOT about how I at times feel like I'm a failure as a missionary, how I'm constantly worried about my weaknesses and that I'm not doing enough, that I'm not progressing with teaching and speaking Portuguese as much as I'd like, and so on. Well I've had a lot of really positive experiences this week that have really helped me to feel a lot better. On Saturday the sisters had a baptism and everyone in the district went (my companion performed the baptism) and I felt the Spirit so strongly. I was really hoping to receive guidance or something but I just felt a lot of peace. We watched this video about the miracles Jesus performed in His life and it was really neat for me to see how loving He really is, how He treats people as individuals and is so gentle and so on. I have this tendency to see Jesus as a very angry, strict God but it got me thinking that He is very merciful and kind to the people who have faith in Him and who are trying to follow Him, even though they're imperfect. Yesterday as we were walking to church I was feeling really down and I was thinking about the hymn How Firm a Foundation and I had the impression to lift my head up, that things are going according to the Lord's plan and even though it feels right now like things are at a standstill, I'm learning a lot and progressing very well. I also felt like I am actively and generally doing a great job as a missionary. That really stuck with me all day yesterday and still today. I felt spiritually renewed at church and after church I had the sweetest feeling. Yesterday was great for me. There have obviously been a lot of challenges and so on but I am starting to know without a doubt that Jesus is at my side, nurturing and strengthening and forgiving me, that I'm doing a great job, and even though my mission is crazy and right now our numbers are garbage and I'm not always exactly obedient or perfect, I'm doing my best and that's exactly what God is asking of me, not anything else. I was sitting on my bed and thinking yesterday that I know I have not been a perfect missionary -- on the contrary. But I have absolutely done my best consistently up until this point. That is something I feel like I can be very proud of and I know that the Lord is taking that and making it more than I can. So... yay!! I feel happy about that.

Anyway, that's all the rad stuff from this week I think. It's starting to cool down slightly here and today it smelled like spring here which I think means that winter is coming. Good times. I'm tired of how hot it's been! Oh, and mom, I got a phone call on Friday that I have a package coming in at the transfer. I don't know if it's yours but I assume it is. They said it's not here but they received notice that it's coming. It will have about a $50 fee but dang I'm so happy it's coming!! Woohoo!! 

Love you guys.
Elder Sederholm

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