Wednesday, February 22, 2017

P-day 21: Day 153 - "If I'm wanting to do what the Lord wants me to do, and then I do it, I will be happy."

I'm such a slacker! My goal was to get this posted on Monday, last Monday that is! Happy reading!


Hi parents!!

I'm always excited to talk to you guys. How are you? Mom I'm super excited about your new job. I meant to ask you more about it last week but it slipped my mind, but anyway I'm super excited and proud of you. I brag about you (and Dad) sometimes and I think it annoys everyone but you guys seriously rock. You are going to be so great.

Anyway this week has been pretty good. It sounds like things at home have been normal but good too. Is it still pretty cold there? I've been hoping things will start to cool down here but I asked a member when it will start to get cold and they said May (!!). Man. 

This week work-wise has been kinda slow again. I did divisions with the zone leaders on Friday and Saturday in their area so I haven't been in my area as much, but as far as I know our area hasn't seen much progress. We haven't had an investigator at church since the middle of January and we're frustrated about that but I feel ok. I'm more worried about my companion. I can tell that he's stressed. He told me yesterday he feels a lot of pressure as a district leader and so on. I've been trying to be sensitive to that and help him out. I really believe he's doing his best and I'm trying to be patient with him. 

I read the 4th missionary talk yesterday. [If you are interested, here is a link to the talk: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-RFrnIsrlQYdElsQ0ZHN2hzREE/preview] Dad you sent me a copy in the MTC but yesterday one of the zone leaders was going through his suitcase and he found a copy of the talk in Portuguese and gave it to me. I read it and really gained a lot from it. When I read it in the MTC I liked it but I kinda skimmed it, but yesterday I took like an hour and read it slowly and thought about it. I realized that I am (at least striving to be) the fourth missionary. I've been pondering about why I sometimes feel unhappy or stressed, because I am doing my best -- isn't a mission supposed to be the happiest time in your life? -- and I think I kinda had an ahah moment where I realized that above all if I ever feel unhappy, homesick, or whatever, I can focus more on giving all my desires, hopes, dreams, and everything else to the Lord and let His will become my will. If I'm wanting to do what the Lord wants me to do, and then I do it, I will be happy. That makes sense to me. I struggle with homesickness sometimes but I think if I just say to the Lord, "Lord, let me want to be here and let me want to be doing what I'm doing," I think that will help a lot. I came on my mission with the desire to help as many people as possible but I think when the rubber hit the road out here I realized that I had jumped from the Titanic into the freezing ocean to try to save people and I went into survival mode for a while. Now I'm adjusted; now I can focus. Even though our area isn't seeing a lot of results I'm going to dig in with all my might, all the while being patient with the people around me (and of course with myself). I think this all makes a lot of sense! It's exciting. I'm trying to be exactly obedient but won't beat myself up when I fall short or when it's simply not possible. Just gotta keep trying I think.

We found the lady we taught the Restoration again. She told us she received a very clear answer that the church is true but that she wouldn't go to church, and the Lord understood her reasons. My companion went all Alma on her and called her to repentance (I'm sort of joking, but you know what I mean I think) and she said she would go to church. We also taught her about the Book of Mormon. She didn't go to church unfortunately. We're going back there again this week though. She told us again that she had never felt the feeling she felt with us and when she prayed at the end of the lesson I felt the Spirit so strongly! She told us that right before we knocked her door she said a prayer asking the Lord to show her the right path for her. Man Viviani, just go to church. That's the problem we're struggling with right now. I want to see someone in church so bad! Oh well. We can only keep trying. And praying. We really are being blessed in other ways though. Our Sunday frequency has gone up by 10 (or in other words if that sounds small, from 40 to 50) because there are three less-active families that have started coming back to church. That makes me really happy. It reminds me of that scripture, "how great is the Lord's joy in one soul that repenteth," or something like that. And Aparecido is still there every week which is great. 

I think that's all the interesting stuff from this week. I love you guys. Hope you are doing well, and talk to you soon.

Elder Sederholm

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