Monday, November 24, 2014

Livin' on the wrong island

Dear Earthly and Spiritual Family,

So yesterday, the volcano on fogo started errupting.  My dream was to be there when that happened, but unfortunately, I am a bit far away, but from here you can see smoke comming out.  All the missionaries there are good, and the people too.  A few had a literal emergency transfer, but the magma is moving slowly, and isn't super dangerous at this point.

So this last week was great.

We lost a few days because of a medical trip to praia and zone conference, but we were still blessed, especially with new people to teach.

Zone Conference this week was amazing.

We talked about first the importance of developing the relationships within the branch with the Branch President and Ward mission leader, and then the members.  We do this following a pattern that can be used whenever there are relationship or other problems.  That is:
1. Love Them
2. Serve Them
3. Teach them the Doctrine

There is a big thing that goes on here where people think that we just need more activities and that will help people come to church and stuff, but activities never converted anyone.  Doctrines, simply taught out of Love will change hearts.

We also talked about the power of talking with people about the gospel, and the ablility that we have to feel the spirit and show and develop faith as we talk with everyone fearlessly about the gospel.  Many do not want to hear it, but if we do it out of Love, it will all be okay.

-One thing that happened this week is that I felt prompted to talk with a family of adventists of the 7th day, or whatever they are called in english.  Normaly we avoid that because they just want to fight, but we were able to share the restoration with them in the middle of all of their attacks.  We walked in and the dad said, Let me go get my sword (the bible).  Listening to their doctrines makes me so grateful for the gospel where we aren't making frantic attempts to interpret the bible alone.  We invited them to read the book of mormon and pray about it, and were told by the Dad that the book of mormon isn't a blessing, as he got more and more irritated as the visit went on, but we never acted really in a way to fight or without a sincere and loving desire to share the greatest blessing that we have.  We were told that because we worship and sanctify on sunday instead of saturday (this doctrine is especially difficult in portuguese where the word for Saturday and Sabath are the same, so in Portugues it reads, Remember the Sabath, to keep it holy, and also means remember the saturday to keep it holy), we weren't candidates for salvation, but thats okay.  Some of the things just made me laugh a little actually.  I hope one day their 15 year old son will obtain a copy of the book of mormon and read it.

Also in zone conference we talked about one of our focuses for right now, which is concecration.   That is, leaving behind everything that isn't 100% complaiance to the laws of God, with not just avoiding commiting sin, but also avoiding not ommiting the things of perfecting.  I recieve more corage to act in accordance with the knowledge I have of what is right, even when it is very hard to do so, and many times it is very hard.

What a blessing it will be to have Brad and Leslie's marrage tomorrow.  I am so excited for them, and althought it will be a bit sad that I can't be there, it is a greater blessing to show my devotion to the Lord, and for my absance to act as a reminder to all of you of how special it is to have the temple of God here on the earth and that families can be forever.
For Thanksgiving, I hope that we can all show our thankfulness acting instead of just making lists.

I know that this is the Lord's work, and he well help us be like Christ.

Elder Sampson

It has been Said about President Monson that he is the Prophet and has so much faith because he "does what the rest of us just think about doing"
I hope too that we can all be more like him, and when we know something right that we must do, that we can more frequently do it.

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