Monday, November 3, 2014
With Halloween last week, Thanksgiving just around the corner, and then Christmas, my thoughts have been on ´´traditions´´ - the good ones and the bad. It kind of makes me sad that Brasil doesn´t celebrate either Halloween or Thanksgiving, I think because it was always so fun for me to be around the family, but tudo bem.
We visited a less active family this week who wasn´t home on Halloween night. The friends of the less active however were in front of her house talking, so I began to talk with them. Quickly realizing that they didn't want anything to do with us, I said, ´´Can you tell Sister Maria that we passed by and wanted to wish her a Happy Halloween.´´ Ohhhhhhh wow I was dominated by one of the ladies. ´´YOU CALL YOURSELF A REPRESENTATIVE OF CHRIST, AND THEN WISH PEOPLE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN! .... (a lot more commentary happened, as you can imagine)
´´Oh no! You don´t understand. I´m from America. There, its more of a day to be around your family and eat candy.´´
Before I could even finish explaining myself, she burned me to the ground, haha. Without any further explanation necessary, I apologized for offending her and walked away to go buy some candy. Haha, man I was destroyed. I later bought ice cream and small Brasilian candy bars with my companion as we sat down and talked about our families. We later got back to our house, planned, and went to bed.
He told me later that I was going to die from all of the candy that I ate. ´´You don´t understand, today is Halloween... Its what you do.´´ Haha I hope all of you had a Happy Halloween.
Fortunately and unfortunately, I think there exists a lot of traditions in the lives of members. Some being good, others better, and some, best. But I also think there exists some that need to be thought about and changed. For example.
Prayer is a tradition that should happen every morning and night, in family and personally.
The beginning of a prayer however, ´´Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day...´´ (or the Brasilians say, ´´...thank you for one more day of life...´´) seems to always be said as the first thing. I´ve been thinking for the past several months about this and have recognized some of my habits, or ´´traditions,´´ that I do without any feeling. I´ve examined and changed in so many of them because The Book of Mormon talks so much about this.
The thing that Ive been most grateful for this however is the relationship that has grown with my Heavenly Father. I hope in these last five minutes, I can explain myself well.
One thing that ALWAYS, and I mean always, bothered me about dad is that he never gave me answers to questions that I had. Never. Haha he would always lead me to where I could find the answer or remind me of something that had already happened to me that would, as well, lead me to the right answer. Well, my Mission President is the same way.
Last month, I seriously gave the greatest report on my zone known to all mankind. At the very end of the report, I asked a simple question, ´´President, we are having trouble carrying investigators to church on a consistent basis. Do you have any suggestions?´´
It was the only question I asked him! Haha. AND, I gave him the challenges of each area and missionary, with my plan to help each.
He replied, ´´You have the right to receive revelation for your zone.´´
I seriously almost punched the screen... (not really) because I thought he would give me some incredible answer. A month later, I realized that I asked the ´´wrong question.´´
I´ve thought a lot about this since then about the types of questions I ask Heavenly Father now. They need thought. They need action. Christ taught this principle to Oliver Cowdery. Instead of simply asking, ´´´President, do you have any suggestions?´´ I could have made it better
The simple question of, ´´Lord, is The Book of Mormon true?´´ doesn't give me the same response it gave me 6 years ago. Now, when I want to reconfirm my testimony of The Book of Mormon, I ask questions like:
-I understand that Joseph Smith had a third grade education when he started the translation. How did he come up with _____