Monday, February 7, 2011

2-7-11 Testimonies, FHE's, & Talks... (Ponte)

This week went well. We are having trouble getting our investigators to church. Just on Saturday we talked to 3 different people who told us that after praying about our message they felt strongly that it is true. All 3 of them said that they would prepare to be baptized and go to church yesterday... but none of those 3 even went! It is frustrating at times. Débora had to work yesterday, so she also was not at church (but another investigator named Débora was), and she also was not baptized yet. I am almost 100% sure she will be baptized, its just a question of when.

We had a good testimony meeting here, and Edna bore her testimony too. She talked about how thankful she is for Elder Nagase and I for helping her out and it really made me feel the joy of being a missionary and helping others. It is a different kind of joy than you can get from helping yourself, and it is more pure. It was nice.

We had a lesson last night with this man, Marinaldo, that reminded me of being in Alabama. He is very familiar with the church (his wife is a strong convert of 7 years and he goes almost every week), and he wants everything to make sense logically. We talked for quite awhile about faith and testimony, and I told him how until today there are many things in the church that I don't understand, and that without a testimony from the Holy Ghost, it would be easy for me too to use some facts as "proofs" that the church is flawed. But, I told him that without understanding everything, I do have a testimony that it is true because of the way I feel. And that I cannot deny. It was a really good lesson and he sincerely said that if he receives an answer to prayer that he can recognize he won't worry about the things that he doesn't understand. He wants to believe, wants to be baptized, but only when he is convinced by more than just missionaries that it is true. So pray for him that he can receive an answer. He will be a bishop one day if he gains a testimony, for sure.
The companionship is going well, I wrote to Lib about our many prayers and stuff. (See Jon's letter to Libby at the end of this blog.) Elder Nagase  is willing to work.

I gave a talk in front of half the mission at our zone conference on Thursday. I talked about the importance of not just looking for easy baptisms, but also working with people to overcome problems to become prepared for baptism. It was all about the Holy Ghost in the work and being worthy to have his company.
Well I hope all is well in Ventura, 
Elder Hooke   {Letter to Libby follows}

Brasil is good. yeah me and my comp pray together twice in every lesson, every morning sometimes twice, every other time we leave the house, and twice every night. And it still feels like we need to pray more. We usually don’t straight up read scriptures together, but we talk about them and how we can help our investigators, and stuff for comp study. And yeah almost every single Monday we get to go to family night with some members. I think every Monday in this area we have had one. Until today. We have 2 lessons instead marked for tonight. But yeah they are good because there are always investigators there for the message, and after, we play some sort of game (just like American Mormons) and eat cake with soda (just like American Mormons). Just that the soda is always Guarana or Fanta.

[Libby told him she was speaking in church next week on education and asked him to share any advice she could use in her talk...] Education. Tell people that over there in them United States that they are very blessed to have education very easily accessible. there are lots of kids here that would like a better, or more challenging education that don’t have a way to get it. But yeah being educated is important. There’s that one scripture in D&C [130:20-21] about whatever manner of intelligence we get in this life we take with us to the next.
wellp, love
Elder Hooke

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