Vitora, Brazil

Vitora, Brazil

Monday, December 23, 2013

10. The Lord wants converted souls not convinced

Dear Family and Friends, So, we started the week with 5 investigators with baptismal dates marked as high hopes. Now, the hopes are still going great because we only slightly lost one because they are what we call mole which means soft in english. basically, they just dont want to commit. So, we have managed to keep all of our investigators going either by there own will or our pushing. I just get so happy when they keep their commitments and recieve answers to their questions. One of our investigators started the first lesson by saying that they would never be able to ever know which church was true. 2 weeks later, she has told us that this is the true church and she just has troubles with one of Gods commandments. It is miraculous to see the change in her faith, testimony, and just outlook on life. This truly is a life-changing message. In summary, we have 4 baptisms marked for this saturday and 3 of them seem really solid for the moment. During every prayer we pray to know how to help them and pray that the spirit will testify with a stronger assurance in their heart. This also is a work of hearts not minds. It is amazing how many opportunities we could have to make others questions their beliefs, but that is not our purpose. we want converted souls not convinced. We only get new members if they have a personal testimony not a satisfied mind. It also felt really good this week to find some new investigators. this work really is an ongoing cycle. We talk to 100 people, 8-10 hear a message, 2-3 go to church and 1 or less get baptized. and as discouraging as these numbers sound they are some of the best odds in the world. our mission has gone from a goal of 40 baptisms a month to almost 200 just in the last 5 years. We are also reallly concerned about conversion beyond baptism. I dont want any of my baptisms to ever leave the church. So, you will all be happy to know that I am eating plenty. But, it is also pretty unhealthy. If I am lucky, I get one serving of vegtables a day and fruits are all in juice form. One meal this week had rice, beans, pasta, and a casserole with potatoes and more pasta. I think I might need something other that carbs. But, i can still walk everyday and I feel great so everything must be ok. Im very grateful for my youth. I didnt even mention how much soda the people drink here. The houses here are definately more humble but they are so much smarter when they build them. Because of the heat, all of the houses are made of like bricks and rocks, things that do not heat up very much. The ground is tile and never gets hot either. Also, the windows are typically set up to get a great breeze and cool everything off quickly. So, on the days when the sun is beating down and it is like 100 degrees, the houses dont absorb heat and the people just stay inside. The only way i can compare it is to caving. the caves are always 50 degrees all year round regardless of the weather. Carpets are close to non-existant, especially really large ones for an entire room, and everyone uses covers over their couches to make them last longer. it has always suprized me that no matter how humble the house, they always have a tv. Its funny because you can never judge the outside of a house either. you may look at a house and get really nervous about lunch and it is wonderful inside. I havent really figured out why. My newest favorite food is called Farofa. it is basically, ground up wheat that is then cooked on a stove with some spices and a type of fruit i think. I dont reallly know how to describe it besides being really good and makes your mouth really dry. I hear that not a lot of americans like it. I find out next week at transfers if the package arrives. We are going to have a entire mission christmas party on transfer day and I really hope we stay here. Suprisingly, it is very rare to stay in one place longer that 4-5 months. so, to sum up the week I have a picture of me and pizza (american pizza) that we ordered when a lunch fell through. Very good but not worth the price. Everything american here is very expensive. Nutella, 15 reais for the very small size. Icecream, 20 reais for a quart. but, the food down here is great. so there is no problem. I was really happy to hear from the entire family this week. I cant wait to hear about Daniel and Work Crew, and more of Aubreys memories of us. I also cant wait to hear from Brealynn again. It feels like so long. Love, Elder Jacobson (Andrew)

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