Sunday, March 2, 2014

Elder Evans Visit

Posing for a Photo.  Doesn't look like a missionary issue "Cat" shirt

Dear Family!

Well, it sounds like we all had a great week!  Dad, I'm still blown away at how skinny you got!  I definitely picked up what you lost, because, man, have I gained some weight.  But I'm glad that you guys had fun with all the family at Schwartz Manor.  I can't believe how big everyone's getting and how kind of different everything is.  But that's exciting to hear about Ana getting her call to New Jersey.  She's gonna love it, because serving a mission is the best!

I learned SO much this week.  I guess what made this past week so good was the meeting that we had with Elder Evans.  It was a huge meeting with all the Leadership Councils of five missions in São Paulo.  No one had any idea what he was going to talk about, but we were all expecting some sort of huge announcement about using facebook or iPads or something like that.  But Elder Evans was sent by the First Presidency of the Church to come and speak to us about completely different topics.  Primarily, he taught us about our purpose as missionaries.  Every missionary can recite our purpose: "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  He said that we need to have a balance in fufilling our purpose, and that sometimes we focus too much on baptism, and forget that the real purpose is to help people do all the things necessary to return to our Heavenly Father, which include the ordinances performed in the temple.  He told us that we have now been authorized by President Monson to be involved in all aspects of the work of salvation -- missionary work, reactivation, retention, temple and family history work.  We are to focus on helping those we work with to get all the ordinances necessary to receive exaltation. He then began teaching about the family and taught us the doctrine of the family as found in "The Family: a Proclamation to the World".  He told us the importance of teaching the doctrine of the Family and that in the future, it will be our belief in the importance of the family that will separate the Church from everyone else.  It will be this belief that will attract many, many people to the Church.  It's so awesome to be a part of this church. It's so true because today we see that people are all putting off marriage and that the definition of a family is being all mixed up.  I'm so glad that I get to be a part of this historic moment in Church history and that the Lord is so concerned about marriage and families.   It's weird to think that Elder Evans was sent by the Prophet to have a meeting with the leadership of five missions to emphasize marriage and families. It's obviously very important to the Lord.  It had a very positive impact on Elder Watt and I because the next day,we taught a few different people for the first time, and we started off immediately talking about Eternal Families and Temple Marriage

That was the big highlight of the week, but we actually met a lot of cool people this past week as well.  We are still doing our best to keep in contact with the people that we have found in the past week and continuing to find the Lord's elect.  I got the chance to do a division this week with Elder Arévalo again, one of the assistants.  He is a powerhouse missionary and I learned so much from the division that I did with him. This week we also had a sweet ward activity. This ward does an integration activity once a month and this month they had a series of games. The ward was divided into three teams and each team had a representative that competed in each game. We didn't have any investigators but we did have a good amount of less active members who we are going to be visiting this week to help strengthen them. 

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of what happened this week but to please you all I'll send you my model shot. 

I hope you all have a good week next week and I'll talk to you guys next Monday!

Elder Schwartz

Not sure if these are mission issue socks either....

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