Hello my amazing people!!
How in the world are you doing? Before I go on about my week.. HUGE shout out to the most beautiful girl in the whole world... Hermana Kaytlin Dowdell!! She is on her way to the Dominican Republic!! I am so excited for her!! Pray for her to have safe travels and great success.. she is amazing!!
THIS HAS BEEN THE LONGEST WEEK OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!! I really struggled this past week, I won't even lie to you! I felt like the days were like months, and this week was like a year! My companion is Elder Fortes. He is from Cape Verde Africa, and doesn't speak any English. He speaks the ugly Portuguese. The type of Portuguese the Portugal missionaries learn. So not only does he not speak any English, but I do not understand his Portuguese either. Seriously the hardest thing ever!! I will try and stay positive and love him no matter the differences we have. My Mission President is really cool. I didn't get to talk to him much, but he spoke and was quite powerful. I really am having a good time and am so blessed.
First things first... THE HILLS!!! Holy flipper flapper the area that I am in (Silvina Ward, Sao Bernardo) is complete hills. If you are not walking up a hill, you are sleeping or walking down a hill. It is so crazy! I knew this mission had hills, but I didn't know they had so many.
Second... The language. Soooo.... I am unsure why I was in the MTC for 6 weeks, because I don't think I learned the language of my mission. The people here do not speak that same language that I was taught in the MTC. I kid you not, people ask me so many questions and then somehow.. in some way... I answer them. Honestly I have no idea how I do it, but it happens. The thing that I have come to realize is that the real language you need as a missionary is the language of the Spirit. If you can speak by and with the Spirit, then all is well. You can teach, invite, and help all you want... but without the Spirit people will not be truly converted. Pretty sweet!
And last.. the rejection! This is something they need to teach and prepare you for in the MTC. It honestly hurts. It hurts really deep. Like I knew it was hard, but it is the hardest part about the mission and will never get easier. We really do have something so special and so important... and it hurts to see people not accept it. The Gospel is needed in this corrupt world. There is nothing that brings more peace, comfort, happiness, and joy than the Gospel. With the Gospel, everything is so much better!! So the rejection is the hardest part about this last week. It pretty much brought me to tears to watch. It just means they aren't quite ready...but, soon they will be Ü
When I meet up with someone, I just have so much I want to say and feel prompted to say, but it never comes out the way I want. Please pray for me to obtain the Gift of Tongues. I can't do this without the Lord's help. I am so inadequate, yet so willing to submit to the Lord for help. Such an important thing to do. I challenge you guys to find more ways to submit to the Lord this upcoming week.
I would just like to end with an experience that I had and my testimony. Yesterday was a really hard day. I wasn't really understanding the people in the ward, and I was feeling pretty homesick....having a rough go. Then we sang, "Ye Elders of Israel" in Priesthood. This song is a little different in Portuguese, but it has such a huge meaning to me. The last line says.. ´sagrada missão precisamos cumprir´ which means ´sacred mission we need to fulfill.´ I just started bawling my eyes out. This mission is so sacred and I feel so blessed to have the privilege to be a missionary and share the Gospel with these amazing people. There is nothing that is more needed here in Brasil. The people love God so much and have so much faith, yet it is incomplete without the Gospel. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to share the Gospel. To stand in the shoes of our Savior.... to do what He wants done, to say what He wants said, and to be as He would be. It is an honor to wear His name on my chest everyday. We have a Savior. He loves us and has done everything needed to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. What joy that brings. Look for Him in your lives....He is there.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY!!!
Love, Elder Abel