Sorry, I'm behind in posting! James, in this letter asked for all of you to write to him -- he wants to keep in touch! -okay, Chelsea Burnett, Brookly, Justin, James!!!! He misses you guys and says hi!
Anyway, this is from a very delicious letter James sent home on June 14th ... enjoy!
I'll be writing a ton of letters today, so this email will be kind of short ...but just wanted to say thank you (and thank you Dad, Jamie, and Jayson!) for all your support! Thank you for having me grow up in this beautiful gospel! Life is good on this end!
This week's picture is just us at lunch =) I love the people here! It is very interesting finding ways to work with people that you're with 24/7. While on a mission, you are to be with your companion at all times - except for when using the restroom/showers -- "within sight and sound." I'm so blessed to have a companion that is super hard working, funny, from Idaho, loves similar music, easy going, and we just get along too well =) - He'll probably be my best man -- well, whenever marriage starts to look welcoming! ;)
The hardest thing so far is trying to find out what my investigators need. I know that you are really great with giving your friends (and me) what they need as far as friendship, counsel, and love goes. As I try to figure out what my investigators need in their lives, I am finding out what questions to ask them, how to listen (in another language), and how to use their responses to know if they need to hear that God loves them, or that His gospel is back on the Earth, etc...
At times I feel quite inadequate to teach someone in their native language. But I know that as I learn more about this gospel, the Portuguese language, and work hard, God will make up for the rest. I know that everything in this life relates back to the atonement of Jesus Christ. Whenever we feel inadequate, that is the Devil talking. We need to remember what God told Moses in Exodus 4:12... has he not made our mouths? Has He not made our minds? Has He not made our bodies? We already have bodies given us that reflect the body of our Lord. When we follow Him and keep His commandments, we can be an instrument in His, the Master's Hands.
Do you know how the metalsmith knows when the metal has been purified? The metal worker puts the steel in the very hottest part of the kiln. He then waits ... if He pulls the metal out too quick, it might still have impurities. If He leaves it in too long, it will be ruined. He knows it has been in the fire long enough when HE CAN SEE HIS REFLECTION IN IT. We just need to keep holding on, even when it's hot. He will always save us at the second before we are about to break if we really really giveit our all. Is that now what our purpose is here? To be tried and tested so that we can be more perfect -- more like our perfect Father?
When we fall short, it's ok. Our perfect and celestial older Brother, Jesus Christ, already did the hard part for us. With the perfect love that he has for us, He combined his Godly will with his mortal body and suffered the most tragic agony and most pure act of love to happen for you, for me, for everyone who ever lived, is living, and will ever live. He already suffered the pain for every pitfall that comes upon us from our own sins, fromt
he sins of others, or from just living on this mortal sphere. HE HAS ALREADY DONE THIS, we just need to accept Him, follow Him, and we will live a happier life. That's all there is to it!
I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to take up Jesus' offer to follow Him. I can guarantee that you'll love Him for it. I can also guarantee that there is opposition in all things -- when you start to do something good, a storm will come; Satan will try to discourage you in any way possible...However who's side do you want to be on? I'm on team Jesus. It may not be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it!
Em nome de nosso salvador, Jesus Cristo, Amen