We still didn't work much, between the baptismal interviews and me still being sick and the other meetings we had. There was plenty of stuff to do this week, though. We had a meeting with the Brazil Area President, and it was awesome. Elder Costa is his name. He's an amazing man and he had so much insight into the gospel.
At the beginning of the meeting he just answered questions from the missionaries that were there (it was a bunch of the zones in the mission, but not all of them) and it was awesome the way that he was able to answer every question. I was going to bring my notes with me to the LAN House today, but I ended up forgetting... Sorry! I'll try to remember stuff that he said.
Elder Costa told us a story about when he was a mission president in Brazil. He had two elders call him up one day and said that they were teaching a family, and the family decided to bring in their pastor from their church to talk a bit with the missionaries, so the missionaries invited Elder Costa to come along. Elder Costa prayed about it and accepted, and also received a little bit of inspiration to ask one of the elders to bring a Bible in English. Which is kinda weird considering they're in Brazil, right? Where everyone speaks Portuguese and all. So the elder brought the Bible and they got to the family's house, and it turns out that the family had invited not just one, but 3 pastors from their church to come and talk with the missionaries. 3 vs 3 - Fight! So they got to talking about the training that these pastors had gotten, and one had a doctorate in theology and had 13 years of education, one had a masters in theology and 9 years of education, and one was almost finished with his masters in theology with 8 years of education, and all three of the spoke English. Then Elder Costa talked about the training that him and the missionaries had. One of the elders was Brazilian, so he had 19 days of training. The other was American, so he had 2 months of training. Elder Costa had 3.5 days of training. Seems like they were pretty outnumbered, huh? Well, they started talking and the biggest thing that these pastors had a problem with was about the day of rest, which happens to be Sunday for us, but Saturday for the pastors' church. In the Bible in Portuguese, it clearly says that "Sabado" is the day of rest, which is the word for Saturday. But Elder Costa grabbed the Bible in English, which the most educated pastor had said was correct and the word of God, and showed that it doesn't say "Saturday," but instead it says "Sabbath," which happens to mean a day of rest. Elder Costa then asked the main pastor what day was the day that he took off from work as a day of rest, and he answered that is was Sunday. After a little bit more of this banter, the pastors left and the family ended up being baptized. Moral of the story: Listen to promptings of the Holy Ghost! They might seem ridiculous in the moment, but there is always a reason. Never lose an opportunity to follow the guidance of our Heavenly Father. He always knows what is best for us, and will always help us down the right path as long as we seek out his guidance.
Well, that's all I got for this week.
I love you guys!
Elder Hopper #1