I cannot believe that I have already been in the mission field for a month. If it keeps going at this rate, after 2 years it will feel like I was only away from home for 2 weeks. But still, the learning and experience is so dense that there is never a moment to be wasted. Things have been going super well for the past week. We recently receive a new District Leader, Elder Adams. He is from Aurora, Utah and is one of the friendliest elders that I have ever met. He is 23 years old, and just recently decided that he wanted to come on a mission. He is a great missionary, and I am so glad that he is here and is our new district leader. I am continuing in our branch goal to finish the Book of Mormon before we leave the MTC, and I am getting close. I am almost finished with Alma, and I think that I have gotten more out of this reading of the Book of Mormon than I ever have before.
Ooh, update on my investigators. I have got a good story. So we have two investigators, Renato and Taina, and it has been so fun being able to teach them. But we found out a fun secret about Renato last week, and it made for some interesting instructional maneuvers. He had hastily moved into our area from Sao Paulo, and we were never sure why he had left so quickly. We found out. A specific day we were teaching about the doctrine of Christ, specifically about repentance. "You can become clean of all of your sins, no matter what!" we said. And he was really excited. And this is why. We found out that the reason that he had fled Sao Paulo in such haste was because he had gotten involved in some dirty dealings, was a "traficante", and had ended up shooting a man three times in the chest. The man didn't die, but this was the reason why he had left Sao Paulo. Elder Young and I were unphased. Number 1: I was the one that understood the majority of what was going on; Elder Young didn't really have any idea. Number 2: We just wanted a baptism. "Yeah, Renato, don't worry about those things, you can be clean." So we ventured on, unperturbed, to invite him to be baptized. He agreed, and we left feeling good.
Like 6 minutes after, I realized what we had done. I wasn't really sure what the rules were concerning those that had committed serious sins, but I knew there was something. So after I explained the situation to Elder Young, we looked it up. And we found an answer. Now that I look back on it, it is actually really funny, simply because for everything that you are not supposed to do when someone has committed a serious sin, we did. We promised that he could be forgiven for all of his sins, we invited him to be baptized, and we set a definite baptismal date, all of which we shouldn't have done. Good heavens. I am really glad that we had this experience in the MTC though, before it actually counts. We have had another lesson with Renato since then, and we just straightly told him how things were and then invited him to meet with the mission president. If things go well with the mission president, he can be baptized. Irmao Pinho, our teacher that is acting as Renato, was having a ball. This is one of his favorite investigators to act as because it teaches an important lesson. Renato was one of Irmao Pinho's investigators in Brazil, so when we are finished teaching him he is going to tell us the full story of what happened with him.
We went to the temple today, which is always fun, except I got a little distracted. One of the temple workers looked like Gene Wilder, so I was thinking about Stir Crazy for a while. We got new roommates! Elder Young and I are no longer alone, which is probably good, since sometimes we get way too hyper. But so far it hasn't really slowed us down. Yesterday, after gym time, we were singing in the showers extremely loud, and then this slowly transferred into our room where we were singing at the top of our lungs. Elder Rieman and Elder Heward are great roommates, especially since they put up with us.
Okay, spiritual thought. The other day, after our Sunday night devotional, we had a film to watch, and I went and saw a talk by Elder Bednar about the Character of Christ. I think I remember Elder Bednar giving this talk in conference at some point, but this film was of him giving the talk at the MTC. It was fantastic. The main idea of the talk was that when we, as natural men, would be inclined to turn inwards and think about ourselves, Christ instead turns outward and looks for opportunities to help others. It is such a simple concept, but I am thinking that this simple idea is going to change the rest of my mission. Just for the rest of the following day, when ever I felt that i was turning inward and becoming frustrated and prideful, I would turn outward and try to think of someone else. This made all the difference. This doctrine is so important, and I am so happy for the opportunity to be on a mission where literally everything that I do can be for someone else. This is probably the only time in my life that I can really do that, or at least do that to this large of an extent. I get to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
I love you all, and wish you luck. I am praying for you!