Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Bite on the Butt


Hello!!!

What an amazing week it has been here in Bahia Brazil!! We are getting ready for a zone conference with Elder Godoy of the Seventy which will be amazing tomorrow except that we have to wake up early, like... 3:30 to get there on time but that’s OK I'll get over it, right?

Well let’s see exciting stories from this week...  do you remember how I said you could become a real missionary one of three ways? A dog biting you, pooping your pants, or being robbed?  Well I think I found a new one to add to the list!  So there I was at church talking to a member and a kid comes up and BITES me on the butt!! No like a child soft bite but a horrible painful bite that I'm pretty sure will scare over!  It was the craziest thing ever all the member could do was laugh out of pure shock... I mean what can you do in this situation?!

This week was elder Almeida’s one-year mark on the mission so I made him two cakes. Yes you read right I made two cakes for him! And they turned out ´pretty good too!  I even put sprinkles on it.  I'm thinking my wife is a pretty lucky woman, I mean, what more do you need then a man that can make and decorate a cake?!

Well here in Brazil they like hot sauce on their food and this one sister made some of the best hot sauce I have ever had so I asked her to teach me how and she said that she would make a bottle for me! Well yesterday I picked up the bottle and I could tell it was going to be good.  My companion just looked at it really scared and told me to run my finger over the opening and not touch it and then stick it on my tongue so I did and my tongue was burning just from the fumes of the hot sauce! I am so excited to use this it is amazing!  If anyone wants I’ll make it for them when I get home.  I'm thinking my dad will love it!

Well this week while we were teaching this really cool parable came to my mind! I love it, tell me what you think.  It’s called the parable of the ice cream shop:

The kingdom of Heaven is likened unto an ice cream shop.  The owner of the shop wanting all to partake of the best ice cream in the world will do everything he can to help people enjoy his ice cream.   The owner tells how the journey will be hard and long but the reward worth it so we all agree to try. Since the owner is the only one who knows where the shop is he gives us a bike (because it is long and impossible to get there in feet), a gps (because maps are outdates and a gps is cooler), and money for the ice cream once we get there. So we get on our bikes and start out. Along the way are other shops that seems good but their ice cream is not even close to as good as this one shop and after a while there is shade which looks really nice since its hot and the journey is long finally we make it to the shop because be paid close attention to the gps, stayed close to our bikes and those of us who have the money pay and are able to eat and enjoy the best ice cream in the world with all the joy and peace and happiness what we were promised.  Now wasn’t the journey worth it?

As many of you can tell the ice cream is eternal life, the owner is God but the other symbols in the story aren’t so clear.... the Gps is the Holy Ghost and prophets and it only works if we listen to it and pay attention to it. The Money is baptism God has made it available to all but not everyone will accept it and if they won’t when they reach the final destination if they don’t have it they cannot enter and receive (john 3:5).  The bike is Christ we cannot get to the end without Christ we are totally and completely dependent on him and if we walk away from him and do not gratefully partake of the atonement we will not end up where we want. the shade is the joys of the world or immediate gratification is makes us happy for a minute but in the end it isn’t what we wanted and last we have the other shops which are other churches that look good and offer good things but they do not have the fullness of the Gospel and the fullness of the joy that we can receive if we endure to the end and make it to the real place.
This is a fun little story that points out what I have learned to be the most important parts of our message to the world and my testimony.  

I know that God lives that he has given us His beloved Son and it is only through Him and by accepting His atonement and baptism that we can be saved at the last days. I know that God has given us everything we need to return to live with Him again if we will only listen to the words of the prophets and give heed to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost we can endure to the end. My prayer is that we can all humble ourselves and stay strong in our journey to live with heavenly father again. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that because of his works and sacrifice we have the true and living gospel today.  His fruit for us is the book of Mormon which testifies that Jesus is the Christ. We cannot look beyond the mark or away from the staff of life if we want eternal life with all of its many blessings.  This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope you all have a great week and know that I love you so much. Never forget your purpose in life and life will be that much easier.  Not easy but easier. I love this chance that I have been given to serve a mission and I am so grateful for all I have learned here in this short time.  Ate mais meus amigos!

Te Amo,
Elder Mender 
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