[My companion] and I got a new companion at transfers this week! She's from Seattle, WA, has studied advertising at BYU, and is 22 years-old. She is also waiting for her Happy Travel Card to go to the Brazil Sao Paolo West mission, so we have been studying Portuguese together. The other day we were doing a role play and it was harder than I thought it would be. I'm going to have to work hard to retain all of my Portuguese skills. However, both [my new companion] and I are not really expecting to leave anytime soon. There are some missionaries here waiting for Happy Travel Cards that have been here over 6 months. Like I found out at the MTC, three testimonies makes our companionship so much stronger.
Last P-Day we had a nerf gun war at the church. The Elders definitely got really into it. It was pretty fun. During our "Skills" Meeting the other day, our District Leader and his companion were trying to help us "embrace awkwardness." They had us pick a Book of Mormon story the night before District Meeting and when we got to the meeting, they told us that we had to compose a rap about it and perform it in front of everyone. It was awkward but pretty fun. [My companion] and I had chosen the story of the Brother of Jared. Everyone told us that we had the best rap. (Just the day before, I was telling [my companion] that rap was the one genre of music that I wasn't very fond of).
We have been teaching our progressing investigator multiple times this week. He has a lot of different questions, so we brought him to Institute on Thursday. It was awesome and was nice to sort of feel like I was back at school again. The lesson was on Mosiah 5 and King Benjamin's Speech, and everything that Brother Halverson (the Institute Teacher) said seemed to apply directly to our investigator and to all of the things he had talked to us about the night before (another miracle to add to my list of miracles).
Brother Halverson talked specifically about the difference between humility, despondency, and complacency. He emphasized that humility is godly sorrow that leads to change, while despondency is shame that doesn't lead to change and complacency is pride that doesn't lead to change. From what our investigator told us the night before, he has been feeling fairly despondent recently and at times does not feel he is worthy to pray to God. We are trying to help him understand that in order to follow Christ, he needs to gather up the courage to believe he is worthy, to take the hand of God, and to change, because the adversary is doing everything in his power to make us feel like we are either unworthy and shouldn't make an effort to change or to feel like when we sin it is no big deal and there is no need for us to change
At the end of the Institute on Thursday, Brother Halverson asked if anyone had any announcements and one guy in the class stood up and said he had an announcement and then commenced to propose to the girl he loved, who was also in the class. Well, it was the first marriage proposal I have ever seen and heard in real life, so for some reason I started tearing up. Our investigator was taken a little bit by surprise and Brother Halverson had to tell all the people who were there for the first time that this didn't happen every week.
The other day, we brought our investigator to two baptisms of the YSA sister's investigators and then showed him the Restoration video. He has been very cautious about accepting Joseph Smith, seeing that the Scriptures warn us of false prophets. However, when he saw the video, he told us that right now he was feeling exactly like Joseph Smith when he was searching for truth. He came to Church with us yesterday and saw the confirmation of the two YSA's that were baptized yesterday. He said that he definitely felt the Spirit during one of the confirmations. This week we are going to try to help him quit smoking. I'm not sure what it will be like, but I know that if he puts forth the effort to show Heavenly Father He is trying to and willing to follow His commandments, Heavenly Father will bless Him.
A couple things I learned this week are that we shouldn't compare our peaks to our valleys. We should compare our peaks to our peaks and our valleys to our valleys and see if we are going up or down. I also realized that no matter how hard I try to repay my Heavenly Father, I will never be able to and in fact may become further in debt to Him. This is something I have definitely learned in the two months I have been out in the field. I have learned that God keeps me forever in debt so that what He gives me will always be a gift from Him.
Love you so much!