We had a bit of a scare this week when on our way home from the bus station in Porto Alegre on Tuesday after we traded companions we found ourselves on the other side of the city in who knows where. Apparently we were told to take the wrong bus and we ended up about 2 hours away from our area at 8:00 at night in some random place. I honestly was pretty scared because I had no idea where we were. The entire bus ride, I was thinking to myself, "none of this looks familiar but whatever, I'm sure it's right" and then we found ourselves being the only ones left on the bus and the driver turned around and goes, "end of the line!" CRAP. I instantly started praying for comfort and peace because I began to panic and within 2 minutes of me ending my prayer, a bus that I recognized was coming up the street and we got on and made it home safely!
A quote I like a lot by President Hinckley goes, "If life gets too hard to stand, KNEEL." I found myself on my knees many times this week praying for strength. I can say with certainty that I am receiving strength on a day-to-day basis to just push on. That's all I want, to develop the strength to push. There's a story in the scriptures (1 Nephi 7:16-18) when Nephi's brothers get mad at him and tie him up to kill him. What does Nephi do? He prays. But he does not pray that the cords just magically disappear from his wrists; he prays for strength to burst free from the bands. I like this story a lot and I feel that this lesson is often overlooked. We shouldn't pray for our problems and trials to just magically disappear from our lives because we won't learn anything from that; rather, we should pray, with faith, for the strength to burst free from those cords that often bind us down because that is when we learn how to be humble and of the true power that God has.
One night this week we were able to find a group of 5 friends who were beyond excited to hear our message and learn of God's love and blessings. We had a super spiritual lesson with them on The Restoration. It was honestly one of my best lessons. After explaining the Book of Mormon and inviting them to pray of its truthfulness, one of the girls decided to pray in that very moment to know if these things are true and the moment she ended the prayer, her phone rang and it was a business offering her a job that she had been trying to get for a while and was really needing. She explained to us that she had recently said a prayer, making a promise with God that if He would help her with some of her challenges in life, she would follow Him. BAHHHHHH! How cool is that?! I made a joke like "dang, that's probably the fastest I've ever seen someone get an answer!!"
But yeah, that's about all the exciting stuff that happened to me this week. Oh, I have developed a fear of wild dogs now. I forgot to say that last week I had my first dog attack (gave it a little whack to the face) and this past week I almost got bit twice in one day. The first one was this monster dog that jumped at me, and I dodged, but it grabbed onto my bag and I shook it off and went to take a swing at it but it dodged and backed off. My companion laughs at me because now every single time a dog comes near me, I get all hesitant.
This is me and all my companions I have had so far here in Brazil. (Elder Jackson, Elder Allef, Elder Nelson, and Elder Buhler).
This is a picture that I like a lot of Jesus. Our apartment has a patio that has a good view of the night sky and I like to go out at night and lay there looking up and thinking and conversing with God like Jesus is doing in this picture!