This week was pretty busy. We had zone conference, which is a meeting that we have once every three months with our mission president and the mission assistants. We learned about the importance of study, both personal study and companion study, and also about something called "Crescimento Real", or "Real Growth". The Church is really focusing on this, and the training that President Souza gave us was a translation a training given by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. So, it's pretty big stuff:) Real growth talks about where we need to focus our missionary efforts, and the activities that we should be involved in. We need to focus in areas that will actually help the Church to grow. This means that we, a missionaries, need to try to help reactivate those who are less-active in the Church, as well as focusing our proselyting efforts on baptizing men and families. In this way, the Church is established more strongly upon a basis of families and priesthood holders, with the support and infrastructure that new members need as they are growing in their testimonies and becoming converted unto the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, it was very interesting, and very important for us to understand and apply.
Also this week, a young man named Rafael was baptized. His brother was less-active, but he wanted to come back to Church, and when he did, he brought his brother Rafael with him to seminary. Rafael was very interested, and wanted to get baptized. So, these past weeks we've been teaching him, and helping to prepare him for baptism. He was baptized yesterday after Church. It is really cool, because his brother can help him learn more about the gospel, while at the same time they can both support each other as they actively participate in the meetings and activities at Church.
Anyway, my time is spent again! I love you all so very much! I was reading a talk by Elder Scott about faith, and it really made me remember some things that I have learned in the past. While I was at BYU, we had a regional conference, and Sister Julie B. Beck was there, as well as Elder Holland and Elder Packer. It was really cool, and I remembered a quote from Sister Beck that I think is important for all of us to remember: "You're doing better than you think you are, but not as well as you could be". We need to remember that we often are very hard on ourselves, and that we are probably doing better than we think. Yet, we all have room for improvement, and we can continue to get better everyday. So, don't be too hard on yourselves! Acknowledge the good that you do everyday, and feel good about yourself. Do you best, and try to see how you can do better without punishing yourself:)
I love you all so much! Heavenly Father lives, and is mindful of us and our difficulties. He wants to help us, and has provided ways that we can receive the strength and support that we need. So, go to Him, ask Him for what you need, and remember to be grateful when He opens the windows of heaven and pours out so many blessings upon you that you don't even have room to receive it:)
Love you all tons and scoops,
Elder Reid Powell Empey