Date

December 2, 2019

Area

Paranavai, Brazil

Companion

Elder Lorenzo

Happy Thanksgiving from Paranavaí

Hey family and friends! I'm so glad I get to send you an e-mail, because this week I'd like to tell you all some of the things that I'm thankful for.
I'm grateful that I know who I am! Let me explain. There's a lot of people in this world that don't know where they came from or, who they really are, what they are here to do, or where they're going after their lives and death. That is truly one of the saddest things in the world, the fact that there exists people who don't know these truths about the plan of salvation that are so readily available to us as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ. There's a phrase that says knowledge is power. With a scriptures and the revealed word, we have access to all of this information and more. We can have 100% certainty about our purpose and the plan, and that can give us strength to keep doing the right thing when the challenges in life come. The scriptures and the living words of the prophets also contain the power for us to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, the only being ever to live on the earth that had all of the Power to do good in this world. I testified that if you want more power to do good in the world the best way to acquire it is by becoming more like the Savior Jesus Christ, because he was the most powerful man to live on the Earth. And you can get to know him in the scriptures and in the words of the prophets. Without seeing him, he can become your best friend, your highest leader, and your example. And if it becomes that way in your life, you will have great power to accomplish his purposes and help all of God's children be happier.
Summarizing, I'm grateful for the scriptures, for the apostles, and the living prophet.
I'm grateful for my family, who introduced me to these truths so that I can learn them for myself, and showed me how living these truths should look.
I'm grateful for my friends and my leaders and examples of faith and love and good works.
I'm grateful for good music. My MTC president always said: A música nos eleva aos céus. (Music elevates us to heaven) It's quite true if the music in question invites the spirit.
Most of all, I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father who was always watching, and guiding me without my realizing it. He is always giving opportunities to us to choose the right or not without knowing it, but we are always blessed openly when we choose the right and have the desire to do what He wants us to do.
the truth is, there isn't space nor time enough for me to put on this list all things that I'm grateful that I have in my life and that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. He's too good for me to keep up. But now that I've finished my Thanksgiving day grateful list, let me tell you about my week.

This week we confirmed Stephanie and Elsa members of the church. it's been fun to watch them enjoy the church, and particularly to watch Stephanie get excited about reading the book of Mormon. She's only 11, but she likes to read and she reads on her own. I'm excited, because I know that it will strengthen her testimony and enable her to resist all the temptations that may come and stay strong in the church and doing the right thing. Their brother came to see the confirmation to. He usually works on Sunday, but we hope that he can keep coming sometimes. We went over there Sunday night and taught the restoration. Sunday night was cool too, because we did splits with four brothers from the Ward. So four missionaries, and four men from the branch made four pairs, and we went and visited a lot of people! It was a great feeling to go with him. I got to go with a man named Sergio, who is a recent convert of only one month to the church. He confided in me that it actually has been a lifelong dream of his to go out proselyting and preach the gospel, but he thought that he would never have the opportunity. It was so cool to see him happy and helping, and even though he only has one months as a member of the church, his testimony for Stephanie, Elsa, and their brother and mom was really powerful.

Let me tell you something about the gathering of Israel. God has a purpose for everything, whether we choose to go along with this purposes or not. And one really amazing thing that I have seen in the gathering of Israel is the arrival of all of the families from Venezuela here in the Paranavaí Branch. This branch is 2 years old, and within the two years it has been pretty rough. There has been a lot of opposition and difficulties in apostasy that the faithful members have had to deal with. And only one month ago the frequency in the sacrament meeting was about thirteen people per week. But Heavenly Father chose to move the work in this part of the world faster. Four or five families have arrived from Venezuela that the church has helped settle in here. Some of them already were members, and some weren't. One family was baptized in the church. A father (Sergio), his daughter, and her two cousins. Four or five of the other families were already members of the church, some recent converts, and some long-term members. It has been amazing to see the way that they have strengthened this branch, and arrived with a desire to bring more people to church and to strengthen the people that are already in church. Actually, everyone we went out with Sunday night was Venezuelan. So when we prayed we prayed for the gift of tongues, and it went great. This migration of families from Venezuela because of the crisis is a part of the gathering of Israel, and has enabled the work to go much faster here in Brazil because many of the families are coming here to Brazil, because the church helps families from the church and from outside of the church to settle in here.

Just one more experience, this one is a testimony of the prophet Russell M Nelson. More or less two years ago, president Nelson gave a devotional called "youth of the promise." In the devotional, he talked about how "the gathering of Israel" is the most important thing happening on the Earth today. That devotional changed my perspective in a really profound way, and I was able to see it. This inspired Focus, truly pulls from the themes of the scriptures, and is the focus that Heavenly Father wants us to have now. Why? Because the Savior reveals His will directly to prophets and apostles.

This week Elder Lorenzo and I made a contact in the front of a store with a woman. We were talking, and her elderly father who is also a missionary for his church asked if he could ask us a question. We love questions, so of course I said yes. We sat down in the back of the store, and the old man started to ask a lot of questions about the end of the world, and the purposes of God. One question was particularly telling in our conversation. He asked, "what is the kingdom of God on Earth", and I was able to give him an answer that was inspired by President Nelson's message. I told him that The kingdom of God on Earth is the Church.This is because members of the Church have made a covenant with the Savior to serve him and keep his commandments. This covenant is called baptism, and when we are baptized we become part of the House of Israel, the covenant people of the Lord. The house of Israel is also the kingdom of God on the Earth. We can't afford to disregard, and not pay attention to the words of our Prophets.

sorry the length of the email. I love all of you guys, and I pray for you. Thank you for the incredible examples of faith and truth that you are all in my life, I have learned a lot from you. and it won't be long before I'm back! It's already December, and I left him in January! It seems like it passed really fast! Feel free to send me a holiday email this month! I would love to hear from all of you.

Lots of love,

-Elder Wells




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