July 29, 2014

As Familias Poderao Ser Eternas

July 28, 2014

Twas a good week! Here are some highlights -

Dantas and family!!!! Ahhhh! 3 WEEKS STRAIGHT GOING TO CHURCH! And this time the WHOLE family was there again! And they stayed for all the meetings! Alice received the gift of the Holy Ghost and during the blessing me, Sister Carvalho and Sister Baker all had the distinct feeling that one day she would serve a mission. I can’t wait! Allyson had an interview with the Bishop to receive the priesthood and has been going to Seminary every day! Dantas is not only going to the regular Sunday meetings, but went to the devotional on Sunday night without any member or missionary help...he just paid attention to the announcements in sacrament meeting, and then went! Seriously, this family is so wonderful. (Continued prayers are welcome!)

Last Monday night, we taught them how to do a Family Home Evening. When we showed up, Alderiluce (the mom) had searched out and found all of the church material they had hidden in the house - RS manual, Liahonas, Principles of the Gospel, everything - laid out ready for the FHE! Everyone participated, singing and reading scriptures and when Allice said the prayer at the end, her dad got all emotional and gave her a kiss on the forehead. I had already lost it when we all sang Families Can Be Together Forever :)

We are teaching another wonderful family as well - Ricardo and Cristiane. They have 3 kids, including one with special needs, so they stopped going to church after the kids were born. Cristiane says that she knows it doesn’t matter to God if she is at Church with a screaming baby, but the people inside the churches don’t like it so she stopped going. It was quite touching to explain that God created the church to help families, not to exclude them. They are very excited to go to Church on Sunday and have a baptismal date for the end of the month!!!!! (Prayers welcomed as well).

Basically, Presidente Soares gave an incredible training about the need to find and teach whole families and prepare them to go to the temple. We had a wonderful district meeting that touched on this aspect and Sister Carvalho bore her testimony of her little niece that is 2 years old and already knows when it’s time to pray and who Jesus Christ is. Very emotional. We´ve spent the whole week finding and teaching families and it makes the work so much more satisfying.

The only way to bear any moving testimony of eternal families is when we learn to value our own families. The more love and appreciation we have for our families, the more power behind our words. The Spirit is strongest when we are speaking from personal experience. Dad, I’m grateful for your example and everything you taught me to always do my best. Never Settle. I value even more the letters you send me every week and value the chance to still learn from your example. Mom, I am so glad that you loved me enough to give up everything to stay at home and teach me. To be the only mom on the playground in Boston, with a huge group of nannies. To know that I will always have an email in my inbox and that after 1 year on the mission, my family is still just as faithful in supporting me as you were in the beginning. Benjamin, I’m grateful for your example of love and patience. I am inspired every week with the stories Mom sends and you are NOT a Sunday-only member of the Church. You love, and because you love, you serve and every week it is an inspiration to me.

I understand that we have to have an eternal family to reach the highest degree of exaltation because it is only in FAMILY that we can experience the greatest joys and blessings of eternity. God´s greatest joy comes from seeing His children succeed, so if we want to be like Him this will be our greatest joy and blessing here on Earth and in the heavens. ``All the Father hath´´ as promised to us in the scriptures doesn’t really consist of principalities and worldly power and great mansions. It’s the opportunity to see our families grow....forever. Forever! And what a wonderful blessing it is.

I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me. I stand all amazed at the love that He has, to die for me. But I am in awe of the love of a Father that gave His only Son to die for me. And I will try every day to be worthy of this great gift.

I love you all!
-Sister Carroll

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