Hello Friends and Family,
It is getting cold down here in the South! The humid cold literally cuts through our clothes and digs into our bones. I basically live in a icebox in our house as well, because we are only allowed 1 hour of heating because of the costs. Welcome to the mission! Besides the cold everything is alright. We are working hard even though things are not going our way.
This week we tripled our numbers in just about everything which was cool. Like I mentioned last week, a few extra missionaries came to our area to help out a bit. I went on a division with an Elder named Dos Santos. It was a great help because he had already served 6 months in the area so he showed me everyone that he was working with when he left the area. We marked 4 baptisms in about 3 hours! He is one of the best missionaries in the mission. Right now he is the leader of a "group" of members in Bagé. A "group" is even smaller than a branch which I did not that even existed. In 4 weeks he already has enough people organized to form a branch in his area. It was pretty eye opening to work with a missionary like him, because he showed me to never have any doubts in anything that we do as missionaries, complete trust in the savior instead of in our own selves. There is a huge difference in the missionary work when you rely on your faith instead of your talent, the people begin to recognize you as a representative of Christ.
So Elder Machado and I worked a lot this week, but in the end none of our investigators showed up to church Sunday. So far on my mission it has been pretty easy to get people to go to church, but here it has been extremely difficult. Just imagine, they have to get up early in the almost unbearable cold and then have to go to a place they have never visited, and they all live miles away from the chapel. It is even harder when almost no one in the ward has a car to help out. When Elder Machado and I got home from church yesterday we both ready to burst out in tears. We have worked more in these last 4 weeks than in our entire missions and we had nothing to prove of it at the end of the week. It was really sad, especially when the other missionaries had investigators in the church, references from an awesome family in the ward.
I think about our Savior in moments like these. Imagine the sadness he feels when we do not do what he asks. All he ever wanted to do was help people and show the way that leads to complete happiness and we destroyed him. Now imagine when we do something even worse like sinning for example. It is one more drop of blood that he has to pay for our eternal salvation, and he would suffer like this over and over again because of the incomprehensible love he has for every single one of us. I know that I will try my best to never let him down, never let him suffer more than he already has. I know that by this I will be able to show my gratefulness for everything he has done for me and will continue to do for me, no matter the price.
On Friday we had our Dessert Night activity. It was a success! There was almost more less-active members showed up than members and some of them brought non-members to the activity. We ate some excellent dessert and then shared a deep message. We took the idea for our message from a message a Utah school teacher did some time back. We handed out chocolates and Elder Beary had to do push-ups for every chocolate that the people ate. We shared a scripture that mentioned how hard the suffering that he went through for our sins. Then the people understood that for every chocolate (sins), Elder Beary had to suffer for just like our savior. It got really quiet in the room and nobody wanted to eat chocolate any more, but we the missionaries kept on eating until Elder Beary was absolutely finished. We shared another scripture and finished with our testimonies. The spirit was really strong and everyone left with a greater appreciation for our Savior. All in all it went well and we are already planning our next activity that will be huge.
Anyways that is all for now. Thanks for all the emails and letters that you send me. Pray for our success here in Dom Pedrito.
Love, Elder Miller