Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19, 2014 Still more changes

Our mission has been an experience in being flexible and dealing with change.  One of our sweet sisters needs to go home for medical treatment.  As a result, Sister Barros will be assigned as her companion's companion for a while.  Sister Barros is a little worried because the assignment requires that she ride a bike and she has not ridden one before.  She is great, and I am certain she will learn.  Who knows, perhaps that will lead her to Brazilian families!

Next Sunday, we will be serving at the Brazilian consulate during their election.  They need us to help with the food for the volunteers.  It should be a great experience.

Elder Dixon and I have been assigned to serve on the Stake's Public Affairs committee.  The first meeting for us will be on Thursday.  It will be interesting to learn what is currently being done.  I hope that we can be helpful.

Of one thing I am certain, we need to make the LDS Church visible here.  Our meetinghouses are so modest, they do not stand out in comparison to the spacious structures of other churches.  We need to find ways to let people know that our message is amazing and will change their lives.

We have had a little issue with the driving for one of the sets of Brazilian missionaries, so Elder Dixon is providing their transportation.  He drives their car with the monitor, and really doesn't like it.  He has been working closely with the Elders.  He jokes about how he didn't expect to be transferred and have different companions.  I just work on our other assignments here while he is away, work with the Sister missionaries (or sometimes go shopping for things we need for assignments).  He has done everything from contacting to teaching a member how to barbecue.

I went with one of the Spanish Sisters to give a lesson because her companion was ill.  It was a little challenging since I don't speak Spanish.  I loved being able to answer the questions from the teenagers because they spoke English.  That is quite common.  The children and youth interact in English at school, so they speak English.

We had another Temple session with incredible attendance.  Every month, a large percentage
of the endowed members attend.  It is amazing.  President Tedjamulia took the picture, so he is not in this one.

This week, I thought you might find Kudzu of interest.  It is a plant that originated in the Orient.  It was brought in from Japan in the 1800s to control erosion.  People in the South brought it in as a vine for porches.  It has overtaken 7,400,000 acres and continues to consume at the rate of 150,000 acres a year.  It has been nicknamed "The vine that ate the South."

As you travel, you see huge mounds where it grows, and places where the trees have been totally overwhelmed by it.

It has made me think about our world.  Sins may seem small and innocuous.  They can initially be very appealing.  But, if we do not control them, they can take over.  One of my favorite books is "The Little Prince".  In the book, the Little Prince lives on a very small planet.  A plant called a baobab grows on his planet, but he has to remove them every day.  If he does not, the roots of the plant could destroy his little planet.  We need to beware the baobab and kudzu in our lives and in our world.

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