Monday, September 12, 2016


"The Atlantic  was born today, and I'll tell you how:
The clouds above opened up at let it out."

Boy oh boy do I love the rain. And rain it has! Maybe not as drastic as the Death Cab for Cutie song here makes it out to be, but still pretty impressive. On Wednesday we were about to leave when it just started to pour, and that's when my comp said, "I left my poncho in Praia!" Well, without an extra coat to be found, and not wanting to just throw my comp under the bus, I decided that I wouldn't put on my rain jacket either. We got drenched, to put it lightly, but it was all good fun!

I think my highlights of the week can all be described through one event: earlier this week, we had the pleasure of going out teaching with none other than President Mathews. The big man. The head honcho. The eye in the sky. Anyways, it was a super cool experience. Here's what happened:

First, we went and talked to an investigator we have named Suzana. She's super cool, has a strong desire to follow Christ. Her marido, Osvaldo, has no interest in talking with us, though. We talked with Suzana about if she asked God whether the Book of Mormon's true. She said that she did, and we talked to her about how she felt when she did it. When we asked if she thought she got an answer, she said yes! It was super cool, and President testified about how he started reading the Book of Mormon every day 30 years ago and how it blessed him. Yesterday Suzana came to church! She said it was actually Osvaldo that convinced her to get ready. She was super excited, and said that she wants to bring some friends next time, especially Osvaldo.

Then, we talked to a returned missionary of a few months. Knowing that one or two of you may know him, and feeling that he may not want people to know where he's at right now, I'll call him Djony. For the past couple of months, Djony has really been struggling with the church. President came and just took over the lesson. He shared  cool message on Lehi's dream. He talked about how when you grab hold of the Iron Rod, it's like the day of your baptism. He then pointed out that it says after people got a hold of the rod, THEN the mists of darkness came, and some were lost. But those who hold true always find their way. Djony interjected, saying that he hadn't seen the blessings that were promised him for serving an honorable mission. President said plainly that he had to trust in the Atonement of Christ, and he had to trust that the blessings would come. He also made it to church!

Lastly, we talked with a couple named Pina and Ana. They are members of the church for almost 20 years now, Pina having been a District President in the past. Now they're pretty weak in activity. President also talked a lot with them, first exhorting them to wear their garments right (it was a little obvious to see that they weren't) and then shared a story told by Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar, as a stake president, visited a lot of less-active members, and almost all of them said that they left the Church because of some meager offense. He would then list off all the blessings, including the Sacrament, the blessings of the temple, the Spirit of the Lord, and the responsibility they had to help their children (and ancestors) to salvation, and asked "and you're saying that you're going to lose all of that because you once got offended by another member?" Almost all responded, "I didn't think of it that way." Then President simply said that the Church needs them, and they need the Church. Guess who showed up to church yesterday? They did!

It was incredible, and I'm astounded by how all of them showed up at church after that. President Mathews is a powerful man, and taught me a lot about the power that comes with my calling as a missionary. I'm really going to apply it by making sure people know that I represent noone else than Jesus Christ. That's a powerful statement.

Oh yeah, today I saw Weston Adams, my old comp! He came back to visit the country with his dad. It was cool to meet up and bug each other one more time. Super weird though, he's like normal and everything. That's weird. I don't like that.

Well, that was my main highlight of the week, and the rest of the week wasn't bad either! Hope that you all have a good one! Transfers will be happening on Wednesday, so we'll figure out what that means for Elder Jhangiani and I!

Elder Penner

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