April 14, 21014

OI mãe!
You´re headed off to Idaho! Crazy how quikly time flies. My companion is already on the BYU website setting up his classes for when he gets home, and I´m not too far behind him. It´s crazy to me how quickly time flies, but only when you don´t want it to.
I´m loving my new companion. He´s a very humble, experienced Elder who knows how to work in the ward. He´s pushing me to be better every day, and I´ve never felt like I´m progressing so quickly.
The members in our ward are fantastic. Right when we got here we started working like crazy serving the members, and we´ve gained their trust. They´re inviting us to teach their friends, inviting us to Family Home Evening (if you want to help the Elders out, just bring a friend over for Family Home Evening and invite them, it really is the best tool to integrate investigators). But we´re really happy here. We have a couple of investigators awesome to be baptized in the coming weeks. We´ve been only focusing on teaching families, and the Lord has blessed us.
In my personal studies this week, I´ve focused a lot on the mind. I´ve learned a little bit just how powerful the mind really is. Bruce R. McConkie said (rouphly translated) "The mind is the key that opens the windows of heaven". I have the book called "Evocando os Poderes dos Céus" (Drawing upon the Powers of Heaven) and I´ve learned so much. The Lord is so willing to grant us all of our sincere, just desires. When we don´t understand a lot of times is how to turn a simple want into a sincere desire.
Wants can very easily be mistaken for desires. Wants can be things very righteous, even the desires of God, but wants are fleeting thoughts that come and go. If I want something only when I remember to ask for it, it is not a real desire of our hearts. We need to learn how to train our minds, to turn these fleeting wants into firm desires.
And that´s the hardest thing I´ve ever tried to do in my life. Throughout the day, we let our minds wander on things that have no worth. We forget about the work the Lord wants us to do, and worry about the things of the world. Apostles have advised us to train our minds, so that when satan tries to distract us with meaningless thoughts, we can push them out. I´m realizing now how subtle satan really is. How frequently during the day I let my mind wander. But now, I´m catching myself much more quickly, and re-focusing on my work. It is completely mentally exhausting doing this all day, but I´m turning my wants into desires. When before, I´d see a cool car on the street and my mind would stray from how to help my investigators, I´m beginning to learn how to push these tempting thoughts out, and fill my whole heart with those I teach. In doing this, as Elder McConkie said, I´m unlocking the windows of heaven, and the Lord is absolutely blessing our work.
We prayed together one day, and decided that the Lord wanted us to find a family of 4, with the parents legally married (nearly impossible to find here), who would be open and excited fr baptism. We prayed frequently throughout the day, only letting our minds think about this family of 4, and after 3 days of this, we began to find a ton of families, legally married, who want to go to church. We are seeing a ton of miracles every day, and are recognizing them much more.
Tis has completely changed the definition of diligence for me. Before, diligence was talking with 50 people on the street, finding 6 new investigators, and teaching 15 lessons daily. Now, these things aren´t being diligent. They are blessings that come from constantly focusing my mind on the work of the Lord, or "constant mental force".
I know that the Lord lives, and that he wants to grant the righteous desires of our hearts. I also know that the key to these blessings is never letting satan distract us from our desires, and in doing so, the Lord will open up the windows of heaven, and let his blessing pour out in open abundance toward us. I have a strong testimony of the power of faith in our lives. Faith is only faith if it inspires us to act. Our faith is real faith when we serve. We desire to bring others to the Lords kingdom only when this desire never leaves our heart at any point of the day. "Faith, without works, is dead."
Love you all, I´m so happy to know that everyone is happy, and healthy. I´m greatful for all of the prayers, I really do feel them every day. I´m excited to talkt to you soon.
Com Amor e muito carinho,
Élder Smith

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