I can't believe it is over! One more week and I will be heading home. These two years have been the best of my whole life and I am sad that they are already gone. I remember when I was first starting...how hard it was to learn Portuguese and to work as a missionary. I remember that many times I wanted to give up. I always remember something mom told me during that time: "Anything worthwhile never came without effort". I have never forgotten that and now I know that my mission was the most worthwhile thing I have ever done!!
I love you guys so much and I can't wait to see you all again next week! Hope everything is going well back home. See you on Tuesday!
Well...it is the start of my LAST WEEK in the mission field! This will be a week of 'lasts' for me....my last week in Brazil, the last time I will watch a sacrament meeting in Brazil for a while, the last time I will see many friends, the last time I will be able to eat pineapple every day....I am very, very anxious! But I am super excited to get home and see you all again! I started singing one of my favorite Primary hymns in a new way today: "I love to see the temples / I'm going there NEXT WEEK"! I am so excited to go back to the temple again! I am needing it so much!
So, I thought, for me to finish this last email, I would like to bear my testimony to you all one last time:
I know, without a doubt, that this Church is true. My testimony has grown so much in the past two years. I have no idea where I would be or what I would be doing if it weren't for the blessings of this mission that I have fulfilled.
I know that the Priesthood truly is the power of God here on Earth. I have seen it being used here daily and I am grateful that the Lord has not left us alone during our earthly journey. I am grateful that I hold the Priesthood and that I have so many people who help remind me of the importance of it and help me to honor it.
I know that our Families can be forever. How grateful I am for my wonderful family and how happy I am to be able to see them again! I know that the temple is the house of the Lord and because of the sacred covenants we make there, we can be together forever.
I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet. How blessed we are that a young, 14 year old boy wanted to know what was right. Because of his faith, we are all here. May we ever strive to have the same faith and the same desire to do what is right.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves us. He never leaves us alone. He directs us through a true and living prophet on earth today. I will close with a favorite quote from Pres. Monson: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."
Love is all you need! I love you all so much and am grateful for the love, the support, and the prayers during my mission. It has been a pleasure to send emails to you every week for these two years. See you next week!
Hey guys!! Well, it is my second to last p-day in the mission field! Just one more week of email and then you guys will be talking to me in PERSON!!! Oh yeah!!!
This week was great! It went by really quickly. My companion and I were assigned by our mission president to give a series of devotionals about the new mission plan called "Circuito i9"...so we have been visiting all the different wards here to present it to all the members. Everyone is so excited and I am very grateful that I have this opportunity.
I love my mission so much! I am so excited to get home, but I will miss everything about my mission. I am glad that I have made so many friends here in Brazil that will help me remember all the things I have learned on my mission (and will help me remember Portuguese :)
Things are going well here, today we are going to a shopping mall. I am doing some last minute shopping to bring some stuff home to you guys. Can't wait to see you all again!!!
Hey guys! This week went by slower than last. We were very busy moving into our new house and fixing some of the problems there. One of the biggest problems is that we were unable to get a washing machine - so we have been washing our clothes by hand every day! That is rough work! I have a lot of respect for my mom now!
We had a zone conference (my last one!) this week as well. It was very special and I learned a lot. There was a phrase that Pres. Kuceki said that stuck with me, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." That is so very true. We can never begin to doubt that God is there, that He is listening to us, and that He loves us. That should be the foundation of our testimony. I know that God lives and that He watches over us. I know that He answers our prayers and that He loves us so very much.
Sunday night, I got to return to one of my old areas to watch a fireside about a new mission plan we are starting here to bring more people to the church. I am grateful that I was able to serve there and to help plant seeds of faith in the members and non-members, so that the work in that area can grow even more now. How grateful I am for this church and for my mission!
I can't believe that in less than one month, I will be with you guys back home!!! The time is going by so quickly. I hope I can do everything I want to do in these last few weeks. (Speaking of that, I only have three more P-days to write to you guys!!)
This week was wonderful! I am so grateful for General Conference....the messages this weekend were so inspiring and so positive. Something I have learned in these two years is the importance of being positive, of being an optimist. It is so much better "to look up"!! I know that I say "smile!" a lot, but it truly comes from the heart. Being happy is a choice we need to make, and that choice is a lot easier to make when we are surrounded by those we love.
I got to watch Conference at the chapel of the old ward I served in, so I got to see all my wonderful friends there and all of my recent converts. It was such a happy day! I am grateful for them and for their friendship. I am grateful that I will be able to maintain contact with them after the mission and be able to remember all the wonderful memories and experiences I have had and all the things I have learned.
Today Pday has gone by quickly. We are moving houses - we get to live in a brand new apartment!! So we are moving all the stuff in and setting up the beds and refrigerator and everything. It will take a while. Then we are going to Wal-Mart to buy groceries. So I better go for now....
Well, this week will go by fast! Next week I will talk to you guys again!! Hope everything is going good at home! Can't wait to get back, but until then, I will be working hard here!!!
Listen to Mysterious Ways for me today!! Love you guys so much! You are always in my prayers!
Love you guys so much!
Elder Spencer Eastwood
(I have to get used to people calling me by my first name)