Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Elder Jonathan Engle 08/27/2014 19 Going on 20

19 Going on 20

Dear People of Earth,

That´s right folks, my 19th companion arrived name Junior. He´s with me only for a week or two it seems, but it´s good to have a companion again, short though it may be.

Unfortunately, this computer in this wonderful LAN House isn´t accepting my camera, so I´ll have to send photos in the future. I´m very short on time this week, but wanted to say at base level that the this work truly is fueled by miracles. We did a planning session for an investigator who wants to be baptized this Saturday, but still isn´t quite ready. This week we´ve been applying these plans, and yesterday we had an incredible lesson with them. Not only did he progress a lot, but now his mom wants to be baptized and they want us to teach the rest of their family.

This work is simply only done by way of miracles as we open the windows of heaven in our lives. It´s the only way it works. If we want miracles in our lives, we need to be worthy of them, understand them, and ask for them with real faith. We´re not talking about any old faith that your regular Christian folk will claim in the streets, but the kind of faith of power to see miracles. I´m learning so much more about the power and principle of faith.

May we all continue to grow in faith that we really do believe in an All-Powerful and All-Knowing God who is the literal Father of our Spirits is my humble invitation to all.

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 08/20/2014 Bom Demais

Bom Demais
Dear People of Earth,
As always, this week has been another wild one here in Cidade Operária em São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil. Yesterday I received a new temporary companion from Codó, who I actually already met from when I served in Caxias. He´s incredible and it´s nice to have a companion after two weeks without a companion, because I´ve had so many changes of companion, he´s my 19th companion and I haven´t even hit one year in the mission!
We´ll be moving our house soon, for many complicated reasons, which will be a ton of work, but it´ll be worthwhile in the end.
Next week I´ll send the photos, but we had another baptism this last Saturday. Her name is Rosangela and she´s been trying to get baptized for almost a month now. This Saturday was her third attempt to get baptized, and each time, something went wrong. This last Saturday, half an hour before the baptism, her son broke his arm skating and went to the hospital. Unperturbed, we picked her up from the hospital, left her son in a relative´s home and baptized her in the church. The meeting was very spiritual. Ths experience of baptizing someone is something I would never trade for all the riches of the world. Her purity as she came out of the water is something I will never forget. It was absolutely incredible. My testimony of baptism is growing more and more.
Today and yesterday I´ve had an awful migraine that´s been killing me, but I´m very thankful for this challenge that the Lord´s given me. He´s been giving me many lately, but not coincidentally, I´m growing a lot lately as well. These challenges really are for our benefit and growth.

I´m reminded of the last verse in Doctrine and Covenants Section 123, which talks about doing everything happily in the church. It really is true. If we´re not happy with our work with the Lord, we´re not doing it right! We´re supposed to be happy because of the Gospel! We have every reason to be the happiest people in the world, so let´s be just that, the happiest people in the world!

Elder Engle
D&C 123
 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

Elder Jonathan Engle 08/13/2014 Free Bird

Free Bird
Dear People of Earth,

I feel like the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Free Bird as I´ve been a solo missionary this week. I sitll don´t have a designated companion, but I´ve been doing a ton of divisions. The rest of the time I´m with Elder Polson and Elder Pires, my wonderful District. The word is that I´ll get a new companion tomorrow. Since there aren´t any missionaries that can serve with me, for the time being they´ll call a young man from a ward within the mission boundaries to serve for 3-4 weeks with me until the next transfer. I´m excited to return to having a companion and it shall be an adventure for sure.
This past week I saw a giant miracle. I´ll keep the story very simple because it was very special (and I don´t have much time). Werberth came to church for the first time two Sundays ago. The very first visit with him I started teaching the Restoration and realized he didn´t need any of that. That moment, I interviewed him and found him worthy of baptism. He was baptized this last saturday and is going very strong. It was the first baptism in this area since last December. It´s been 8 months since a baptism here. Without a doubt it was an incredible miracle. He will be a leader in the church and is an elect of God.
The path is simple. Obey God and walk in the footsteps of His Only Begotten Son. Life is hard, but the Gospel is easy. Want to be happy? Life the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Werberth was prepared and he read and prayed. It was a miracle that he decided to have in his life, using his faith and acting. I know this is The Church of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 08/06/2014 Puocos Mas Fortes

Puocos Mas Fortes

Dear People of Earth,

Funny Story:
I´m happy to inform you all that I´m becoming well-known for my very big eyes, gollum and yoda impersonations, and ability to eat ridiculous amounts of food. After a recent fast, I was very hungry. I ate at Fabio´s, where they have a burger called the Big Fabio, which is 17 reais. I ate it in 15 minutes. Fabio himself was so impressed that he challenged me on the spot. He said if I ate 2 Big Fabio´s with 1 Liter of Coca-Cola, it´s free. If I didn´t eat it, I´d have to pay for three. I accepted and completed it. Afterwards, I then threw it up. He played dirty and made it a lot bigger than the original that I ate. He was incredibly surprised that I beat him. Free meal anybody? That was a classic, Brazilian eating challenge right there.

These past two weeks have brought many changes! I wasn´t able to email last week because of these changes. I´ve been called as District Leader and as a Trainer here in Cidade Operária. Last week we had meetings all week in Teresina. After a few days training, my companion asked to leave the mission and went home. I´m working with the Elder Polson and Elder Pires, who make up my district and house-mates. For now, I have no designated companion and they are my companions. It´s been crazy but I´m very happy to serve my district, despite the crazy challenges from the past two weeks. I´m a little under the weather right now, but I´m a very happy person right now.

My brief spiritual thought for this week is to look upon our foundation. Be it our first experiences with the church, or a life-time as a member of the church, what is our foundation built on? What makes up our foundation and what keeps it strong? What would it take to shake it? Is there anything that could shake it? If so, which is generally yes for all of us, then what are we doing to fortify our foundations? I´ve thought about this a lot, because it´s such a big aspect of our conversion to God. Helaman 5:12 still proves true, even after Seminary. It must be founded in Christ. We need to be willing to change in any way so that we can receive these blessings. I´ll be talking a lot more about Conversion and planning these next few weeks I feel. We are using a Conversion Planning in our mission that´s changing the lives of everyone.

I´m happy to be a missionary. I´m more than happy to be a missionary. I can´t imagine life not being a missionary, with or without a tag on my shirt. The Church is true and the book is blue (usually)!

Elder Engle

Elder Jonathan Engle 07/24/2014 Zum Zum Zum!

 Zum Zum Zum!

Dear People of Earth,24

This week´s letters is fast and furious (yes, one of those films was in Brazil too!).

This week I began learning Capoeira, an ancient dance/martial art form of Brazil that is the coolest thing you´ve yet seen! The slaves disguised this martial art as a dance so that their owners wouldn´t stop them. This is how they learned to fight so they were prepared for revolutions they would do. It involves a lot of kicking and flips, etc. A less-active member brought a friend of his and we trained together. I will train with them every P-Day now! It´s a huge upgrade for P-Days, instead of sleeping in a net all day, but I´m incredibly sore to say the least. It´s great!

Zun, Zun, Zun Capoeira Mata um. Isso é música de Capoeira. Chiquezão!

Spiritual Story:
I was on a division with a member named Cristiano. We were walking in the street when I felt a name come to my mind of someone that we needed to visit. I instantly knew where to go, so we went there. When we arrived, not only was a woman we´d been looking for there, but her friend was there too. He talked with us for a bit, obviously incredibly intelligent. When I asked him if he´d seen the Book of Mormon before, he said he´d already read it, and then referenced many prophets and elements of the Book of Mormon. It was awesome! We´re teaching him in his home every day now. He´s incredibly intelligent, which is his triumph and downfall. He knows everything is true but is looking for a sign. Don´t look for a spiritual confirmation when you already have it! It´s incredible how The Book of Mormon was miraculously placed in his home. He just found it in a box and read it. He doesn´t even know where the contents of the box came from. God truly prepared a way for someone who would read his book to read it. I simply exhort all of us to exercise more faith, like this man needs to do right now. Ether 12:6 proves true time and time again. We receive a witness after the trial of our faith. For him, reading the Book of Mormon wasn´t a trial of faith. His trial of faith now is baptism.

I know that God is preparing people every day. Let´s go find them!

Elder Engle