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Letter 76: Gethsemane

March 10, 2015

So, the winner of the contest this week is Eric Bean! The answer (looks like depending on when people did the conversion) was around $3.14/gallon! I have written in my journal when I left the MTC in Provo, it was $3.21 a gallon in Utah. I don’t know what it’s doing now, but that’s an exciting thing!

This week, we’ll play a little guessing game. I found a sign down here in Brazil that was on a door. If there weren’t words next to it, I wouldn’t have known what it was, but here’s the picture! We’ll give shoutouts to most creative, closest, and ‘what in the world were you thinking?’ Yay! Go team go!

Guess what this is....

Guess what this is….

We learned about transfers yesterday. And guess what? Elder Sorenson and I are both getting transferred! They will still have missionaries in the ward, but those missionaries are splitting their time with our ward and another ward up the hill. So we’ll see how much time they spend down here. But I’ll say that I’m going to miss this ward. I’m going to miss the people, the members, because there are awesome members here, it’s just that the work was super, super slow. I was talking to my Zone Leaders last night, and excited by the fact that I’m getting transferred. My Zone Leader, Elder Gustavo, goes home tomorrow. The last thing he said to me was “That area was your Gethsemane.”

What does this mean?

Let’s go to Luke 22.

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

This is what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the world, dripping great drops of blood, being in agony, suffering, wanting it to go away. But guess what he did? He went through all of this anyway. He prayed more earnestly. He continued, even though he knew that some people would reject his sacrifice in his face. He did it knowing that millions of his brothers and sisters would slam the door in the face of kind people trying to share his great message. He kept going, even though times were tough.

Jeffrey R. Holland says in this talk, which I adore, that “the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane.” Life’s hard. We know that. Sometimes we don’t do very well on a test we studied for, sometimes our girlfriend breaks up with us, sometimes we get laid off, sometimes a close family member dies, but we just have to keep our head up and “pray more earnestly.” The Savior passed through so much more than we can even imagine, and Alma says that he’s willing and ready to help us out with anything we need.

That’s what I’ve learned in this area. God is there. Sometimes we feel like Joseph Smith in the Liberty Jail, searching out God, and finding him nowhere close.  But here, in Ala Beira Mar, I’ve learned that when you feel like that, He’s even closer than normal. We just have to keep the faith, and keep going. A key phrase that Elder Sorenson and I have repeated ever since I found it written in my scriptures is, “Deus fortalecerá.” God will strengthen. I know that God lives and is mindful of every one of us.

Love you all,

Elder Weeks

The back of the posterity tie I gave to Elder Sorenson.

The back of the posterity tie I gave to Elder Sorenson.

The presentation of the posterity tie

The presentation of the posterity tie

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