So this is my last letter home from the mission field - - ha ha just the thought of that freaks me out! I head back to Piracicaba on Tuesday morning. It is Elder Anderson and not Elder Nelson who is doing the mission visit. I am also able to go to the Campinas temple on Thursday.
This week we had a baptism!! Lindalva was baptized it - - was a really sweet experience. I can honestly say that my companion and I did´t have a lot to do with her conversion. We were really just vehicles through which the Holy Ghost could work, the only thing we really had to do was just not to get in the way of that. She was telling us that the part that she's most nervous about is knowing that her son will have to serve a mission. Lol - - he's 5 but still she's nervous! I am having dinner at her house tonight to say good bye to the people in this area.
|Lindalva's Baptism September 4, 2016|
My heart is full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for everything He has let me experience here in Brasil, all of the people I have had the oppurtunity to teach and share His gospel with. I have developed a love for this people that will never be forgotten, I think that was the driving force behind everthing I have done here (learning the language/obedience) after I developed a love for these people everything just came easier. It stopped being "we need to baptize more people to meet our monthly goal" and turned into "what does this person need to change and reach his/her potential". Words can´t describe the joy that is felt when a child of our Heavenly Father is willing to make changes in their lives in order to live the commandments and be baptized.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to play a role in a lot of conversions throughout my mission, but the best conversion that I was able to be a part of, was my own. I was able to see the gospel of Jesus Christ unfold right in front of me and impact lives on a scale that I never thought was real. I gained a testimony of my Savior and His Atonement, that He isn't just some story or legend. He is real, He lives, and His love is unconditional. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, and through it we can know if this church is true. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that through him the authority of God was restored back on the earth. I know that there is only 1 true church and that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I close my mission with a satisfaction that I gave my best and that I found the people that I needed to find out here. Much like Helaman in the Book of Mormon, I feel as if, "they were all acounted for" - - everyone that was intended to be taught by me was taught and my part of the vinyard was worked.
I am excited to see in these next coming years the fruits of these labors as a lot of these people will gain callings, mission assignments, and experience in the church. This work never stops.
I am excited to start this next chapter of my life and look foward to seeing everyone when I get back.
Amo vocês. Até Mais. Elder Akina
*No letter next week as Elder Akina will head to the airport Monday morning at 3 a.m. It's ok - - we get to welcome him home Tuesday morning! Our last post will be of his arrival home - - thank you friends & ohana for all your love and support - - we are so excited to see this boy of ours!
|Sister Kearns and I "Die"' this transfer, our zone is mourning.|
|Sister Kearns and our zone.|