Hoorah! Another Baptism in Portugal

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August 31, 2015, Funchal, Madeira

Hey Mom!!!

YES, B got baptized! It was super cool! Her inactive mom and her boyfriend came, as well as the active dad and brothers, and we had 7 friends that they invited come. It was really cool! It was kind of a “grande” stress trying to get the mom’s signature AND plan the baptism at the same time but miraculously it all went really well.

Amy’s idea sounds pretty good, to take some different courses to see which I was interested in. I decided, YES, I want to go to BYUI instead. I’ve thought about it quite a bit and it seems like the right idea. Keep me updated.

Thanks for those notes on staying positive and replacing pessimistic thoughts with the words of the savior. I think I’ll try that for sure! Something that I really love is this video: It’s called The Atonement and Missionary Work


Tell me what you think about it next week! I’m sure it will mean more to you because you served a mission, but it is touching and useful, I think, for any person who wants to serve the Lord.

We did some service for B’s dad this week. He got a huge shipment of concrete blocks and gravel and we had to carry them down a bunch of stairs and stack them. It was TERRIBLE! And it took forever! But I feel like it was worth it because B got baptized 🙂

So, normally, I would already know about transfers, but this time I won’t know until tomorrow night if I will be staying or going. We’ll seeeee!

This morning during personal study I read a talk by Neil A. Anderson entitled “Reverence for God is the Beginning of Wisdom,” given at BYUI in 2009. It’s a super cool talk that addresses both the importance of study and education as well as the fact that God’s knowledge is both different and higher than worldly knowledge. Here are some good quotes:

“You will remember American author Mark Twain’s comment: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”4 If we are observant, if we are thoughtful, time can teach us much.”

“We can pole-vault over many of the sad experiences that come to some in life by obtaining wisdom early—wisdom beyond our age. Seek after this wisdom—be reflective, observe carefully, think about what you experience in life.”
“We are the sons and daughters of God. We are spiritual beings on a mortal mission. We who are devoted to learning the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God must not become confused with which wisdom is more important.
Let me share an experience from a noble Latter-day Saint in São Paulo, Brazil. She tells of her struggle between paying her tithing or her tuition. Here are her words:
“The university … prohibited the students that were in debt [or who had not paid their tuition] from taking tests. I remember a time when I … faced serious financial difficulties. It was a Thursday when I received my salary. When I figured the monthly budget, I noticed that there wouldn’t be enough to pay [both] my tithing and my university. I would have to choose between them. The bimonthly tests would start the following week, and if I didn’t take them, I could lose the school year. I felt great agony. … My heart ached.”
Here was a direct conflict between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God. Even though you are very good and righteous, you will find in your life, if you are truthful with yourself, that your heart will ache as you feel some of these conflicts coming up before you.
I return to her story. First, she paid her tithing on Sunday. The following Monday she recounted what happened:
“The working period was ending when my employer approached and gave the last orders of the day. … Suddenly, he halted, and asked, ‘How is your college?’ [She described him as a harsh man, and all she could say was:] ‘Everything is all right!’”
He then left. Suddenly the secretary entered the room. She said, “The employer has just said that from today on, the company is going to pay fully for your college and your books. Before you leave, stop at my desk and inform me of the costs so that tomorrow I can give you the check.”
If you are perceptive, you will find that you are confronted with these types of tests many times throughout your life. Where will you put your trust?”

“The test is often whether we will allow the wisdom of God to be our guiding course when it moves opposite the wisdom of the world.”

Anyway, sorry I don’t have more to write; hopefully by next week I’ll have some more cool experiences to share.

Love,

Elder Zwahlen

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About Elder Zwahlen

Elder Cory Zwahlen is serving a 2-year proselyting mission in the Lisbon, Portugal area, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He entered the Provo MTC on July 9, 2014. One of Elder Zwahlen's favorite scriptures is Alma 29:1-2 "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth."
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