Letter #65

Dear Family and Friends,

This week, the last of the transfer, is gearing up to be crazy. Tonight, I´m leaving to go to Campos, then to Vitoria for a leadership meeting. I´ll return, before again going to Campos for a zone meeting. The reason; after a long time seeking revelation, it looks like things will be changing here with regard to how we work. I’ve heard some whispers, but will wait to hear officially.

Yesterday, lunch was feijoada. I think I´ve already noted how it´s traditionally made with pork. Like the entire pork, feet, snout, ears, etc. This, being the third time I´ve eaten it, almost took me down. I think I had too much half inch thick pork skin, and I couldn’t even finish my plate. I was relegated to drinking a traditional herb drink to soothe the stomach.

Other than that noteworthy lunch, this week as a whole has been disappointing. Especially with the members here. Yesterday at church, there were 17 members, 4 missionaries, and 4 investigators. And that´s counting the Primary. I tried all week to get a member to visit an investigator with us. I felt so strongly that we needed to have someone visit with us. For three days we tried calling everyone to no avail. And, on our visit Saturday, when we visited this investigator, we learned that someone had spoken some things to her about our church, and she didn’t want anything to do with us. I was so, so sad. I know we needed to have a member instead of just missionaries.

And our other investigators, who went to church yesterday, our having problems to say the least being able to stop smoking. I´m reminded of Alma 12:17: “Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.” We witness people in chains each day because of what they did in the past, being unable to break free from Satan.

In the midst of this, I felt inspired to talk about happiness and how we can be happy for the subject of our district meeting. I learned a lot from an Elder Russell M. Nelson talk on that subject.  Happiness essentially depends on three things.

1. Our relationship with those with whom we live and pass the day
2. Our relationship with ourselves
3. Our relationship with God

And how do we improve these relationships? Service. Selfless service. So, when we serve, we are happy. I´ve always understood that we choose whether or not to be happy. In the past this belief was founded solely on the power of the mind; just decide to be happy.


Now, I understand that it is in choosing how to act that we decide whether to be happy or not. When we choose to serve, we are choosing happiness. As the Savior taught so long ago,  “For whosever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”  So be happy and serve!


Elder Schenewark

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