Letter #80

Dear Family and Friends,

As I´m sure you guessed, everything stayed shut down here until Thursday. And Thursday we had a meeting in Vitória and therefore didn’t have the opportunity to write.

Isaiah writes, “For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Or, as it is also said, in the furnace of Colatina, As we’ve combated the heat and tiredness and many other mortal infirmities in our service here, we’ve seen some choice blessings. Last Sunday, was the baptism of Leandro and Henrique. They are both great young men and examples for me.

And yesterday, was the baptism of Melissa. We went to fill up the font Sunday morning, and to our horror, the water stopped after filling up just one inch. Turns out that the water had been shut off in the church, and we had just used everything left in the pipes. So, we marked the baptism for 6:30 at night, and in the meantime prayed fervently that the water would return. And miraculously, it did! And the service was very spiritual. We’ve started allowing the members to bear their testimonies during the interval of changing clothes, and the spirit was powerful as they were able to remember their baptism and how it changed their lives.

While being only eight at the time, I distinctly remember my baptism. I remember carefully planning each detail, with my dad baptizing me, and my grandfather confirming me. I remember designing the program and Aunt Tina giving a talk. I remember many more of the people who were there that day. And perhaps most importantly, I remember feeling the Spirit testify to me that I was clean, and pure. I remember leaving with a great desire to never ever sin again in my life.

Of course I didn’t last long. Whatever the sin was, hitting my brother or becoming angry, I don´t recall, yet I can still remember how sad I felt afterward. But the message of joy that we share each day, is that we can repent. And how thankful I am for that! We can become clean and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and through the grace of Christ, we can be saved.

Mimi wrote a letter that I received recently saying, “Let your testimony infuse your being.” That touched me, as I thought about it medically. An infusion is given to give life, to help something live. And our testimony does the same thing. It gives us life. It gives us hope. And as we share it, we´ll be strengthened as well.

By the way, I think my return date will actually be the 27th of July, if that changes your planning.


Elder Schenewark

2 thoughts on “Letter #80”

  1. Always a pleasure to read your letters. I remember being at your baptism as well. Oh, so many years ago. I’ll bet you have mixed feelings coming home from your mission and leaving the people that you have served so well. You have been blesses for sure. Sending love and hugs to you, and look forward to seeing you, hopefully, on your return.

    Love, Aunt Shirley

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