Utica, NY

Monday, January 27, 2014

Deus se deleita possuir e te abencoar

we are strong

Please forgive me that this email is a tad late. We spent most of our day helping a family move. They are taking a long trek to the Holy Land, Salt Lake City Utah tomorrow. Pray that they make it there safe and without contention. I remember sometimes I would get grumpy on trips to Utah when Jacob or Josh would lay their toes on my face or when I couldn't have a snack.
What a week!
Since I'm so excited to tell you about the Johnson family, I think I'll write about them first. I believe I informed you a bit about them in my last email, they are a referral from a recent convert in our Branch. We were finally able to get a hold of them early this week and begin teaching them things that would bring them eternal joy. It turns out Eileen Johnson, a young single mother, has five children. Their names are I'jalief (14), Robert (13), Sarahji (11), Za'mainya (9), and Ei'jere (6). Poor ol' Robert does quite have a true black name. This family is the GREATEST. They are all soaking up the gospel like a sponge and will be getting baptized on March 29th. Eileen has a smoking issue, but she is extremely determined to quit. They all want so badly to join the church. It's so funny. We met with them twice this week and both times the kids complained about how they have to wait so long to be baptized. In our last lesson with them, we read 3 Nephi 11 with them. At the end, I bore a simple testimony of the truthfulness of the doctrines taught in the chapter, and Eileen shouted "The whole book is true!"
We also met up with a former investogator named Tamesha Boyd who we are now meeting with weekly. She has committed to baptism on the 22nd of March. She comes from a baptist background so when Elder Hougaard or I say prayers with her, she randomly shouts strange things, and it's hard to contain laughter. She too is determined to recieve a remission of her sins.
Remember Hyrum Ruiz, the Ecuadorian/Ecuadorite (however you say it) who is visiting Albany for a couple months and speaks Portuguese? It turns out he is an incredible member missionary who seeks for opportunities to share the gospel with everyone! He and his wife are staying with a part-member inactive family who he wants us to teach, and we are way stoked about that. He also wants to meet with us once a week at a different time to do language study to prepare me for Brazil. I am able to do an hour of language study on most days, but as dad would say, it's like pulling teeth to get myself to study Portuguese since I rarely use Portuguese. Having brother Ruiz in the Branch has been a HUGE tender mercy. God is preparing me to preach the gospel in a new tongue!
Before I head off I wanted to share with you that last night we had a Stake Priesthood meeting. The topic was the Work of Salvation, my favorite. Since The Book of Mormon show is coming to Schenechtady in March, the stake is preparing for a lot of negativity regarding our church. I'm not sure if it will be much different than it has been, but I believe that any publicity is good publicity. There are things that can be laughed at regarding our church. We're pretty weird, but when things get out of hand it's amazing to see how a simple testimony can keep people with anti feelings silent.
Friends, Family, in case you weren't able to Google translate the subject of this email or if I typed it out correctly (I tend to do that) I thought of the lyrics to the song, "Dearest Children God is Near You" at random this morning in my study I thought of the words, "..and delights to own and bless you." If we are willing to give ourselves completely to God, withholding nothing, we can become what he wants us to become. We can feel his love more in our lives. I know that "He will bless you if you put your trust in him." I have felt so much on the short time that I've been on my mission that when I walk with faith, submit myself completely, hoping for nothing but his Spirit to be with, I can feel his love always. You can do the same.
Eu amo voces com todo minha coracao!
Elder Kunzler

home of the brave

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