Olá. For the next 2 years I'll be known as Elder Bodine as I embark on the adventure of a lifetime and serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Keep up with my updates on speaking Portuguese, serving the people of Brazil, and spreading the good word of the gospel.
The last official letter. This week I wanted to make it clear that I loved the mission. I love the people, the missionaries, the food, the culture, Presidente e Sister Campos, and so much more. The week was awesome and started with a visit to the temple. Man the temple is always amazing. We can feel the spirit strongly when we enter the Lord’s house. After we went to our area and worked a couple hours. Man our area is huge!!! The next day we headed to Canoas. We were able to divide with Elder Astorga, de Mexico, and Elder Fernandis, de Minas Gerais. The week was amazing. Many spiritual experiences, laughs, blessings and memories. The highlight of the week was the baptism of Ana Clora! She was stoked to enter the waters of baptism and make a covenant with the Lord. My comp and I returned to Porto Alegre and talked with our families. It was funny to think that in a few short days, I would see them all. My sister Mads asked me a question I really enjoyed: “Describe your mission in three words.” In the moment, I didn’t know how to respond. But after thinking a little, I feel as though my mission can be describes as: Gratifying, Challenging, Spiritual. And in a 3 word phrase: “I was/am converted.” I think I could write a book about these 6 words and the experiences that I’ve had over the last 2 years. Ever since I was young, it was my plan to serve a mission, but I never thought how much effect it has had on me, my testimony, and my life. The mission was the best decision of my 21 years on this earth. Maybe in my letters it seems as though it was a cake walk, but I was faced with many challenges. I have learned the challenges have had the greatest effect on me. They have made me into the best missionary I can be. For all of those pondering on serving a mission, my advice is go and serve. It will not be easy, but I can guarantee that it is worth it. It will build you up to be the person the Lord needs you to be. The thing I love about the mission is that it gives one an extraordinary feeling of happiness. Where one truly loses himself in the work, he finds celestial glory working and serving others in the Lord’s vineyard. A scripture that touched me this week was Zephaniah 3:17. It reads, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing!” I know that my Savior is mighty, all-powering, and perfect. I can’t thank him enough for the joy I have found in serving him. I know He loves each one of us. It is my prayer that we can all return to his presence. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on this earth. I know Russell M. Nelson is a prophet. I know that families are for forever. I know that this life is a challenging journey to return to his presence! And I love this Journey. May we all love this Journey! I’d like to end this Journey with the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.”