Elder Maruska - March 15, 2022
How are you all doing? I am doing well and honestly I am feeling better than ever on the mission! I have been focusing on peace over perfection for the last couple of weeks and I know it is better to get something to you wonderful people instead of trying to make my weekly emails perfect.
I decided to go with a little recap of the biggest highlights from the last couple of weeks! My update for this week will be coming tomorrow as well and it is going to be a good one!
Zone Conference this week was inspiring! All of the missionaries walked away desiring to be more obedient. As missionaries, we of course follow the commandments of the Church, but we also have "Standards" on the mission. Standards are meant to help us stay safe and focused on our purpose of helping bring people closer to Christ. My Mission President gave a training on the Atonement of Christ and explained how the single greatest event in the past, present, and future of all of God's creations was, is, and will be the Atonement. Without the Atonement, nothing would be; with the Atonement, all things are possible.
Our first Portuguese Sign Language was a success! It was awesome to learn some basic phrases from our missionary lessons and to just do something completely new. I am hoping that in the next couple of weeks I will have the opportunity to use a few of these signs with someone random!
I wish I was joking when I say this, but my companion and I were hit with our fifth sickness together this week. It's always frustrating being sick, but as a missionary, being unable to do anything is really hard. Luckily, I was given some of the best advice during my first time being sick - take the necessary time to recover. Sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many missionaries try to work through being sick. We are back to 100% and have been putting in some great work these last few weeks.
Crazy update! I passed the 6 month mark this week! Wooo! Time is a funny thing in general and I would say that one's perception of time is even more distorted on a mission haha. Sometimes it feels like time is crawling and then before you know it, you hit 6 months! Too many moments to try to effectively share over an email, but I am simply and eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission, to learn and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to become in more ways than I could have ever imagined!
One of the biggest blessings and miracles for Rio de Janeiro is happening right now! The Rio de Janeiro Temple is finally ready for an open house and soon enough, will be dedicated and open to the members of Brasil! As the Church in Rio de Janeiro has been preparing for this open house event (a period of time when a temple is open to members and nonmembers), it has been our number one focus as missionaries. In the last week or so, we have transitioned to a lot of member work. We are trying to spread the word about the temple while helping members work on their family trees. For us as members, the temple is the most sacred place on earth. There, we take on more covenants with Heavenly Father in our efforts to continue to live in accordance with His plan for us. By doing so, we hope to return to His presence again after this life. One of our core beliefs is that families are forever; families truly can be forever through a sealing ordinance in the temple and living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope you are all staying safe and know that the purest form of peace is found through Christ!
Love you guys,