Dear Family & Friends,
Overall this week was great! There were a few tough days were it felt like
all our investigators dropped us, but now I am realizing WHY it's so
important to talk to everyone and keep adding new investigators. It takes
hundreds to find the golden one! And thankfully no more dog bites and the
shots are over. Thank you for your prayers and support!
Yesterday we fasted for Eduardo and for our goal of 3 baptisms this month.
I have no doubt that prayer and fasting go hand in hand to bring about
miracles! Last night we were looking for a less-active member and we ended
up finding a family that Sister Lowther had met several months ago on the
street. We taught them the Restoration and the mom, Elizete, accepted the
invitation to be baptized before I even finished the question!! She is so
excited for us to come back this week and teach her family more. She has
three sons and her mom lives with her too. It turns out that her husband
was baptized several years ago but we don't have his records in our ward.
It wasn't a coincidence that we found this family last night. Direct
blessing from our prayers and fasting!!!
Eduardo is still progressing! Here is another cool miracle. We showed up at
his house to teach him the Word of Wisdom and we noticed he had a black
eye. He told us about a bar fight the night before and then said, before we
even mentioned anything about our lesson, "Eu não vou beber mais" (I will
never drink again)! No it's not a miracle that he got in a fight, but it's
a miracle that he was already prepared to accept living the Word of Wisdom
(The Lord's Law of Health that teachs us to abstain from alcohol, drugs,
coffee, tea, smoking). The Lord works in mysterious ways! This is what
Eduardo needed to wake him up a little bit.
Eduardo is practically a member of the ward. He got up and sang with the
Elders Quorum at church yesterday during sacrament meeting. I was so proud
of him! Little Eduardo is changing right before our very eyes. He still
won't commit to a baptism date but we challenged him to pray about it and
we will help him understand more this week. He's nervous about all the
changes and thinks it's too soon. But really, he needs the Gift of the Holy
Ghost now more than ever. Baptism is how we show the Lord we are ready and
willing to obey Him, and in return, He blesses us with the constant
companion of the Holy Ghost to purify us and give us the direction and
guidance we so desperately need in our every day lives. He has been reading
the Book of Mormon and feeling "assusto" (more or less a feeling of fear
and guilt) that is causing him to have the desire to change and repent.
Truly, the word of God has a "more powerful affect upon the mind... than
anything else" (Alma 31:5, see also Hebrews ). We are helping him
realize what these feelings are. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of
God as it testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ and shows us how to follow
Him and draw closer to our Father in Heaven!
My favorite moment of the week was the baptism of Gabriel, an 8 year old
boy we have been teaching, whose parents are less-actives. His uncle
baptized him and the whole family was there to support him. So special! He
has a strong testimony and is an incredible example to his family.
I tried two interesting Brazilian desserts this week: "coral de milho"
(blended cream corn with milk served like a pudding) and "arroz doce" (cold
creamed rice with a carmel type sauce). Can't say I overly enjoyed either
one, but both were very interesting. It's fun to try new things. I am
loving this opportunity to serve in a foreign country and I would not trade
this experience for anything! Not even cookies and brownies which I am
missing dearly :)
Here is a really neat quote I heard this week: "I bless every Elder and
Sister in this country. I bless that they will be rewarded for their faith.
The growth in Brazil will continue to accelerate. Brazil is a great model
for the whole church. In no other place is the church growing so fast. For
some reason, God loves this country. I bless you all to be His instruments
so that this can be a Latter-day Saint nation." (Elder Jeffery R. Holland)
So blessed to be a missionary here at this time in my life! Brazil is a
special place. Loving each and every minute, whether they be moments with
dog bites and strange desserts, or the pure joy of seeing someone accept
the invitation to be baptized. So happy to be a servant of the Lord!
Thanks for all the love and encouragement! I love and miss you all!!
P.S. I got my birthday package from my family this week!!! Better a few
weeks early than 3 months late. I was so excited I opened it on the bus
ride home from district meeting. What a blessing!!! Granola bars, trail
mix, PEANUT BUTTER! And the other pic is Gabriel's baptism. His uncle
Junior baptized him. His aunt Bruna is in the picture too. Such a fun day!