Dear Family & Friends,
First of all, thank you for praying for Eduardo this past week! He was baptized ! WOOHOO! It could not have gone more perfectly!!!! He told us how he was expecting the day before his baptism to be hard for him, but his desire to be baptized only grew stronger. His fear and nervousness completely disappeared and he was so excited! THIS is a direct blessing from all of your prayers! He bore his testimony at his baptism about how he never imagined this was possible for him, how now he knows that God is always on the other side of the door just waiting for us to open it. The Spirit was so strong at his baptism and several people were there to support him. Certainly a day he will never forget! He was confirmed and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost at church yesterday. I will never forget the smile on his face after the blessing. Moments like this- this is what missionary work is all about :)
Read Alma 32:27. This has Eduardo's name written all over it!
Other highlights from the week:
we did a service project with a few of the young women in the ward and taught them how to make American desserts to sell to earn money for a camp like EFY they will be going to. And guess what Sister Lowther found recipes for.... cookies and brownies!!!! Yipee!! The girls loved it! I loved it. They were taking pictures and posting them on Facebook like it was the coolest thing in the world. It was a lot of fun! And super yummy!
we had noite familiar (Family night) with a family in the ward and they invited their neighbors and less-active family members. We prepared a really fun activity using Matthew ("by their fruits ye shall know them") and used scriptures to learn about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church Christ established when He was here. We had all the kids pick a "fruit" that said things like "apostles and prophets" or "baptism by immersion" and read verses from the Bible and Book of Mormon about each point. It was a fun activity and they really enjoyed it! Sister Lowther and I love to be creative with our Family night lessons.
We were blessed to find lots of new investigators this past week! Lots of little miracles. We found a lady named Helena who has always wanted to come to church but never had the opportunity. She struggles with smoking and has gone through a lot of hardships in her life, but we are determined to help her! We found a family who, in the exact moment they were grieving about the loss of a loved one, heard our knock (actually we clap at the gates) and invited us in. Silmara, the aunt, looked at us and asked "who sent you? I know God sent you here". We were able to sing a hymn and comfort them with a scripture about how the Lord gives us the strength to carry our burdens (Mosiah 24:13-16).
I want you all to know that I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know this church is true with all of my heart. As I have had the opporunity to visibly see it change lives, I cannot deny it! Each time we teach someone about the gospel, I feel the Spirit testify to me that it is true. We are so blessed to have this church on the Earth today, the same church Jesus Christ set up when He was here. With the death of Christ and His apostles, this church, with God's authority, was lost. But because our Heavenly Father loves us, He prepared a way for His children to have the fullness of the gospel again.
I am here serving a mission because I know this church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is evidence of this and I know it is true. I have prayed about it and through the Spirit, this truth has been confirmed to me again and again.The heavens are open! God speaks to us today! Today, we have His authority on the Earth again, essencial for salvation to baptize and seal families for eternity. I know Jesus Christ lives! He is my Savior and Redeemer. Through following His example, we can and will find true happiness and joy in this life and the life to come.
So thankful to be a missionary today and everyday! I love you all! Have a great week!!!
P.S. Pics of the missionaries in my zone and Eduardo's baptism. Brazilians don't like to smile, but I promise you, Eduardo was jumping for joy! Joaquim, our ward mission leader, baptized him.
Sometime today we are supposed to recieve our transfer calls. I was hoping it would be before we left to email so I could tell you all what will happen, but nope! So maybe I'll stay here for another 6 weeks or maybe I'll be off to another area. Maybe i'll have a different companion. We'll see! Gotta love the waiting game.