I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me!
I love that hymn. This week was incredible! I am so amazed at the blessings the Lord is truly showering over us. I know for a surety that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and He knows the desires of our hearts. He wants to bless us! He wants us to be happy!
Let the miracles begin...
We found an old teaching record for a lady named Aparecida that was taught over 10 years ago. We clapped at her gate and called her name, waited and waited, and nothing. We started walking away when I glanced back and saw her. "Who are you?" she said, "How do you know my name?" Then she saw our name tags. "Mormons! How did you remember me?" My companion looked at her and said, "Heavenly Father never forgets his children". We ended up teaching her, her husband, and her 30 year old daughter named Ket. Ket accepted baptism and by the second lesson, was reading the Book of Mormon- she explained to us perfectly how the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other in testifying of Christ. WOOHOO! Unfortunately she didn't make it to church yesterday but I still have faith in this miracle.
We visited another former investigator named Juliana latenight and invited her to church. SHE CAME!!!! She brought her 3 young kids. It was her first time and she loved it. SO excited to teach this family!!!!
Sabrina (girlfriend of less active Julio) came to church for the second time yesterday. We hadn't been able to get in contact with her so we took advantage of the moment, talked to her after church, and put her on date for baptism!!!! I'm excited about this one too!!! Problem with her will be teaching her. Her mom isn't supportive and Julio is always working, but I know Heavenly Father will provide the way!
We found a family with 5 kids!!!! Marcos, Denise (the parents) and Biatriz, Julia, Tiago, Pedro, and Gustavo (the kids). All over the age of 8! And this family is perfect. So happy and united. Marcos truly wants what is best for his kids and wants to learn more about the church. They accepted the invitation to be baptized last night during our lesson, but they work on Sundays and are very busy during the week. But I know it's all going to work. I have faith. This family is too perfect. We have to teach them!!!
Luiz Carlos received the Priesthood yesterday! He is really doing well and staying strong. His mom told us she doesn't want to join our church but is glad her son is happy. Broke my heart a little bit, but I know one day soon she will realize that this gospel is for her too!
And last but not least, Murilo. If his Silvio (stepdad) decides not to travel this weekend, Murilo will be baptized!!!! We are doing everything to make this happen. I have faith, I have faith, I HAVE FAITH!!!
So I have been reflecting alot this week on my personal testimony and how my testimony has been strengthed through out these past few years:
"Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might be born of God and be filled with the Holy Ghost" (Alma 36:24).
I think about moving to Alabama and everyone asking me questions about being Mormon. It was then that I had to decide if I really believed all of this was true or not. My testimony was strengthened from those experiences. I think about serving in the Ensley Branch with my family, seeing the gospel change lives. This is what sparked my desire to serve a full-time mission. And now here in the mission field. Serving in the United States and here in Brazil, watching before my very eyes how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses everyone!
I know with all my heart that this church is true. I am proud to be a Mormon. I am proud to be a missionary! I am working hard every single day and not wasting a single moment because I want everyone to taste this same joy that I have tasted!! Valiance in this great labor of love!
I love and miss you all!
P.S. Pics of Luiz Carlos, his mom Tereza and Eduardo after one of our lessons last week. And the other, # 1 BYU fans here in Brazil!!! Thanks for the package mom :)