Dear Family & Friends,
I can't believe it's December! Not much of a winter wonderland and it feels like Christmas in July but hey, I am excited! Best season of the year.
President Farnes felt inspired to have us visit all the former investigators that have been to church before and put them on date for baptism Sunday November 30 (yes, 2 days later). Crazy?! Ohh yes! and were the craziest days of my life. So let me just tell you how this all went down....
We knock on a door. "Hi are you (name of person we are looking for)?" We ask them a few questions, get to know them a little bit. "We are messengers of God, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God sent us here today because he has a very special invite for you. we will be holding a baptismal service. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding authority from God?" Yup! Ladies and gentlemen, this is faith at its fullest. It was great!
Responses were many. "I liked your church, but I am already baptized. I don't want to change". Others laughed. Others flat out told us no. But we did have success! We ended up adding lots of new investigators where these former investigators had moved. Others we are teaching need to give up smoking and get married, and they can be baptized.
One lady, Arace, was touched by our door approach and let us in. She prayed with us right then and there to ask God if this baptism was what she needed to do in her life. We helped her recognize her feelings and she told us she wanted to think and pray more. Unfortunately she wasn't ready for but we are going to keep teaching her!
Another success story. We found a 21 year old guy on the street named Renan who already went to church 3 times. His mom is a member and lives in São Paulo and his dad is a less-active in our ward. He instantly accepted baptism for . We went straight to his house and taught him everything he needed to know for the baptismal interview. He was on fire! Super pumped about the Book of Mormon and accepted to live all of the commandments. MIRACLE! But here is the sad part... he had to work . But don't worry, we'll keep teaching him! Heavenly Father will provide the way.
Camila also had to work yesterday (miracle from last week). We were a little bit frustrated. We tried everything to help her be baptized . But I know the Lord will do His work in this situation too! Everything will work out in His timing, He has a plan.
So all in all, we did not have a baptism yesterday. But we sure tried! And Heavenly Father blessed us for our faith and diligence in other ways. We found a family with 3 kids old enough to be baptized and they all came to church yesterday!! Hélio (dad) found us on the street and thought we were Jehovah´s Witnesses and asked us to visit him and his family. He was sure in for a suprise when we showed up at his door with a Book of Mormon! But it was so perfect. They all accepted baptism. Hélio and his wife just need to get married. Oh how I would love to just marry everyone today so missionary work could be so much easier.
We also had several less actives at church for the primary program yesterday (when all the kids ages 4-11 give little talks and sing about what they learned during the year). So cute! I want to learn all the primary songs in Portuguese now!! And Murilo recieved the priesthood yesterday! Our recent converts are firm!!!
"Say not ye, There are yet four months and then cometh the harvest? Behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John ) It's not , it's not next week, it's NOW!!!
This verse really hit me this week. I have less than four months on my mission. I can't give up now. There are people who need to gospel NOW! People ready to be baptized NOW! I learned so much about faith this week. I am so grateful for the many blessings and miracles the Lord is giving us in our area.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I didn't realize that no one celebrated here... no one knew what it was. So I took every opportunity to explain to people about this day of thanks to recognize all of our blessings the Lord has given us! My heart is full of gratitude today. Thank you for your support! Love and miss you all!
Seja Valente e Fiel,
P.S. Our Christmas pic! Yes... I am VERY excited for Christmas :)