This week has been extremely hot! So hot. I don't think I have stopped sweating. I wake up sweating, go to bed sweating. A cold shower doesn't really do much. So hot that my necklaces are burning to my skin and I even have tan lines from my pearl earrings. I'm sending some of this heat for all of you who just think you might be a little cold. And I might just come home black. Look out!
The week was super busy and crazy but this is normal. We did an exchange with the sisters in Cerquilho and it was awesome! and I worked with Sister B. Verçoza here in our area. She has been in the mission field for 5 months but you would never know! She teaches with such confidence and truly understands her purpose. She has a sincere love for the people, even those who aren't her investigators. This exchange was definitely unforgetable for several reasons. Let me tell you just one:
night we went to the church for Bruno's baptismal interview. The sisters who live with us were there at the church too. They thought it would be fun to take the elevator to get some things from the second floor (yes, this church building is so fancy is has an elevator). Just a few seconds later, they call us on the phone to tell us they had gotten stuck in the elevator. What??! How?! After calling several members, one of the members of the district presidency, and the zone leaders and assistants, we were finally able to get a hold of the elevator worker who had the special key to open the elevator doors. 2 HOURS LATER they were let free. Yup, this really happened.
Bruno passed his baptismal interview but... unfortunately he was not baptized . He is having trouble with his addictions and this last weekend it all took a turn for the worse. We are doing everything in our power to help him, but it seems like he's lacking his own desire to stop. We aren't sure what to do but we will not give up!!! Please keep praying for him. And if you could include Demi in your prayers too, that would be great! She didn't make it to church yesterday either.
English class was a huge hit this week! We had 4 new people come. We learned the verb "to be" to express characteristics and age. One of the ladies that came told me that she was very impressed and that she had never seen things explained so simply. This made me feel good because I have no idea what I am doing, haha! And they gave us their addresses to pass by and start teaching them. Woohooo! I LOVE english class. It's so fun! I am discovering my passion to teach. My lifelong dream.
President Farnes set a goal for the mission to put 1,000 people on date for baptism last week. With 100 companionships in the mission, that's 10 per companionship. After we found our 10 Sister Vogel and I decided to help the sisters that live with us. Yesterday we split up and I worked with Sister Kurtem and we went to a new neighborhood in their area they had never tried before. Sister Kurtem was very nervous about inviting people to be baptized, and putting them on date nonetheless, so I made it my goal to help her lose her fear. In just a few hours we were able to find 4 new investigators and every single one of them accepted to be baptized with a date! It was incredible to see how the Lord prepared those in our path. We just need to have faith and invite! Sister Kurtem told me she feels so much more confident about the baptismal invite now. I'm excited to see how these people progress and the miracles that will come from this exchange!
I look back to the first few months of my mission and the fear I had. Fear to talk to people, fear to talk about baptism, fear of everything. I am naturally reserved person, I like more to listen than to talk. But now I have gained a testimony of the importance of inviting people to change. People won't change if we don't invite them. People won't change if they don't have a motive. Our brothers and sisters are on the street searching for the door that will open the path to lead them to true happiness and peace in this life, and the life to come. They are lost. Many of them don't even realize they are lacking this eternal joy. But we have it. And we as missionaries have the key that opens this door. This key is baptism. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and help them open the door and keep strong on the path to return to their heavenly home. I will only be a missionary with this power and authority for a few more months. And I will take advantage of every opportunity to invite people to change for the better and help them see the blessings of the restored gospel. I will LîVE!
I love you all!
Seja Valente e Fiel,
P.S. The first pic is in a member's home where we ate lunch this past week. They had all their Christmas decorations up still. This is one of the nicest homes I have seen on my mission. Sister Silva, me, Sister Kurtem, and Sister B. Verçoza (during our exchange). The other pic Sister Vogel (my companion) and I with Carmelina and Virgilio, recent converts that are preparing to go to the temple. They are so sweet! We are going to do a service project to help them clean their home.