I know Heavenly Father prepares people and puts them in our path. We met a lot of neat people this week and I am so excited to share them with you!
We were walking home the other night and had about 15 minutes before we could go in, so we decided to go to a park nearby to find people to talk to. My companion noticed an older lady struggling to carry her groceries so we went to help her. We walked with her to her house and surprisingly she let us in to share a message! She told us she's never let missionaries in her house because she is super catholic but God touched her heart and she had a good feeling about us. I know that simple act of service opened her heart and we were able to give a Book of Mormon to her and her 5 grandchildren. Excited to teach them more!
We received a referral to visit a lady named Nelma who lives in a neighborhood very far away called Taboazinho (about an hour walking) and yesterday after church we finally made the journey out to meet her. It turns out her brother is an active member in another city and sent us Nelma's address. We were able to get to know her and teach her the Restoration. She is strong in another church but wants a church that will unite her family, and she sees how her brother's family is united and happy. The lesson with her was incredible! We testified of the unity and love that comes from the true gospel of Jesus Christ and forever families. She accepted to be baptized on January 31st!!!
Sunday morning was stressful because we tried everything possible to get the people we were teaching to church but everyone fell through. A little bit frustrated, we arrive at the church and notice a lady waiting in the front. Her name was Nadir and a member had invited her! I wanted to jump up and down and run around the parking lot in happiness. She told us she had always wanted to visit our church and always saw us talking to people at the park. She really enjoyed church and we are going to visit her tonight!!
Funny moment. Jamili (7 year old daughter of a less-active) calls me "Sister Bieber" because my name is too hard. And of course everyone that lives in the United States is best friends with Justin Bieber, or so she thinks! Haha I like it.
Time for a little spiritual rejuvenation for you all. So I read a talk this morning about the physical suffering of Christ on the cross and it was very profound. This lead me to study more about His sacrifice. After all the pain in the Garden of Gethsemani, taking upon Him the sins of the world, bleeding from every pore, being beaten and whipped, having a crown a thorns pressed on His head, carrying His cross to the hill where he was nailed and raised up, after hanging and struggling to even breathe, He mustered the strength to speak a few significant and lasting phrases. In these references in the New Testament about the crucifixion, I found 7 phrases that Christ spoke whilte He was on the cross: Matt. 27:35-50, Luke 23:33-46, and John 19:18-30.
Our Savior, our perfect example, showed such humility, love, and obedience in these last precious moments of His earthly ministry. From the powerfully deep words that He said, I learned the importance of forgiveness, mercy, family, and submitting to the Father's will. He is the only one who completely understands everything we go through because He literally went through it all.
I invite you all to find the last things he said while He hung on the cross and reflect on our Savior Jesus Christ and the suffering that He went through. Remember, He did it all for YOU.