Because of this week my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ grew immensely.
For some time now we have been teaching Lidya. She is 17 and lives in the house next to the church. She lives with her 2 older brothers and her Mom and Dad live in some other state. She has been going to church, activities, and all the baptisms we've had over these past few weeks. So to say the least she is amazing. The problem is that her Dad is a Pastor and he really doesn´t like Mormons. Her brothers don´t support her being baptized again. Basically she is all alone.
She was really nervous to follow the spirit and be baptized because she was scared that her father would abandon her.
It was Saturday night and we had ward conference at the church. As we were getting ready to go home after a long day we saw that the Bishop was talking to Lidya. He called us over and asked if we could give her a blessing of health.
We asked what she was feeling and she told us she had a head ache, chills, fever, and that her body was just hurting. She was trying to fight back the tears but it didn´t do much good. Then she asked if I could give her a blessing. I was really thrown off because I never have given a blessing in a time of such need. I was super nervous and I was embarrased because of my Portuguese. But I did the best I could while listening to the Spirit. Then her brothers took her to the hospital. Afterwards we started to walk back to thehouse and I was really frustrated because I thought that I didn´t give a good blessing, that I had blown my chance to help our investigator. I was really down on myself.
The next Monday we went to see how she was doing. At first Elder Labrada and I thought that her fire to be baptized had disappeared and that she didn´t want anything to do with us. Then her brother left the room and she told us something that I will never forget, never in my life. She said after that blessing she felt perfectly fine; it was as if all the pain in her body was taken from her. She felt it immediately after the blessing. She said: "the blessing was one of the few times in my life that I felt the presence of God".
She said on the car ride to the hospital her brother were telling her, its ok to cry let it out, but she just told him "I don´t need to cry I feel perfectly fine". After she told us this she said Now I know this church is true and I don´t have any other option other than to be baptized this Sunday. I looked over at my comp and we made eye contact, he was in tears and then I realized that I was also in tears.
I have always heard of the miracle of the Priesthood when Jesus was on the earth curing everyone, during the time of Joseph Smith, and even people told me about experiences that they have had. But for the first time in my life I saw and felt the healing powers of the Priesthood in my life. The Priesthood is the power of God that was given to man to maintain his Church. I already knew without a doubt that this is the Church of Jesus Christ before this miracle but it reconfirmed and strengthened my testimony of the Priesthood powers.
Lidya was baptized yesterday! A lot of people came to her baptism and the ward was really happy that she chose to be baptized. Lidya spoke with her parents and they let her be baptized! We were pretty surprised actually because we thought that they wouldn't...
Sorry this letter is long, I felt inspired to share this experience that I had here in Brasil being a servant of the Lord. Its to bad I don´t have more time because there we countless of amazing experiences that we had this week. I can´t believe this transfer is ending in one week. It felt like yesterday that I had arrived here in Palmas with Elder Sales.
This was a miracle week to say the least. Loved every second of it.
I did another trade with Elder Chamberlain this week. The sweetest kid on the mission by far, he doesn´t know how to say a mean thing. He always is positive and the best part is he loves to work. When I was in his area we were visiting an investigator but ended up that there was on one home. Instead leaving to the next visit we started to listen to the Spirit. I´v learned on the mission if your doing everything you can to do everything right, EVERYTHING happens for a reason, we just have to find the reason this happened . We did a contact with a lady who didn´t wanted anything to do with us, but right before we left we asked if she knew anyone that would like to hear a message about Jesus Cristo.
She sat there and thought for a second and said, actually I do. She gave us an address of her son, we thanked her for her time and walked away with a grin on our faces. We got to house and knocked on the door. A young man opened the door and without saying who we were he said ´´Vamos entrar´´(Come in). To make a long story short we taught him the Restoration. He confessed he was praying for help with family and work right before we showed up. We then shared the blessings of baptism and marked a date with him! One of the great situations i´v had on the mission. We used the lesson that fell through and found a family that will be baptised! So grateful for the opportunity I had to do that trade. Little sad I won´t be there to see the changes in there lives but knowing that there lives will change is good enough for me.
We had 2 more baptisms this week! Lanna and Gabriel. It was a great experience and not only was it a experience for Lanna and Gabriel but their parents are now want us to teach them. We asked Gabriel if his cousin could baptize him(because missionary leave and family always stays). This will start a strong bond that they can help the other stay strong in the church. Thanks Family for the brownie mix, it´s a ht down here.
The ward is getting really excited because of this baptisms and they are starting to open up more and more. So grateful for this chance I have to be a missionary to help build the kingdom of God grow. I'm so surprised in the changes in my life and how my priorities have changed for the better. I'm loving every second and it´s crazy how time is flying so fast here.
Hope everyone is doing good up north. My comp and I discovered that we have a tan line on our chests because of our ties, things are hot here to say the least!
Alot of things happened this week and it was awesome. First off we flew down to Brasilia for an amazing training that President gave. It was exactly what I need to hear. He talked about how we should not only be trying to find people to baptize, but to make the members more strong in the church. I'm so glad he talked about this because I always had this mind set that teaching member was always a fall back but now it´s one of the 3 priorities that we have as a mission. 1)Strengthen Members 2)Reactivate less actives 3) Baptize I was so grateful for the chance to listen and participate in the Mission Conference, I was able to meet and learn for the best missionary on the mission. I learn so many things that I have already applied in my life being a missionary. Its only been 5 days but I've already seen a huge difference.
When we got back to Palmas we had a really spiritual Zone Meeting. Some of the people were crying(Sisters). Everyone felt that the training was exactly what they need to hear to help them better themselves. I'm so grateful for the Zone because we don´t deal with any problems of disobedience, lack of working hard, or people with big egos. A majority of the zone is people that are young and willing to change what ever to be better. They truly have a desire to bring people unto Cristo. I couldn´t ask for anything more than this.
I did a trade this week with Elder Thomas and Elder Ramos. These Elders are awesome. I got to spend a full day working hard with them. I loved it because I got to learn how they work and see what things I can improve on and they were able to do the same. Elder Ramos is from Africa and he is the first African to serve a mission in the mission Brasilia, Brasil. Elder Thomas left the church when he was younger but he turned his life around and he is now here in Brasil serving the Lord. (photo of us eating Açai after a hard days work)
My comp and I were really worried about our investigators because we were in Brasilia for 3 days and we did a trade. We only had 2 days to rally everyone to go to church. deifying the odds 8 of our investigators showed up! I was shocked when I saw them enter into the church. I know that God is looking out for me because this was exactly what I need at that moment.
To put the cherry on top Diogo got baptized! It was a spiritual experience to say the least. Saturday night He said to me ´´You better be there tomorrow to baptize me, you can´t let me down.´´ There was not a chance I would let him down. The best part of all was that his Mom showed up even after she said she couldn´t. I know Diogo we be a great missionary. He already know so much, its crazy.
This week was great, I really don´t know how to describe it is words((especially English) But I'm loving it here in Brasil. I know I'm having a huge change in my life. these changes would not have happened any other place in the world! I hope everyone is doing good. I can´t believe Vanessa is going hope is 3 weeks! Time fly when your working hard
This week was a lot more tiring to say the least, but when it was all said and done it was so worth it. We are teach this girl named Lidya, she is super smart. she's able to read what ever scripture and tell us exactly what it meant. She is read the book of Mormon a lot. The best part about it is she said that she know that is true because she prayed and recieve an answer! When someone says this a missionary just wants to jump for joy. She love going to our church because ´´its different in a good way´´. She went to the stake dance. She is literally the perfect investigator. There is just a tiny little problem.Her Dad is a Pastor. Yep the sad truth. Liyda doesn´t live him but she has to have his approval to be baptized. She is really scared to ask him but she told us she has courage to call him Sunday night. Were all praying that it goes well! We are also teaching a family right now. The Dad(Luis) is the person would told us not to waste our time on him. We were doing a family night at there house and watch the Joseph Smith film. when it ended he bore his testimony that to go through that sacrifice the Joseph did, he couldn´t be a liar. He also said during the film he just wanted to the pick up his book of Mormon and start reading. The sad part is his daughter is starting to avoid us because she doesn´t what to live the commandments of the church. Its sad because she know its true but she can´t put aside things of the world. For the Zone this week was fantastic. Everyone worked like dogs and it showed with the numbers they had. We started to do daily challenges to get everyone excited for the week. Some of them are serious like teach 8 lesson or mark 2 baptism dates. Other are to make them laugh and have fun. For example they have to switch there name tags during a lesson without letting anyone know. This makes is so they work hard and also have a smile on there face. Also we like to call every companionship and also talk to them and there comps so that they know that we appreciate there work. Elder Labrada and I are trying to do things that we felt that our Zone Leaders never did for us. Yesterday day we were running around scheduling stuff because sadly one of the missionaries in our Zone had to go home because of a tooth infection. Hopefully he can get that surgery done and get back here in 2 months because I love that missionary, great example and hard worker. Were leaving today to Brasilia for Conselhoda Missão. I can´t wait because were going to be able to receive some advice and training from Presidente da Missão.
Thank you everyone for the emails! sorry if I don´t have time to respond, but I really appreciate it. Hope everyone is doing great. Loving it here in Brasil. Its starting to get hotter and hotter but life is life. Love this quote, helps me keep going even when I have times that nothing is going right.
Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
Looking back on this week had its hardship but for sure we saw our fair share of miracles. To start out the member are really started to chip in on the work. Everyone is putting in alittle more effort. This make the biggest difference because they are starting to open up to us and giving us addresses of there friends and family member that they think would accept the gospel. When the people we are teach have a friend in the Church, it make our lives so much easier. On a down note we visited that family I talked about last week.(they really reverent one) The Dad came to the door and said, "Sorry but I don´t want you guys coming to my house anymore." We ask why? He said "Well you guys have your church and we have ours." Then we said "We follow the same God you follow." Then his respond "Well we follow the doctrine of our pastor and its different than your Church." I didn´t know if I was more mad or had more pity for him at the moment. We tried to talk more but finally he said "I can´t talk to you anymore my Pastor said I can´t." This is one of the saddest things that can happen on the mission. When you find a family of Gold and the Dad won't let anyone listen because his "Pastor" won't allow it. This week we will finally see the fruits of our labors. We are going to have 2 baptisms and its going to be great. Both of these baptisms are references of the members. It just goes to show that having a friend in the Church really makes a huge difference. This Sunday I saw a huge miracle. We had been teaching this girl for a few weeks now. On the first visit the Dad said "I'll be honest, I believe in God but I don't believe in Religion. so don't waste you time on me" With 3 weeks of passing by there and teaching the both of them, "wasting our time" Sunday morning 830 look who pulled up with his daughter! When I first saw him, I fought the tears back as I ran to there car to welcome them! This week was great. Although you get your heart broke many times each day God always puts miracle in your life to fix it. I'm so grateful for this chance to be a servant of the Lord. I have a firm testimony that its not the best 2 year of my life but without a doubt its the best 2 year for my life. The lessons I'v learn are things I could never forget.
I hope everyone is doing well! Eu oro por cada um de vocês cada dia!!