Eu amo a missão! Estas semanas passadas foram ótimas!! Muito trabalho, muitas lições, muitos novos pesquisadores, e muito sucesso!!!
This week I want to write about some of the miracles that have been happening in our areas these past few weeks.
First, the power one simple member can do! We have a recent convert here named Eleneilson (13 years old)He has been a member for less than 1 year. His family is less active and he doesn´t receive much support from them. When I arrived here he was falling less active as well. But we started working with him a lot and inviting him to go tracking with us and such, which is he and loved! One Sunday he brought his friend to church (Lucas). We started teaching Lucas and his twin, Matteus, then their family! The progress has been amazing. Lucas and Matteus have been baptized and they have started sharing the gospel with their friends. This past week they brought 4 of their friends to church with them and they all want to be baptized as well! Some family members of these 4 friends are also interested in the gospel. This snowball effect of simply inviting a friend to church has been amazing to see. For us, it makes us so happy to see because we know they these young men will all continue firm the church and have each other for support.
Members have SUCH a powerful affect on the work. Investigators are much more comfortable with the gospel when they have friends and feel included at church. Members: Do missionary work! You can have such a huge influence in your ward!
A couple other experiences: rapidinho.
First, I have really been trying to open my mouth here more. The language is really hard and I am scared every single time a speak, but I´ve just been working really hard to do it anyways… No growth in the comfort zone! This past week I spent a lot of time with Sister Ramos. She is a Mexican with 6 months here so we are both working on the language together. Anyways, we were at the bus stop waiting for the bus when a young girl walked up with her son. I felt prompted to talk to her but man, did not want to. But I did anyways! Turns out she knows the church and had been baptized 2 years before. But her son has mental issues and they don´t have much money. She had moved and fallen away from the church. She was really excited to talk with us and said she would love if we would come visit her! If I had just sat there and waited for the bus we never would have found her… I have such a testimony that when we open our mouths, even when it´s hard, awkward, scary, etc… miracles can happen!
One last story… I was with Sister Ramos in her area working. We were passing by all of her investigators houses reminding them that they next day was Sunday and they needed to come to church (How we spend every Saturday) haha. We were a little bit lost and struggling to find the house of one investigator. We passed one house and she said ´This house is in the area book. I´ve been here for 4 transfers though and every single time we have knocked (clapped) at the door there is never anyone home´… We were about to just go by but decided to try clapping just to see. Almost immediately a man came to the gate. We told him we were missionaries and he said ´Oh yeah, I know. Let me put on a shirt and you guys can come in` (For you Americans: This is very strange reponse. First of all, I don´t think any Brazillian man has ever offered to put on a shirt. ever. Second, we are almost never invited in.. just talk at the door) But anyways, we went in and asked him his name, etc. Turns out it was his dad that was in the area book… we started to explain that we were missionaries and the work we do etc when he cut us off and said ´yeah I know! I actually served a mission too a lot of years ago in Idaho, in the United Stated!´
We couldn´t believe it… We started talking to him all about his mission that he has served. He could speak english almost perfectly. He started remembering tons of things and talking about all the areas he has served in. I told him I have studying in Idaho before my mission and knew almost all the areas he has served.He got super excited and started telling me all about it. He told us that it had been a long time since he had gone to church… he told us how he remembered when he was a missionary he has promised himself he would never fall away but somehow he had. It was so clear to both of us (Sister Ramos and I) that he still had a testimony and knew he needed to return. When the time came for us to leave we asked if we could pray with him. He said he hadn´t prayed for many years… I offered to give a prayer in English and he said he would like that. This moment has been one of the most spiritual of my mission so far… After the prayer the spirit was so strong. We left and went to the house of the investigator we had been looking for. But the whole way we were both just thinking about him. We felt prompted to return and invite him to pray tonight personally to know what is right for him in his life. So we did! I am not sure what will happen with him but I know God´s hand was in all of it.
I know that it wasn´t by chance that Sister Ramos has been looking for him for 6 months and the first day she was with me, alone in her area, we happened to get lost, he happened to be home, and it just so happened he served a mission in Idaho where I had been studying at school for many years. This wasn´t a coincidence! This was a miracle of God!
The mission is so amazing…. God is so amazing…. It´s simply undeniable truth.
Until next week. Love you all!