This has really been an interesting week. Let me explain:
As you know, I have a new companion. This means several things: first, we are working our everloving brains out. Second, we have a new Bishop and new investigators that we´re finding daily. Third, we have a plan to baptize weekly! Starting on Saturday!
We had a great interview with our new Bishop and our LMA (Ward Mission Leader) on Wednesday; made some goals to start up some great gincanas (contests) and activites tha´t´ll bring more investigators from the members and get the ward excited to get going here. They aren´t doing a whole lot now, but this ward has a lot of potential. We´ve got a lot of strong people that are just waiting to see that we really are the missionaries that they´ve been waiting for, and every day we´ve been putting our face to the grindstone to get it done. It´s amazing that when you ask for things from your Heavenly Father, you get them. I asked for a companion (Brasilian) who wanted to work and wanted to baptize. I got just that! Elder Sousa is a machine, and it´s easy to see that he´s a baptizer. We´re beginning to establish a new system in which we find more people and work more with the people that are genuinely interested; we´ll leave the rest of the slackers in the Area Book with our notes. We don´t have time for slackers, but we are willing to give everyone a chance.
One of these chances was Ziza, a crazy old lady who has more facial hair than is reasonable for most men. She´s between 78-85 years old (she´s not sure) and she is one of those people that looks like a free baptism but really takes a good chunk of work. She accepts every invitation that we leave, but then when Sunday rolls around, she has an excuse and can´t come to church. This Sunday we decided to give her the last straw. We passed by her house every day and left a message about going to church, and reminding when it was, who was coming to get her, etc. On Sunday...she came!! She´ll be baptized next week!
We´re also going to baptize Vanessa, who is Daiane´s sister. She´s great, and has basically no problems with anything. The only thing she wanted to know was about receiving an answer, and how she would receive it. It was amazing what happened in that lesson. One thing that I have learned is that authority with obedience and hard work brings power. I invited her to think about a cake recipe and what you need to make a cake. Without one of the ingredients (eggs, milk, etc.) it won´t be cake. With receiving an answer, you need to read the BOM, think about it a lot, pray about it, and go to church. She had done everything but pray, and was scared to try. I bore my testimony to her and bore witness that she had already received a witness; she believed and accepted it! She´ll be baptized on Saturday!
I also had one of the best experiences on my mission on Monday; we met an awesome guy named Marco Antônio. He lived in Florida for a long time and is divorced from his wife, who still lives there. He is the coolest guy! He only wanted to talk to me in English, so I decided to try something special; we taught half of the lesson in English and the other part in POrtuguese! It was reeeeally hard. I haven´t taught in English for almost 8 months! But he understood and it was great. My favorite part was the First Vision. I told him to pay attention to his feelings, and that he would feel the Spirit. I shared it in English, and after in Portuguese. It was really cool, and for some reason I became really emotional. He literally got goosebumps and wanted to know what it was that he felt. We told him that it was the SPirit, and he wants to feel it forever. He´ll be baptized too.
I´ve been learning that baptism and lessons taught aren´t the only successes on the mission. I´ve also been learning a lot about humility and how long I have to go still. I know that these people need this message and that I, with the Lord´s permission and SPirit - can help them.
I love this work! It is amazing! I encourage all of you to pray for the missionaries, even more! They feel those prayers during the hard times! I love you all and hope that I haven´t done anything to any one of you to frustrate or offend. Know that I am working hard on improving and that progress will be made in the time of the Lord.
Love you all - good week to all!
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