BOM DIA FAMÍLIA!!!
Greetings from Fortaleza :) This week was full of adventures...Good,(like finding new great people to teach!) and bad (like having cockroaches in my bedroom)!
Tuesday we went to teach a lesson in the very end of our area. We got there and we ended up not being able to teach the guy because he was locked inside his house. haha. His mom had the keys and wouldn't be returning for a while so we just marked for a different day. Definitely the weirdest reason I've had for not teaching someone during my mission!But it turned out perfect because we checked on a member who hasn't been to church in quite a few years and ended up getting to teach her daughter! She had tons of questions and thought the story of Joseph Smith was really cool. She doesn't live in our area, but we gave her address to the Elders there, so now she´ll be taught! After that we taught a lady that always comes to English class but I never knew that she is a member of our chruch. She was baptized a few years ago but stopped coming. She has a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon, and after our visit she agreed to start reading it again, so we will see what happens! Afterwards we went to teach Neto and when we got there he was sitting by his grandma crying really hard. He had just found out that his 2 year old neice died :( It was so sad and he was really upset), but we had an incredibly spiritual lesson with him. he invited his whole family to come out and hear us talk about the plan of salvation. It was really great to be able to share my testimony of this plan with their family! Afterwards, we were passing by Anderson and Josy´s house and saw that they were in the middle of moving, so we ended up helping them out for the rest of our night! It was awesome because generally Brasillians won't let other people help them out. But it was perfect! Sadly they moved out of our area, But the Sisters in their new area will keep teaching them, so it will be great!
Wednesday was good! In the morning we had District Meeting. In the afternoon we went and taught Tiago. He told us he had visited our church on Sunday! We were all confused and thinking he had visited the wrong church, but he described exactly how our church looks on the inside. He said that he got there about 10 minutes before the meeting started and he looked for us but we weren't there so he just left haha. We weren't there because we were waiting for Neto to finish getting ready! But he said he wants to visit the church even more now than he did before! So thats a plus! Afterwards we went to teach Neto. He was just acting really weird. It was sad because we had an awesome member with us who had experiences to share with him to help him but it didn't work out! The good thing is that we took the member with us to visit other investigators, Francisco and Rizangela. It was such an awesome lesson! They have been reading from the Book of Mormon but they weren't understanding a whole lot. So we taught them more about the book, read with them and told them how they can know if it's true or not! They are a really great couple. They have a lot of love for one another, which isn't super common in couples here in Brasil, so I'm super excited to keep teaching them! We ended the night finding a really awesome family! The mom's name is Senate. She has attended lots of different churches in her life but still hasn't found ´´the one´´. She feels like everybody teaches the same thing and there's a lot of hypocrisy in religion. But we taught the restoration and it was really powerful! We´re going to go back and teach them this week.
Thursday morning we found this awesome lady. She's been a little disillusioned by religion but she has a lot of faith in God. She has attended and studied lots of different churches, but never ours! We taught her the restoration and she thought it was pretty amazing. I feel like this week especially, I have seen a lot of people who ´´are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it´´. Every time I teach them the restoration I just get so excited because they don't have to search anymore! In the afternoon we were able to teach one of invetigators. We created a plan with him to help him quit drinking so we will see what happens! He told us he really wants to quit and is ready now. I sure hope so! We also chose a new date for his baptism so that made him more motivated as well. The good thing is that he really does want to quit, he just doesnt know how. So we´ll just keep working with him! In the evening we taught a man who was baptized in May. He received the Priesthood on Sunday and is pretty excited about it! We talked with him about the temple and how there will be a temple here soon and that we want to help him prepare to go there with his family. It's a little hard because he is super strong but his wife isn't doing very well right now, so we will just keep working with them until they are all strong and ready to get to the temple!
Friday was a really, really good day! I was feeling a little down in the morning because I was just thinking about the fact that I have worked 13 months as a missionary now, sometimes I feel like I would be helping more people if I had stayed in the U.S. The language is still super hard for me and there are lessons where I feel like I'm not doing anything! I was talking to Sister Downs about this and she helped me a lot. She shared some verses from Ether 12 when Moroni was talking about our weaknesses. Everybody always talks about verse 27 but she showed me the verses before and after which really helped me out. Moroni was talking about how the Lord asked him to write the record of his people and he felt really inadequate. He was worried that people would read what he wrote and make fun of it because he wasn't good at writing. Sister Downs pointed out that it doesn't matter if I'm not speaking as well as I'd like to or if I don't feel like I'm doing any good or helping any one. What matters is that God sent me here and if I'm trying to do all I can and being obedient and just trying, then that's enough! There is always purpose in our struggling! I don´t know why Heavenly Father sent me here for only 6 months, knowing that I wouldnt speak the language very well in the start and maybe I will never speak like I want to! But I know that he sent me here and he sent me for a reason! I just have to be patient and keep on trying!! The rest of the day was awesome after that pep talk! :) It wasn't the most successful day because it was holiday here and almost all of our appointments fell through. But in the evening we taught a couple we met last week. We took the Patriarch that lives in our ward with us. The husband of the couple has a lot of interest, but a lot of doubts too. Especially about the Book of Mormon! But the Patriarch helped us out a lot. He knows the bible really well and was able to help the man overcome a lot of his doubts.
Saturday was good! In the morning before English class we taught Carolina, a young mom. She is doing great! Her baby is sleeping more, so she will definitely be able to visit the church here pretty soon! After that we had English class! I am learning a lot about the patience that Heavenly Father has! Learning a new language is hard. We mess up time and time again and yet he still loves us! I am just trying to follow his example and not get upset at myself and others for our weaknesses! We taught Cristielen, who is the neice of a member that night and the lesson went really well! She is 9 years old and is really excited to learn about the gospel! She's really fun to teach!
Sunday was so great! Both Neto and Cristielen came to church! When church ended we were walking in the hallway and we saw Neto walking into a room with the Patriarch and another member. We asked what they were doing and Neto told us he was getting a blessing. The Patriarch gave him a blessing and it was perfect. Neto got really emotional and asked if he could give the patriarch a hug. It was so sweet! It was good to see that he learned that he has people in the church who will help him out. We were talking with the member afterwards and he told us Neto had asked him for the blessing. We haven't taught him about blessings or ever talked about them before, So I'm not sure where he heard about them but I'm glad that he got that blessing because it was a really powerful spiritual experience for him! In the afternoon we taught Cristielen! She loved church and is going to invite her parents to come to church with her next week!
Boa semana para voces!