Monday September 19, 2011
Another week gone in a blink of an eye. Wow, time is passing by so fast for me. So, this week started out great. After I finished writing to you all last week I read the president´s letters to all of the missionaries and it was a letter really special. Our mission has been lacking baptisms but he promised that if we all worked hard and were obedient, miracles would happen and that we would find somebody to baptize that week. I got really excited about this and I promised my companion that we could do it because our president is called of God to lead his work here and he has the key to make such a promise. This week I really focused and doing all that I could to find and baptize the promised person. My companion Elder Leal doubted such a promise could be fulfilled in our area but he agreed to try the challenge with me this week and really dig in our heals and push our handcart. As the week went on, it became the most challenging week of my mission. We had a day were we did not find anybody home even though we were working hard. We had walked 1 and a half hours to the other side of the city for an appointment that fell through; nobody else was home and walked back for an hour and a half to another appointment that fell through. Still, we focused on the promise. The next day I caught a really nasty bug that threw me for a loop. My head felt full of rocks and I was ready to throw up any moment. We tried to work, but again, rough finding people in their houses so we visited and did service for a couple members until our night appointment with Junior, the boyfriend of the girl who was at church last Sunday with him. Then Thursday I really felt nasty so Elder Leal made me call Sister Oliveira to get permission to buy medicine. She ordered me to bed for the day which I really did not like, but for fear of being disobedient we stayed in the house. Friday we started by helping a member that morning build a house. We worked with concrete all day, mixing and hauling. In Brasil, houses are all brick and so they use a lot of concrete to hold the bricks together. We then worked super hard to make up for the last few days that were unsatisfying. Saturday we continued to work hard and Sunday we baptized Junior. It was amazing.
Now I have to tell his story. Junior is 26 years old and living with another guy here in Lucas away from his family. He is awesome and has recently turned his life around. He was a drug attic, both buying and selling, but he stopped over a year ago and is now working as a social worker helping other men and young men give up drugs. We passed by his house and taught him the first lesson. What a powerful spirit was there. We always feel the spirit when we teach, but you can also feel when the spirit is being carried to their hearts and when it is entering their hearts. He opened his heart and he learned by the spirit. We had both thought that maybe it would be better to mark a date two week ahead for baptism, but in the lesson we both knew that we were to mark a date for baptism with him for the next Sunday. He eagerly accepted the date to be baptized and firmly said that he wanted to be baptized with this authority and continue his life in the church of Jesus Christ. The next lesson we invited his member girlfriend who was recently baptized to join us. We taught the word of wisdom and it was another great lesson. He told is that he wanted to stop smoking and drinking coffee and so we made a plan with him. We also read from the missionary pamphlets about some of the steps that may help. He asked us for a priesthood blessing to help him give up these substances and so we gave him a blessing. He is so awesome. We taught him the plan of salvation and law of chastity the next lesson. He went out of town to see family that night, but was back Saturday night late and called us to let us know that he was back. Sunday he went to church, had his interview, and was baptized. He loved it and is really excited for next week to be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. My other baptism Beatriz was there and she loved the baptism because it made her remember her baptism. She also told me that baptisms were like a party in the church because everybody is so happy to see another soul come to Christ. It was so cool to hear that from another sweet soul that I was just in the water with. How cool is this work. I know that this was a miracle, the miracle that was promised by my inspired mission president. What a great week this was. We suffered hard days and sickness, but the Lord blessed us overwhelmingly. Junior will be a great instrument in the Lord´s hands. I love all of you and wish you all a great week. Tchau
Oh yeah, do you remember about the anaconda skin that I found. So I was talking to an investigator about it and they showed me a video of the news program that was there the same day and showed the anaconda in the water, the same one that gave me the skin. He ate a capivara that day also. Awesome, right? The snake turned out to be about 10 meters long. Sweet man. Sadly, I only found about 10 feet of skin. Look this up in YouTube. sucuri no cartão postal de Lucas that should find the video of the news report. Anyways, you probably will not understand but they are saying that you should watch your you walk, keep an eye on your kids, and not be in the park at night. The video makes it look like there are always people there because Lucas wants a tourist attraction, but in all reality, I pass through the park as a short cut every other day at least and see all of 2 people there at the most. Hahaha but really, check it out dude, pretty cool. There are so many cool things here. I will send a pic of a 5 foot lizard I saw this week.
hey, good work boys on the sheep riding. It was AWESOME!!!