hello dear friends and family;
I have survived yet another week here in Bandeirantes. Between the blistering sun, the umbrella tearing rain and the rocky roads, its been a tiring yet satisfying week of work in the Work of The Lord. Its been a tough week, searching for those who´ve strayed from the path. We have been using our list of members to find those who arent active, to re-active and meet new people to share the gospel in this form. The hardest day was friday. We were able to meet many of those inactive families that particular day. The saddening part was to see home after home, people who had completely lost their testimonies. by five in the afternoon my companion and I were spiritually depressed, all I wanted was to return to our house and eat a pot of icecream. But you just cant give up like that. Sister V. Morais, we have to teach and testify right now and then we´ll feel better. Oh look! theres three women sitting infront of that house. lets talk to them!´´ Well. one of them had to leave, but invited us to pass by another day. we sat and talked with her mom and her aunt. Her mom had some crazy experiences to share about seeing Saint Peter....but we wrote down Ivette´s name and adress to pass by another time. She seemed nice in the 10 seconds we knew her. We had the opportunity to pass by saturday, and she wasnt home but would probably return shortly. So we chatted with her aunt until she got home 15 mins later. Ivette had met missionaries of the chruch while living and visiting in Paraguay, France, and Portugal, but never went to church. She´d had the missionaries here in her home 7 years back, but never receieved a book of Mormon. (sounds like they liked getting free food and conversing more than converting) We taught her the restoration and about joseph smith. I sat there in awe at the faith that she showed. She said straight up, I know God answers prayers. I once prayed in my room, about something in my life. No angel appeared, but I felt this deep warmth and love from God. She said that she would pray and when she recieves her answer, she would be baptised.
Unfortunately she didnt make it to church, but the experience that night gave me hope and reminded me that there are people here to recieve the gospel. At times it gets discouraging when you struggle so much to teach somone, or to even find someone who is honest about recieving you in their home to hear the message.
But an even great miracle happened this weekend. Percídio recieved permission after 2-3 months of waiting from the First Presidency to be baptised. President called us saturday night, and said for us not to notify Percídio, that he would in the enterview. (it was such a miracle that it happened to come the weekend President had come to campo Grande for leadership training) In sacrament meeting the spirit was so powerful, especially afer Percídio arose and shared his testimony of the gospel. He spoke of the change that the gospel brought in his life personally, and the life of his family, and the true happiness he has. AFter that it seemed like the whole congregation rose to bare testimony. When President Oliveira told him that today he would be finally clean of his sins, he and his wife were full of smiles and tears. These are those baptisms that you never forget. Those who have found the truth and truly have felt the power of the atonement and know what baptism means for them and their family. There was not a dry eye in the meeting, and the spirit was so ever present. I will never forget the spirit I felt as he recieved the gift of the holy ghost. My whole body was washed with that sweet purifying sensation that only comes through the Holy Spirit. And now the family of brother Percídio can finally start working towards being an eternal family. Our work doesnt stop at baptism; its the temple that is our goal.
Since the assistants were with president, and they are now in my area of Verdão, I got to hear about my recent converts there. Douglas is ever strong, he and Ricardo are preparing for missions!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IF those recent converts can just make it to the temple, I know the possiblities of them staying true to their baptismal convenant is more likely. Its saddening to hear of your recent converts who have already fallen through the cracks. I worry greatly about many of those. But their names are on the records. They wont ever be forgotten, even if they want to be.
I know this gospel is true-its perfect.
Im so greatful to Father in Heaven, for giving me this opportunity to grow and be an instrument for others to recieve His Truths.
Have a great week, send a hug to Grandma!
love you all,