October 24, 2013

Batismos e Mundancas!

Querida Familia!

this week has been INSANE. Seriously.
So last week was nuts because of our 3 pesquisadores with baptisms scheduled for this past weekend. We visited and taught every single one, every single day, which was quite a challenge considering that they all live about a half hour walk away! Many days, we didn't have time to do much else but miracles are real and ALL THREE WERE BAPTIZED!!!! WOOOOOH! 3 baptisms, 2 confirmations, and a ward conference made for one exciting weekend.
Antônio is our golden investigator. I have never met anyone more humble or more repentant in my life. He is incredible, and an inspiration to me. We all cry together during all of our lessons. He has made some pretty bad choices in his life, and he has suffered the consequences tenfold BUT he is so penitent and so willing to change. He just wants to turn his life over to Christ and start over new. He completely quit smoking, IN UNDER A WEEK, right after we taught the world of wisdom. Talk about faith. He just believed us when we told him it was a commandment and starting living it right away. That is the miracle of the Atonement. He was baptized on Saturday, very small and simple with 12 people in attendance. The Bishop closed by saying, Right now, Antônio, you are more clean than anyone else in this room. And its absolutely true. I got chills hearing that. This man, with all his mistakes and faults, was completely washed clean. His sins are gone. He has been forgiven completely. This is the gift of baptism we are offering people, this is the blessing of the gospel. We are a church of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances, and you get the picture. And because of the Atonement, I can pray for forgiveness constantly, and wake up every morning knowing that my faults are in the past and I can start over and try again today. We have been given the opportunity to change, to become more than we are, to reach our true potential. This is the message of hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, we baptized 2 children from less-active families. Teaching Lucas (age 8) and Iara (age 10) has really been an experience. Woooooh parenting is going to be hard. Mom, Dad, I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. It breaks my hard to see the way these children are sometimes neglected, especially spiritual negligence. We need families to learn the gospel, and I will be forever grateful for your example.
we had ward conference this past week as well!!! It was crazy, the Bishop got released! He has held that calling for 7 years, so I guess it was about time. I really love our new bispo, Bispo Pelé (oh yeah, everyone uses first names here. I couldn't tell you the last names of anyone in my ward). He kind of reminds me of Morgan Freeman, except he speaks portugues. His daughters are all around my age too and have been great help in going out with the missionaries. Things are going to be changing in this ward, and I'm excited to see where it goes!
Annnnnnnd transfers!!!!! Sister Oliveira was whisked away to Natal to be the new Sister Líder Trainadora!!!! ?Wooooo :) I really had an amazing mãe. (Mom, on the mission your trainer is called your mãe and your first district leader is your pai. I lost them both this transfer). Normally we are supposed to stay with the same trainer, but Presidente Soares is mixing things up and I'm pretty sure that EVERY new missionary is switching trainers half way through. It was a bit of a shock...and very hard. I'm still in recovery mode. But this will be really good, because I'm going to learn a lot more responsibility. I will receive a new trainer, but I'm the one who knows the area. (or, supposedly knows the area). I'm learning the hard way the importance of keeping good records, because I don't really have addresses or phone numbers. or even a map. So the next few weeks are going to be a little rough. However, fresh starts are always good, né? I have a feeling that I'm going to learn the true meaning of humility. Its knowing where your strength comes from. And right now, I do not have the capacity to do anything that is expected of me. But with Christ, all things are possible! The past few days have given new meaning to the hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour.
So, I'm a little scared right now. But my faith is much stronger than my fear. I cant do this alone, but I'm not alone. President Monson taught, When you are on the Lords errand, you are entitled to the Lords help. I believe in this promise with all my heart and am excited to see the Lord work through me to perform miracles for His other children in Mossoró.
Love you all! Até Segunda-feira!

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