March 10, 2014

Feeding the Five Thousand

                                                                                                                              March 10, 2014

So, this week has been (once again) one of the most difficult and most rewarding weeks of my life. I feel like Caicó is just going to be a roller coaster ride for the entire transfer. Between training and the new area, we´ve had quite enough to keep our hands full. But this area is GOLDEN we already have a huge group of new investigators and lots of references from members. We are already planning weekly ward activities to help with integration and retention, and I will be giving piano lessons every Saturday so that when the inevitable transfer comes, someone will be able to play in sacrament meeting :D English classes will wait a bit, but I´ll probably start those up by the end of the month!

We were able to baptize two INCREDIBLE people this week :) Edvan has been taught by the missionaries for over a year, knows everything but somehow slipped through the cracks with changes in missionaries. We were visiting a less-active family in the ward, and he was there. I´ll be honest, we didn’t pay too much attention to him but at the end of the lesson we sang Families Can Be Together Forever. Edvan started to cry and asked us to come back and visit him in his house. So we stop by on Thursday night to see how he is doing. The Spirit was SO STRONG the whole lesson. He said he wanted to be baptized. We challenged him with a date, and he accepted. And then the Spirit very STRONGLY told me to challenge him to be baptized the next day. So...we asked him if he wanted to be baptized tomorrow. And he said YES!!!! We went over the interview questions (you would think he was already a member from his answers), set up an interview, and started calling everyone in the ward to come to the baptism! There was a great turn out, and Edvan was practically glowing the whole time. I´ve never seen someone so happy. So, in case you all had any doubts, miracles are REAL!

 Which brings me to Luke 9:12-17. The miracle of Christ feeding the 5 thousand.

The disciples only had 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Nothing more. There was no realistic way for them to get enough food to feed 5000 people - yet that was exactly what the Lord asked of them. So what do they do? They give all they had to the Lord, which was pitifully little in comparison to the task set before them, and He blessed it, brake, and multiplied until ´they did eat and were filled’ with 12 baskets left over.

 Sometimes the Lord asks us to do impossible tasks- that defy all laws of nature, what is normal, what is within our skill range. But He still asks. He asks us to perform miracles in His name. So what do we do? We give the Lord all that we have - even though all that we have doesn´t even compare to the task set before us. We are so laughably incapable, working alone. But the Lord accepts our sacrifice and takes what we have to give, weaknesses and all. And then He multiplies it and somehow or other, at the end of the day, we´ve performed the miracle. We´ve fed the 5 000 or passed that test or forgiven our neighbor. We´ve found the lost sheep and brought him back to the fold. We´ve healed a broken family.

The Lord takes all that we have and makes up for the rest. All He asks is all of our heart, might, mind, and strength and when that isn’t enough, He takes care of the rest. This is the power of the Atonement. I love you all and pray for you all! If you could keep in your prayers Lindenberg, Mateus, and my companion Sister F de Oliveira, it would help a lot!

-Sister Carroll
Alysha practicing after being called as ward pianist, instead of laurel president, because of her diligence she is now teaching piano to members in her small branch

Based on a photo Alysha sent us & Google earth, her dad was able to locate the apartment building she is currently living in - I love technology!

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