December 6, 2014

Eyes to see Miracles

                                                                                                            November 17, 2014

Yesterday, an Elder told me that I have a gift - the eyes to see miracles. He told me that I have a gift that I´m able to see miracles that other people can´t, or won´t, recognize. I don´t know if that´s true, but this week really was a week of miracles!

Monday we went back to Natal (did you know that a bus ride from Souza to Natal is almost as long as the plane ride São Paulo to the US?) and Tuesday Sister Cabral and I had the afternoon free to do what we wanted. So what do we do? Go to the beach? Go Christmas shopping? Hang around the mission office? NO WAY! Visit our Recent Converts, of course :) It was the best afternoon ever! Granted, it’s only been 3-4 weeks that I´ve left Natal but it was neat to see the people I taught and baptized still going strong. The highlight of the night was seeing Lucas and Vagner, two YM of gold. I didn’t even have to go looking for them, they were just hanging around the Church waiting for a youth activity to start! Just a few short years and they´ll be on their missions :) also, Marceilda, a YW that was baptized in my first area, went to the temple this past week!!!! She sent me a letter and told me that she has a calling as a ward missionary, she is reading the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time, and she went to the temple <3 a="" bit="" cried="" got="" have="" her="" i="" letter....="" little="" may="" o:p="" when="">

All the traveling didn’t sit quite well with me so I got a little sick this week. The Lord definitely helped us, because we only had 3 days to work in our area and everything worked out in the end, even with the time I spend sleeping (almost 12 hours straight!) I have a renewed testimony of priesthood blessings - the Lord WANTS to heal us! It’s just our faith that is the deciding factor!

Dona Francisca was baptized on Sunday! She´s just the sweetest little old lady (74 years old!) with more backbone than any other investigator I know. Satan threw a bunch of complications our way, but it all worked out in the end. There is a huge drought here in Brasil, the situation is critical. We didn’t have any water to fill the baptismal font so we had to ask the firefighters to fill the font! (If you could pray for rain....we need it. if it doesn’t rain before January, the city will stop functioning). Then when we got to her house to walk with her to church, her family said that she had ALREADY LEFT!  it’s a 30-40 minute walk! In the hot sun! We were so worried about her, we just walked around the whole city trying to find her. Well, we calmed down a bit and stopped to say the most fervent prayer of my life....and then she appeared on the street corner! Ohhh Francisca :) God really hears and answers prayers.

Saturday night was a devotional to celebrate.....THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH IN SOUZA!!!!! Wooooohhhh! The church is soooo new here. It brought me to tears to hear all the stories of the early efforts and see the sacrifices of the members here. Missionary work is their life - they spend the whole week visiting the members to help everyone get to church on Sunday! Most members have to walk 30-45 minutes in the hot sun to get to church! They really inspire me to be a better missionary. I feel like I´m part of something a lot bigger than me. We´re just all together, literally fighting for the life of Souza inch by inch. I feel like the early missionaries that served in England - it’s the best comparison there is. It was so interesting to hear the conversion stories, one sister of the ward said that it’s not the beautiful chapels but the way the members received the visitors that makes the difference. There wasn’t a church building when she started out, but the irmãs hugged and kissed her and made her feel at home. And that is simply how the church grows. The Presidente da Missão made a goal with the missionaries and church leaders last night that before June 2015, Souza will become a stake!!!!

So, it was a good week! Keep praying for my comp, she´s going home on Saturday and I don´t know what I’m going to do without Sister Cabral!

Please pray for Manual, Daniel, and Serverinho also!
 -Sister Carroll

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