Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week 53: Running

The work doesn't stop here in Central Falls! We visited tons of people this week and there were a few days where we were just glad to survive. But something that I'm learning is that the Lord's plan is never frustrated! He always gets what he wants done. I say that because we noticed a lot of opposition and adversity happening in the work and in the lives of our investigators this week. Like, a lot. BUT Sister Couto and I decided we shouldn't dwell on it or talk about it all too much because we need to stay positive and remember that miracles often happen on the edge of exhaustion and stress. They come when we need them the most. So we are still working hard and doing our best to follow the Spirit and do what the Lord wants us to do every day!

For this week I'll give you updates on our investigators, I feel like that is more interesting than going day by day haha.

Ana Goncalves: she came to church!!! After like a month! She brought her 3 year old daughter for the first time, as well as her niece. Her niece is CRAZY. I mean it. We were trying to help her stay quiet through the first 2 hours of church, so Sister Couto and I didn't really get anything from the lessons or talks, and then we lost her right at the beginning of 3rd hour. She ended up being in Primary the whole time or something like that. Whatever works! Anyways, we also taught Ana this week about the Restoration and we applied the training we had at Zone Meeting (I guess I'll talk about that later) and reinforced our purpose as missionaries. It turned out well--we think that she kind of understands why we come visit her a little more. She really needs prayers though--she says that she prays but that she doesn't feel anything or receive any answers. We're not quite sure what to do to help her with that. Any ideas? She's very simple and only reads a teeeeeeensy tiny bit of Portuguese, so it needs to be pretty straight forward with her. We can see that she is in fact progressing though, yippee!

Ancelmo and Clarice: they will be baptized on Sunday!!!!! We are so excited, but I think they are even more excited. These kids are the greatest. We taught them this week about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, missionary work, and we tried to teach about the Sabbath day, but it was with the whole family, which is super crazy every time. Anyways, they came to church and to the ward picnic we had on Saturday (even their mom came to that, which was so good! she works a lot). They are picking their baptismal program and we are RUNNING to finish teaching all of the lessons to them. But here's one example of opposition that comes before a grand spiritual experience--Clarice and their other brother Walter are sick. Like with fevers and sore throats. Nothing super serious, but they really aren't in a good condition to learn. So please pray for them that they will stay strong this week and they will be healthy and prepared for their baptism!! 

Their baptism will be so great. Their mom asked her boss for work off that day, and he said "no way" but she told us she doesn't care, her kids are getting baptized and she will be there no matter what. Pray for her too. 

Ana!  Ah, Ana is so great. So she is the girlfriend of Ancelmo and Clarice's older brother, and she lives above our member Maria Graca. We taught her and her 2 sons, Jose and Jee (short for Jelson) twice this week. The first time was about building our foundation on Christ, and then we taught the Restoration yesterday! It was really great. We extended a soft baptismal invitation to them (meaning without a specific date, like "will you be baptized?") and Jose (12) was like "I want to be baptized!" So we told them they have to pray and know that it's true! The only huge things we can see as obstacles for right now are that Ana works on Sundays (pray for her to be able to get those off so she can go to church) and she lives with her boyfriend. But they are so golden, so ready, and so excited to see Ancelmo and Clarice be baptized. I think that will help them feel the Spirit so much. These people are so GREAT!! Oh, and Jose and Jee came to church and loved it. So we just really need to get Ana to church, because then their little family can be baptized together :)

We also taught this new potential, Luis, about the Book of Mormon and our purpose. He seemed really interested and said he would definitely read the Book of Mormon. We haven't been able to meet with him again. The Elders think that he is just interested because we are pretty girls (this is not untrue), but we have faith that he really was touched by the message. We'll try to see him again.

We also visited Maria Graca a couple of times because she hasn't been to church in a few weeks. We feel like she tells us things that are just excuses, so we're working on understanding the real problem. Before they left for Cape Verdeon Thursday, we visited a lot with Linara and Liara, some less active young women. Their mom came to church on Sunday though!! Wahoo! We're still working with her too. We were able to have a meeting with another less active, Euridece. We'll visit her daughter on Tuesday, then her on Wednesday, so we want to get them to church at least once :)

Saturday we had a Ward Picnic! We managed to scrape by and find rides for all 10 Silveiras who wanted to come. That was a challenge, my friends. But it happened. Not in the prettiest way, but again, we survived. Same with church haha. Rides are tricky things here. 

And the work continues on!

Thursday was great because it was my year mark. We have some just really attractive pictures of me and Elder Friebe (who was in my MTC district, so it was his year mark too) when we all went to get ice cream at our favorite place, Lincoln Creamery. Basically Sister Couto just took pictures of us eating ice cream (separately, don't worry). So gross. 

We also found some more success in the digital mission and skyped 2 new people, one of which who lives in Peru and is interested in "talking about God". So we're up for that!

On Friday we had Zone Meeting in Providence, where we learned a lot about being Preach My Gospel missionaries and how we can begin teaching and emphasize our purpose in every lesson. It was an awesome zone meeting. I think the Providence North zone has some of the best zone meetings I've ever been too, and that's saying something. I have a soft spot for Boston West. 

And there it is! Missionary work is the best. Sister Couto and I are running. That's the best way to do missionary work--just sprint. No reservations, just go out and do work. We aren't perfect, and our language skills need to improve a lot (kriolo is hard..) but we are trying! The Lord is blessing us, and He is blessing the people here.

I hope you all have a great week. Seriously, I have a feeling this will be a good one. Probably crazy for us, but when has missionary work not been crazy for me? I love it. 

I'll work on getting those pictures up. I have no idea what we're doing for the rest of pday, but it might be a barbeque with the elders and it might just been chilling at home and at the church. All good things. 

Keep on enjoying summer! I think I'll personally be glad when Fall comes around again, but that's just me.

Love you lots.

Oh! And a special shout out to my family (mom and Alyssa really) for sending me cookies and cards and things, and a really special shout out to INGRID UNANDER-SCHARIN! Look, I just spelled that all my byself. She sent me a postcard from Florence, Italy, and I don't know what her email is for sure, but it literally made my day when I got it. You know I love Ingrid.

Another thing I just remembered. If you are wondering about David and AnaPaula and their family and what is happening with them, please jump in the boat with us. We have been trying to talk with them for the whole week (calling, knocking on their door, creepily waiting outside their house, everything), but we are pretty sure they are deliberately avoiding us. So if you could just pray that we will be able to find out what happened, that would be so helpful! This is one of those examples of opposition we are finding, but the Lord knows them and what they need. So we know that everything will work out all in His time. But those few extra prayers would definitely be greatly appreciated. :)

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