Monday, July 20, 2015
Week 54: Summer Time
We had this strangely wonderful day a few days ago where the high was like 74. That was so great. Otherwise, we've been climbing up in the temperature lately! It's super hot and grossly humid, so I am grateful for our car. This, this is why America is the best. (in Brazil the missionaries literally walk everywhere, soooo). Haha sometimes Sister Couto and I have little arguments about which is best. Usually it's just me pointing out something really patriotic about America. It's funny, I was never so patriotic at home...
we did a lot of work to get ready for the baptism and update records and things! All good stuff.
It was a crazy one. Most of it was focused on getting Anselmo and Clarice prepared for their baptism! (ps. his name is spelled with an s.... which goes against like everything in Portuguese, but he is Cape Verdean. But his real name is actually Odair. Anselmo is just his nickname, what we call a "nominho". Crazy Cape Verdeans.) So we finished teaching them the commandments and lesson 5, which is about temple work and missionary work and service and things. Anselmo had to be interviewed by President Miller, but luckily there weren't any problems, and President was even able to come the very next day after we called him. He's awesome, by the way.
So last week we were running, and this past week we sprinted too! It was good though. The day of their baptism (yesterday) we only sat down for sacrament meeting. Well, Sister Couto translated into English (for the kids who don't understand Portuguese), and led the music AND gave a talk. I just played the piano and sat there :) After that meeting though, we ran around to help a less active member get an interview with the bishop and we printed the baptismal programs and we cut out visiting teaching assignments for the PO RS, then we helped translate the interview, then we wrote in journals to give to the kids being baptized, we folded the programs, then when all the classes were over, we set up a Portable Visitor Center display (Sister Couto was a PVC sister for a while, so she knows all about that. There are pictures on dropbox if you want to see what I'm talking about). We set up the chairs, we took pictures, and all that stuff so that the baptism could start!
It was so good. There was a sweet Spirit there and Clarice and Anselmo were so happy. They bore their testimonies at the end, and it made Irmão Machado cry. We think it touched Ana Goncalves too :) Anselmo got interviewed to get the priesthood, so he should be ordained next week! They'll be confirmed.
Thank you all for your prayers for them. I know they were answered--Clarice had a sore throat almost all week long, but it got better very quickly. It was a fairly smooth week before a baptism, so I know that you prayers helped a lot!
Other than our miracle kids, we had some other miracles this week! In the digital mission, we passed off two investigators after the first skype!! That means we skyped them once and they decided they would like to meet with the missionaries in their area (Hamburg, Germany and Accra, Ghana, if you were wondering). Both sets of missionaries we called were super pumped, which was so good to hear. And the ones in Ghana are sisters, so that's awesome :) The internet really can bring the gospel to everyone!
Speaking of which, if anyone reading this would like to learn more about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel (basically what I teach every single day), let me know! Because I can actually get permission to skype you and then I will be able to start teaching you about these things! This would be really special, because not only would I be teaching my friend the gospel, but I will teach them while I am a full-time missionary. So I'm serious, email me!!
After district meetingwe decided to go on some last-minute splits with Angelica, our group leader's wife, and her daughters. So Sister Couto visited Emilia (the recent convert who decided to take a job that now makes her work on Sundays.... please pray for her and Joao.), which was so good. We don't fully know what's going on, but we know Joao has some doubts about a few things, and it was good for S. Couto and Angelica to talk to Emilia about it. They also visited Ana Goncalves, taught her about prophets, and asked her to pick a day when she would be baptized!! We will follow up on that this week, and we are so excited. She really is progressing! She came to church AND the baptism this week, and it was amazing. By the way, thank you for the advice, Dad! You're totally right. We've been trying to teach her like that using the Book of Mormon Stories book, but it is a perfect idea to compare her relationship with her daughter to that of her and God. PERFECT! We'll do that.
Meanwhile, I went with Juliana, who's 16. We visited Vivane and Yara, David and AnaPaula's daughters. AND GUESS WHAT. THE ELDERS FOUND THEM AGAIN!!! We think there are some issues going on with them, so we're trying to figure that out. BUT. They did also say they were mad at us because we knocked on their door earlymorning and we woke up their neighbor. Which, in all honesty, was pretty much our intention. We wanted to wake them up for church. But I guess that caused problems and things. The only thing is that they said we did that on a when we didn't go to their house at all.... so something is happening, and we'll find out what. Anyways, Juliana and I taught the Restoration to the girls, since they hadn't really been there for that. I think Yara is pretty interested, but she follows her sister's lead, and Viviane doesn't seem quite to accept it all. Yet. We'll keep working with them, but we'll tread carefully so we don't step on anymore toes.
Those splits were great, which is all I wanted to say. :) That night we helped reorganize Visiting Teaching for the Portuguese sisters, which was sorely needed.
So it's been a normal crazy missionary week! With 2 more in the fold :) We really want to focus more on the rest of their family now, since a lot of the kids love church and Maria, their mom, REALLY loved church. She said she is going to ask her boss for Sundays off!! Please pray for her to be successful with that, that will be a tough thing to get I think.
Life is so good. I love Sister Couto. Oh, and for the baptism, Sister Roman and Sister Lima (who are companions now in Lowell) came! So I have a picture of all 4 of us, and we've all been each other's companions except for Sister Couto and Lima. But they were MTC roommates, so they're just a step away. I love those sisters so much!! We've decided we'll all room together at BYU. (and Sister Lima wants to go to BYU now!! Change of heart. It's a real thing).
I feel like I am just having the time of my life here in Central Falls with Sister Couto. We are working hard, our district is amazing, we work well with the Elders, there are miracles happening, and we are grateful for all of it. I can't say we deserve the blessings we are receiving, but I am grateful and want to work hard for the Lord in that.
Shoutout to Mom's friend Emily Davis who sent a care package this week!! Thank you for the cookies and preserves, they are being well used and enjoyed :) Sister Couto also got a package from her family this week because they are in the States and it's cheaper that way, so we have a TON of Brazilian treats to eat. I might actually need to watch my weight, because there is a lot of sugar in our house right now...
Life is so good. The gospel is so good. God is so good!
I love you all so much.
HAVE A SPLENDIFEROUS WEEK EVERYBODY!