Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 73: Not one, not two, but SIX BAPTISMS.

What a week. 

It wasn't the best week I've ever had, but boy we saw a LOT of miracles. Whew!

-we did a lot of stuff that I really wanted to do. Thank goodness!
-we helped a member do a project for the college class she's taking. I used a lot of teacher-like skills to make HER do at least part of the project, even though I could have done it in 30 minutes flat. Instead it took 2 hours. Ah, service.

-awesome Thanksgiving webex (online meeting) with our mission president and many senior couples talking about the things they are grateful for. 
-Subway for lunch and a meeting with our assistant ward mission leader, a recent RM
-Service. We got some free onions and sweet potatoes!
-we taught Neni the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is SO INTELLIGENT! She loved church when she went last week. She was supposedly "doing laundry" this week and didn't come...
-We taught Carla and Nely to prepare them more for their baptism!
-after walking out of Carla's house, we didn't know who to see. It was maybe 7:45pm. We stood at a corner for a minute, when a member, Lucy, drove up and asked if we wanted a ride (the elders were using the car that day). We said yes! She took us up north to stop by Karine, who was home. #miracle
-We talked with Karine for a while, not really a lesson, but we did explain about eternal families. She shared that her father died when she was 12 and she was so sad that she wouldn't ever see him again, but when she heard that we believe in eternal families, that gave her hope!! #miracle
-Karine gave me 2 cupcakes. :)

-at 9:30pm we got a call from Sister Couto in Central Falls, who said that Zito and Filomena, a couple I taught a lot in Central Falls, were going to get baptized the next day! What? She said we HAD to find a ride because they wanted all the missionaries who taught them to be there, and apparently Elder Araujo already had a ride. #miraclesfordays

-Sister Bronovski and I went on a crazy adventure to Taunton, about 30 minutes away, to get our Bishop's signature on Vania's baptism record so that she could get a membership record number and go to the temple on Saturday. Thanks to the Saxeys (senior couple nearby), we did it! And Sister B practiced some driving :) She's really good! #miracle
-we went a little bit fubeca. But we made bread for the Saxeys :)
-The Saxeys were the BEST and gave us a ride to Central Falls!!! Wow, I love that place. I'll take you all there when we visit my mission, you'll love it too. #miracles
-We stopped by the Silveira family. We knocked on the door, they asked who it was, and I just said "Sisters!" They said to come in, so I opened the door and just waited. They realized it was me, and everyone came and ran to give me a hug. I LOVE THOSE PEOPLE. 
-Zito and Filomena's baptism!!! We have been working with them since late July or early August, and they finally were willing and able and worthy to be baptized. I felt such a sweet spirit there at the baptism, and it was wonderful to see some members from Central Falls again. #miracles (hence the pictures in the Central Falls chapel :))

-Weekly planning went so long. I think we were all dreaming of dinner.
-2 Thanksgiving dinners, 3 additional stopbys. Thank goodness the other 3 didn't make us eat any food. Cape Verdeans get offended usually if you don't eat "enough" food. We went to bed a little too full that night. 
----haha and dinner was only maybe 60% American. Maria Gomes, the member who gave us the 1st dinner, made rolls just because I talked about the rolls Melanie always makes. :) She told me at dinner that this was the first year she ever made rolls. SHE'S SO SWEET. They were good too!

-District Meeting. The usual.
-Awesome lesson with Tilan. She wants to be baptized around February! We went through the baptism questions with her, and she just needs a testimony of Joseph Smith and living prophets. She is really intent on knowing the truth, so please pray that she can receive a testimony!
-We visited Ducha, a recent convert, then had Maria Andrade who gave us dinner
-AnaPaula came out with us all day and bought us padina (the best pork thing you've ever eaten) and pastel :)
-timing was PERFECT today. We found a lost less active recent convert just walking along a totally random street. #miracles Also we contacted a girl who walked out of the elevator just as we wanted to go in. Her boyfriend in Cape Verde is a member of the church, and she wants to learn more. #miracles

-Patricia dropped us, but wants us to help her with her wedding invites. Hey, she said it would give us practice for our own weddings. Haha it was actually a little bit of a relief that she dropped us, her questions are hard...
-We went to the temple with Vania!! It was great. When we got there though, we realized the elders (and us) never explained what actually happens in the temple to her. Whoops. But she loved the whole experience, and we took a lot of pictures. #miracles
-We ate catchupa at Claudia and Nunu's house. She was so excited to feed us! And her catchupa was actually really good.
-Carla and Nely's baptism!! It went relatively smoothly. The Spirit was there and the girls loved it. 
-sister Couto told me that Jee and Jose, 2 boys I taught in Central Falls, were baptized on Saturday too! #miracles
-I also finished reading the Book of Mormon again, and I received another witness that it is TRUE! I love that book. I learn so much every single time I read it.

-I finished correcting and writing the Silent Night music I've been working on! Success!
-...And I took on another piece, O Holy Night, to play for a member. It's Sally Ford, so I hate it actually. Not really, it will just take a while to learn. I have a week. Maybe 2.
-We played the classic "hot or cold" game in Primary. Kids can sing really loud or really soft, but they aren't so good at the in-between thing haha.
-After church we visited with Kelly Moreira to help her plan the Christmas play that the Primary children will do on December 19th. too bad I'll miss it :( Kelly is the greatest. I helped set up for her wedding last August!
-we taught a rather random family the Restoration last night. They didn't seem too interested, actually. But I felt the Spirit very strongly as I testified of the truthfulness of our message and of the Book of Mormon. I think sometimes hard lessons are there to strengthen our own testimonies, rather than the testimonies of those we teach. 

And here we are.

So, all in all--Zito, Filomena, Carla, Nely, Jee, and Jose got baptized this week. 

I also heard that Laura, one of my very first recent converts, has finished the temple preparation classes. I hope we can make it all work so she can be endowed before I leave!! I think it might work out, actually. The 14th is her year mark, and the 15th is my last full day in the field. I'll talk to her about it :)

I can't believe that I have less than 3 weeks left. Tomorrow is December. What? Time passes so quickly, especially when you are focused on serving the Lord! I am so grateful for everything I have learned as a missionary, and for the things I will yet learn in my last 2 1/2 weeks. Whew, that will pass so quickly...

Well, family and friends, if you ever wanted to write me on my mission, now is the time. Next week I will email probably on Tuesday, because Monday we have a zone conference with Elder Packer of the Seventy, and I am pretty sure they will change our pday to be Tuesday, or we'll at least email that day. So don't cry if you don't receive my email on Monday--it's still coming :)

I think on my last pday we will actually be going up to Boston/Cambridge because that night we have a Christmas Fireside that I am a part of up in Cambridge. So my time might be short to write that week, but I'll see most of you 5 days later, so we'll be fine. 


Anyways, I hope you enjoy this first week of December! I love Christmastime. The other day I heard Taylor Swift's version of "Last Christmas", one of my classic favorites. That's when you know it's Christmastime. 

And even Brockton is pretty at this time of the year! Wow!

I love you all! Have a great week. 

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