Well, a ton happened this week, so I think I will share most of the best day and a little of the other parts of the week.
After emailing on p-day last week (January 26), Elder Zenteno and I went to a preserved forest park called Horto Florestal. Our purpose there was to find monkeys. To our luck, we found them within half an hour of getting there.
We walked around, enjoyed the animals and the trees, and then left after two hours. It was very calm and felt a ton like Oregon: quiet and green.
We had a multi-zone conference on Friday. It was very spiritually uplifting and provided insight on how to be a better missionary. We also got the chance to watch Meet the Mormons in Portuguese. I loved it. I cried at the end when the missionary was leaving for Africa because it reminded me of when I left. Then of course, my companion (Elder Borba) pipes up and shouts to the whole group: “One week for me!” He caused a riot in the middle of the movie. It was quite funny.
You can watch the entire Meet the Mormons movie here.
My amazing day happened Saturday. I was on a division with Elder Hunt and we originally decided to go find people to teach. We went to an area and started talking to people in the streets. After one or two, Elder Hunt piped up that what we were doing was, as he stated it, “booha.” So we decided to visit some people.
The first person we visited was someone named Gabriela. She is 8 years old and refused to be baptized until she is 10–only because her grandma is influencing her decision. Her mom is always working and so we cannot ever talk to her. When we arrived, to our great surprise, the mom was there and the grandma was not. We invited her to be baptized again and her mom was all for it. She said she would go. Miracle.
We left and as we were walking in the street, it “just so happened” that we saw a father of a member family we knew. We talked to him and figured out that he had not ever been baptized. He had already been to church plenty of times, so we told him that if he went to church the next day and talked to the bishop, he could be baptized. He accepted. Miracle. We filled him in on a little more info and then went to visit someone else.
Our next visit was with Junior. He had been baptized Thursday and needed to go to church to be confirmed. For some reason he was completely against being confirmed and was convinced that he had made the wrong choice to be baptized earlier in the week. He said he was not going to do the church thing anymore. We talked with him, taught him, scolded him a little, and then invited him again. He accepted to go to church again. Miracle.
We then went to visit Luis. He is a strong member of the church, but his parents are not married and need to be to be baptized. We talked with her for a long time and nothing was happening. I then asked Luis if he would share his testimony with his mom and why he thought it was important that his parents should be married. After he shared his testimony, his mom changed. She accepted our help to prepare her to be married and baptized and go to church. Miracle.
When we were leaving, we just happened to run into a son of a member who was not baptized because he needed to continue preparing. We found him and he told us that he would like to come back to church and start talking to the missionaries again. Miracle.
Our last visit was with a member. Her son had been baptized the week before and needed to be confirmed the next day. We talked with them to make sure that everything was all good for the next day, and everything was. As we were leaving, Elder Hunt remembered to ask about a referral that we could not find before when we had tried. The member took us to the house and we had another lesson there. The result of the lesson was a commitment to go to church and be baptized. Miracle.
My mind was blown that night. God really has His hand in our work and is progressing and testifying to the people we are trying to help with the Holy Ghost. I know that the Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is a true story that the whole world should read. I have seen it change people’s lives for the better overnight. God is working miracles here in Brasil, and I am honored to be a part of it.
Your over-enthusiastic brother/son, Elder Burt.