We had two more baptisms this past week (June 22)! M and her daughter, L. About seven months ago, M married Pedro, who had been a member of the church for about 20 years. Three weeks ago we started visiting them and teaching about the gospel. After we taught the restoration of the fulness of the gospel, she said something that I think stands for a lot of Brasil. She said that it had never entered into her mind that there was a true church. She had always thought that whatever church that spoke of God would help you get to heaven.
When we explained this to M with a little drawing that I made in my planner, she started to listen more. When she listened, you could tell that she could feel the Spirit testifying the truthfulness of the message we spoke to her.
With M, another thing was a little strange when we taught her. Generally when we find people to teach, we make a baptismal date with them in the first or second lesson, and then help them prepare for that date. However, this time we felt that we shouldn’t start with a goal date. For a long time. We went two weeks not asking for a baptismal date for her because it didn’t feel right. My companion and I were confused as to why the Spirit was directing us to not mark a baptismal date with this woman.
Then last Thursday when we were teaching, my companion and I felt an explosion of a feeling to ask her in that moment—so strong that saying nothing, I looked at my companion and he looked back at me in response. We first challenged L to be baptized, she accepted, and then we turned to M. We told her that the invitation to baptism was open for her as well. She looked at her daughter, grabbed her hand and said: “Both of us will be baptized then.” The Spirit was so powerful in that room I could almost touch it.
To make the story short, the two of them were baptized the following Sunday by Pedro, and it was one of the more spiritually powerful baptisms this ward has had in a long time. A lot of people were crying with joy the whole meeting. Even now I don’t know why the Spirit wasn’t letting us mark that baptismal date, but I know that the consequence was fantastically amazing for everyone.
Now, the other side of things….
Yes, yes, the rumors are true, I went crazy on my birthday. Haha. No—actually some of the members here went crazy. I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday, but apparently my companion was blabbing to the world.
So I was pleasantly surprised when everyone was wishing me a happy birthday. They even moved our lunch. The first counselor of the bishop, Marquinhos, planned it. His wife has the same birthday as mine, and so he planned a giant bbq at the house of his wife’s extended family. That was some of the best meat I have eaten since Christmas. Marquinhos also bought us a giant chocolate strawberry cake that was freakishly delicious.
During the week we were teaching a little old lady. She was so nice. The first visit that we made in her house she gave us scarves! It was cool, especially because it was like getting another present. I love it and I use it every morning. It is turning into winter here, and so it is very cold in the morning—well, compared to Oregon right now—but here we are starting winter, and 60 degrees is cold here!!!
I had to make the brownies you sent in the church building kitchen because we don’t have an oven in our house. Lame…but the brownies were amazing. They were missing a load of walnuts but at least Mom sent a few (thanks, Mom!). We ate pizza, brownies, and ice cream. Yes, I slept with a stomachache, but it was worth it.
Thank you all who sent letters! I cannot express the joy even one little piece of paper with some scribbles brings to a missionary—a lot! I love them all!
Love you all and have a wonderful week!!!!