Monday, January 18, 2016

Weel 47 Cidade Verde Natal, Brazil

We saw lots of miracles this week. It started out on Monday night, when we met with Francisco and started getting him ready for baptism. He told us that night that, even though he´s spent 17 years as member of a Messianic church, he´s happier with his 17 days in our church then he was in 17 years there. He told us he doesn´t even have the words to thank us for what we´ve done to help him. On Tuesday night, he called a phone number to talk with representatives of the church about the 12 step program that the church has to help people overcome addictions. We encouraged him to pray, read the scriptures, call us, and do other things like that to be able to avoid drinking. He sincerely wants to change, and was soooo excited all week for his baptism. But unfortunately, when Sunday came around, our bishop didn´t let him get baptized because he had drunk on Saturday. Which was fair, since he wasn´t supposed to drink on Saturday. But it was heartbreaking to see his disappointment. We heard that he bore his testimony during Elders´ Quorum and said that he was supposed to get baptized that day but couldn´t because he´s an alcoholic, and he asked for help from the brothers. Francisco is one of the most humble people I´ve ever met, and I know that he´ll be able to get over his alcohol addiction. The gospel has power to change people, and I´ve already seen huge changes that it´s made in Francisco. We´re going to keep working with him and motivating him and he will surely be baptized soon.

As for Renata (the woman I talked to at the bus stop who went to church last week), she made huge progress this week. She has lots of questions and doubts and curiosities, so we showed her lots of scriptural passages about ressurrection (as opposed to reincarnation), John 10:17 that talks about the "other sheep" Jesus Christ went to visit in the Americas, and more. She told us that she knows it was God who sent us to her and said that she doesn´t know why she took so long to find the church. We marked her baptism for Sunday, and everything went perfectly. She promised to stop drinking coffee and beer, Elder Carpenter interviewed her and said she was ready, and everything was perfect. Until Saturday, when we called her and found out that she had gone to her friend´s house and wouldn´t be back until Sunday afternoon. We got super discouraged and thought that the baptism was going to get put off until next week. But then, at 8 pm, she called us and said she was on her way home and wanted to talk to us. We went by, and she told us that one of her friends had said a bunch of things about the church (all lies, and crazy ones at that) that made her doubt her decision. But we cleared up her doubts, it all worked out, and she got baptized after church on Sunday! :)

Other than that, we had an integration activity on Friday night, planned by our ward mission leader, that was really fun. He´s doing great work and helping us out a lot. We had interviews with President Soares this week, which was great. He gave me some helpful advice and it was fun to get to talk to him one-on-one. Our lunch appointment for that day fell through, so when the interviews were over, President gave us a ride to a restaurant and ended up staying to eat with us and even paid for our food :) We went to an FHE at Paraguassu and Yusha´s house yesterday night, and they made pancakes and maple syrup! And it´s been raining like crazy here and I LOVE it! 

Another thing I´ve noted here on my mission is that members of the church here in Brazil are pioneers. Most of them are converts, and the church has been here for very little time compared to how long it´s been around in the US. I have so much respect for the members here and admire them greatly. I feel really blessed to be serving among such a faithful people, with people who have made so many sacrifices to be members of the church! They are a powerful example to me.

All my love,
Sister Amy Weatherford

I´m attaching pictures of our FHE on Sunday night. I´ll send more as soon as I can get my camera attached to this dumb computer. :)

Me with a poster of Luan Santana haha

Us with our ward mission leader

Us with Enoch, a brother from the ward

 Renata's baptism

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