On Tuesday, we had a mission zone conference, with all of the zones from the capital. It was wonderful, as always, despite the majority of my friends here being in the interior, which means I didn´t get to see them (Sister Thomson, Sister G. Nunes, etc.).
This week was really rough in terms of finding new people to teach. It´s always hard here, but this week was especially challenging.was a holiday, so pretty much everyone disappeared , , and . Seriously, the streets were almost empty, all day, which makes it really hard to do contacts. We talked to everyone in our path, but everyone made up some excuse not to accept a visit ("I´m never home," etc.)
So this whole email is going to be about Rita, our celestial investigator :)night, we took Danielle, a sister from our ward, with us to visit Rita and teach the Plan of Salvation. A lot of Rita´s doubts have to do with the Millennium and things like that, so we answered all of her questions. night, we took her to the integration night. night, she ordered pizza for us and we invited her to get baptized. She said she was hesitant, since she´s still not 100% sure she wants to make that commitment, but we talked a lot about faith and about the fact that God has already shown her that it´s all true. , we took the elders there for Elder Perseu, our district leader, to do the interview. When we got there, she told us that the night before, she had looked up stuff about mormons on YouTube. She found a video that she wanted to show us made by a pastor of another church, so she put it on. It was extremely disrespectful, and told some flat-out lies. We asked her what she thought when she saw the video and she said "I just laughed because it was so ridiculous. For someone to make a video like that, they have to feel threatened because they´re losing their own church members." We were relieved by her answer. She is going to get baptized , and she wants her 8-year-old daughter Julia to get baptized with her too :)
Rita is amazing! Seriously, I have never felt so much love for an investigator. She is one of the most loving people I have ever met. For example, she once met a family in the interior who is extremely poor, the mom is alcoholic, the kids suffer a lot, etc. So she started up a project and is asking everyone she knows to donate clothes and toys, and she´s putting everything together to give it to them. She does things like that naturally, always reaching out to serve others, and we think that she´ll be Relief Society president for sure someday. :) She always makes dinner for us when we go to her house, and she is literally the sweetest person ever.
I´m grateful for the past week in which I was able to study more about my Savior in preparation for Easter. As it says in some of my favorite hymns, "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me." "I believe in Christ, so come what may." It really is "wonderful to me" that he chose to die for us so that we can become better people, so that we can have hope even in our trials. "Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!" I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He loves us, and that He knows us perfectly because He chose to take all of our sins, sufferings, sicknesses, and pains upon Him. I am so grateful for what He did.
I hope everyone had a happy Easter! And I hope everyone has the chance to watch General Conference this weekend. We are blessed to have a living prophet and apostles!
Sister Amy Weatherford
Me, Sister Gusmão, and Sister Mulberry
Me and Sister Savage
Me and Sister Muria, one of the missionaries who trained Sister Gusmão
Me and Elder Borba, who was my first district leader
Me and Sister Castilho, one of my good friends
A tree we found that probably came straight out of Minecraft (I thought of you, Josh!)
Us and the elders, being superheroes. Teenage boys never grow up, do they?