Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 68 Alecrim Natal, Brazil


This week started out with what we call conselho, which is a meeting for the leaders of our mission (zone leaders, secretaries, assistants, and sister training leaders). The meeting was on Tuesday, but the sister training leaders from the interior came on Monday and spent the night in our house, which was fun. The meeting was similar to the zone conferences, just with less people. The secretaries, assistants, President and Sister Soares all spoke, and we talked together about how we can have more success and be more obedient as a mission. As part of the conselho, the people who go home at the end of this transfer bore their testimonies, and it scared me to think that the next group bearing testimony will be my group. Whoa. 

On Wednesday, we had a zone meeting so that we could teach the other missionaries what we learned in the conselho. I got to meet more of the sisters that I´m responsible for, which was great. 

This week, we started teaching Cleide and Joacir´s daughter, Greice. (Cleide and Joacir are recent converts). Greice and her husband Marcone attend a church called Congregação cristã and is better known as the church of the veil. Something like that. I don´t think it even exists in the US. Anyway, they´re really receptive and we were able to teach them about the Restoration, and they surprised us by going to church on Sunday (they didn´t commit to going but said they would go if it worked out). Marcone didn´t go because he had to work. And during sacrament meeting, Greice´s 4 year old daughter asked me "Where is Jesus Christ? Is he here?" I explained to her that He was there but that we couldn´t see Him. Her question was so cute and showed the pure, innocent faith of a child. She was in His house, so naturally Jesus Christ must be there. 

There´s a recent convert in our area named Wilmer. He loves to buy presents for people, and he´s been wanting to buy açaí for us for a while, but it´s never worked out. But this week, since my throat was better, we accepted his offer and he sent us a liter of açaí. It was sooo good. :) I also got to eat a lasagna this week that tasted like it came from Olive Garden. 

And the best part of the week was Valtemir. We found out that he started drinking and smoking when he was 8 years old. Yes, 8. And he is now 56, so it´s been a while. He even went through a period in which he used injectable drugs (though luckily doesn´t anymore), and occasionally uses crack. But this week, he made amazing progress. He went to church for the second time, and he hasn´t even been leaving his house so that he won´t get tempted to drink. He´s been studying the Book of Mormon and praying, and always humbly asks for forgiveness and for help to overcome his addictions in his prayers. It is such a pleasure to teach him and to see how much he wants to change. And I know that even though he´s been addicted for 48 years, he can change. That´s the beautiful message of the gospel: that the Atonement doesn´t have limits, and that God can truly do miracles. I believe that with all my heart and know that Valtemir can change and can start a new life. 

All my love,
Sister Weatherford

Elder Aguiar, my best zone leader ever (from Mossoró)
Zona Natal
Our sisters <3

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