Dear Friends and Family,
This week was just too awesome. I always keep optimistic and look on the bright side of things (almost always, that is), and I write like that in my letters, nevertheless, deep down inside, I have just been hungry to baptize. Starving, actually. I have been wearing out my companions by just walking and knocking and talking and walking, and knocking that last door at 8:55, just out of hope that it would amount to something before heading to bed. I’ve been working hard. Well, this week, we saw some serious results. :) And I have a really good feeling that my hunger will be satisfied very soon.
I will start off by saying that I saw on our weekly "President’s Newsletter" last Monday that someone was baptized in Urlandia the Saturday before Mother’s Day! Whether that baptism was Veleda or Elder Peterson's investigator that he left behind, that is still unclear. But, let’s hope it was Veleda. And let’s hope her family is coming up soon. And hope that Elder Petersons investigator gets baptized too.
Remember those two couples I said had potential? Gabriel & Andressa and the couple from 7 de Setembro? Well, Gabriel & Andressa are starting to fizzle out a bit, but the couple from 7 de Setembro (We finally figured out their names - Lúcio and Cassiane - I am so awful with names) is progressing very well. We returned there on Thursday, and Cassiane said that she really liked the pamphlet of the Restoration and that she was showing it to her kids, Sophia and Gabrielle. They really like the pictures. So we decided that the next time we visit, we will bring the Gospel Art Book I bought from the Campinas Temple (just in case I needed it). It has proved very useful. So they show some real potential.
Also, our ward has begun a "Missionary Calendar" - something that is just awesome and I highly recommend for the 1st ward. It works like this - a Priesthood member (Priest or higher) signs up to go out with the missionaries on every day except family night. It works awesome - no one is overloaded, and everyone experiences what mission work is like, insighting them to be more engaged in the work. AND we have lessons with members, something we really needed.
So our Ward Mission Leader kicked the whole thing off on Wednesday, and we went to a referral he gave us. It was splits that day. I was with our Zone Leader, Elder Eduardo Sousa. The names of the referrals are Rose and André. They accepted us well, and we taught a really good lesson. Well, that got our Ward Mission Leader excited, and we got some solid new investigators. Rose and Andre are actually so solid. I am very convinced that they are part of what the scriptures call the "Elect of God." Goodness, that’s a good family. We returned there on Friday, just Elder Farias and me, and we had another great discussion with the whole family, including the previously-absent but extremely-elect daughter of theirs, Bruna. She goes to a Christian school, and is very God-centered. She was very excited to hear about the Young Women's program. We will mark a baptismal date with them this week.
So I lied that our Ward Mission Leader kicked off the Missionary Calendar. Our Young Men’s President, Fernando kicked it off on Tuesday. So we went to a part-member family, where Tainã, a rapaz (young man) is a member. Our discussion was fantastic! So spiritual! It was one of those lessons where you could feel the spirit so powerfully that you could just stop the lesson and say "What are you feeling right now?... Yeah that’s the spirit." I love doing that! Tainãs’ parents aren’t married, so there’s a little work to do there, but this was a fantastic start.
Oh! Real quick, President’s Newsletter launched more info that yet again there was a baptism in Urlandia, so I’m quite certain Veleda has been baptized.
Good news doesn’t stop there. We picked up an old investigator named José, also on Wednesday with Elder Eduardo Sousa. He’s like one of those people that liked to just hear us, but not really keep his commitments to do stuff. Well, we talked with him very directly about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. People who know me know I can be pretty blunt. We were pretty blunt with him, to the point where I was worried that he would get a little ticked off. But, that was the way the Spirit told us to talk to him, and he told us to come back on Friday. So we did. It was like a good-cop bad-cop routine, almost. Cool thing is: HE READ the passage in 3 Nephi we left him! Yay! Other cool thing - He plays trombone! I got to talk to him about my band experience, and we bonded quite well. He even let me play his Bb Tuba he bought, and yes, mom, I cleaned the mouthpiece. I want to pick my trumpet back up when I get home - please don’t sell it. We sold the marching one, that’s just fine, just don’t sell Delilah. So there’s some serious potential with Jose, too.
Gosh this week was awesome! The good news doesn’t stop there, people. We also found a good Mom-daughter combo, Celí and Delaine, that we worked with... just a ton of new opportunities opened up. This week, we had a total of 12 new investigators, making a solid 32 over the last 3 weeks. I am a happy, busy missionary.
And one more thing, on Mothers Day, I felt good that we should make a cake for Irmã Isabel. She always is just so awesome to us, and helps us out (and feeds us) a lot. When I had a super bad cold, she took us in, gave us some tea (Berry tea and Maracujá teas - not against the Word of Wisdom Black or Green tea) and gave us dinner. Just on the spot. So we decided to give her a little thank you and made her a coconut cake. Well, turns out, we just learned that she had been suffering from pretty bad depression, and we made her day :)
I love being a missionary. It’s like the spirit is always guiding you to do things. And you don’t even realize it until after you’ve done the thing He tells you to do. So do good things. (David A Bednar talks really well about this principle in his talk, the 10 mark note.) I am super happy, especially after this week. The members are excited to help, and we have a ton of people they can help us with. It’s just a good Missionary Situation.
Bah, I’m so happy!