This week was super awesome! I love being here!
So as the pics (sent so kindly by my companion) show, Sibele and Cauana were baptized on Saturday! It was super special, because they are so firm in the faith, and very well integrated in the ward.
Other good news! Ivo did end up moving ahead his baptismal date to the 23rd of this month! He is such a good guy - I'm really excited to be a part of his baptism. I teared up a little bit when he pulled out a huge stack of papers of his family history work. It was an experience similar to that with Rosane in Ijui when she showed me all her ancestor’s photos. I got to see that the work I’m putting into the mission has a big impact. Clearly, it’s the spirit that does all the work, but he's using me to bring to pass what God wants for this people here in Alegrete.
Renan is still studying well and progressing. He's just the kind of guy that wants to be CERTAIN, you know? Because he belongs to a cult called Saravá, (A cult based on voodoo to summon spirits and such) and he's afraid that if he converted, his gods will punish him. But. I’m confident he will feel the difference between the Holy Spirit and... uhm... other spirits.
Daniel had a huge curveball thrown at him, and it took him a while to recover spiritually. But he seems to be back to normal, and we hope to set his baptism on the 23rd with Ivo.
We still haven’t found any pants for Jorge, but we have made progress in that home - we have been teaching his wife, too.
J and Mirian have been travelling due to sick relatives, but by our phone calls, it seems like their determination of being baptized has risen a lot. They promised us that they’d be at church this upcoming Sunday, so I’m excited. Mirian's mom, Zenira, is also enthused about the idea of baptism.
Zenira, is like, my favorite old lady. Mom, you'd just love her. She's got a severe case of Parkinson's, so she shakes a whole lot. But she always makes it a case to give us a little "lanchinho" or "snack" when we visit her. She's very independent, and so she doesn’t accept help. She pours the juice and serves us sauteéd pears and things, always flinging food and spilling water. She’s just too funny and awesome. We found her, actually, clapping doors. She took us in warmly, and accepted the message happily and readily. She felt the spirit strongly, and agreed to be baptized on the very first visit. Our second visit, we asked if she had prayed about the message. She said she did. We asked what God told her about the truthfulness of the message of the Restoration. She responded "well, YES OF COURSE! What else would He say?!"
This came as a shock to Mirian. According to her, Zenira was always a fervent catholic, and was worried sick (literally) when Mirian's sister converted to an evangelical church. But. Upon hearing the message of the Restoration, she's just fine about leaving the Catholic Church behind.
We also found some good new investigators this week. One of which will join us in a Family Home Evening at Sibele's house. Ivo will also be there.
The mission is just... at a very, very high point. I feel like I inadequately have been describing to you what’s going on over here. But. There’s just so many things.
I love you all very much.