Dear Family and Friends,
This week was pretty awesome compared to the last few. We found a whole lot of new people to teach, and they are reading the Book of Mormon and marking baptismal dates. One of them even went to church! Yay! It has been a good while since we actually took someone to church. It was actually a bit of a miracle.
We were just walking down the street, when my companion pointed out to me a cool-looking spider dangling from a tree. We stopped briefly to observe. The owner of the yard from whose tree dangled the spider (whom we had not met until that point) came out and asked us who we were and what we were doing. We responded. Then she said "I don't have time to talk to you now, but let me call my friend." She called up her friend, Sandra.
"Hello, Sandra? This is Rita. Two servants of God are gonna pass by your house right now. I want you to take them in and listen to what they have to say." I’ve seen some pretty neat stuff happen in a first contact, but that's a first.
We passed by her house. She let us in. It was sort of sad to walk in the house, because everything was all shut. The windows were shut and nailed with pieces of wood. Her electricity was poorly routed, so there was only light in two rooms of the house.
We taught her and she accepted the call to come to church and be baptized on the 24th - my last Saturday in the mission field.
On Sunday, she came to church. :) She enjoyed it quite a bit. She couldn’t stop talking about it as we were accompanying her home. "At my church, we have to pay 50 reais to take the (sacrament). Sometimes 100!"
"Yeah, I’ve been noticing that recently..." Haha
When we got to her house, we opened everything up. My companion installed the lights in the living room and bedroom, and we took the boards off of the windows, and installed some doors that open and shut. We learned that she had locked everything up because she lives at the side of a drug dealership, and there's always a bunch of teenagers wreaking havoc and stealing and smoking weed.
But anyways, we installed the doors so she could let in some fresh air and light. Then we put a word in to the teenagers.
The highlight of this week was our meeting with Elder Neil L. Anderson. It was incredible. I got to shake his hand, and listen to his testimony. I know that he is a special witness of Jesus Christ. A group of missionaries and I also got to sing a medley for the meeting. It went off well. :) I also got to conduct the hymns.
I'm not sure what else to say about it, actually. It's one of those "you had to be there" moments. I rarely cry, but I was during the meeting. In the last hymn "I know that my redeemer lives," I couldn’t sing correctly, as tears rolled down my cheeks. I wasn’t the only one, as I was seeing everyone I was conducting.
How everyone got there in Santa Maria was a mess. There wasn’t enough money to put everyone in the hotel, so many people (myself included) has to stay at the missionaries' houses in Santa Maria. We made a house of 4 become a house of 14! Anyways I slept on the couch, but that’s ok! It was worth it.
Well. Talk to yall next week… For the last time. *sigh* I'm coming home... It’s still weird thinking about it, but alright.