June 23, 2014
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! It was seriously such a good week and such a great birthday. Heavenly Father blessed me so much!! We got to go to the temple this week and Sister Moscoso and I had great opportunities to teach some really awesome people.
At district meeting we learned about the importance of getting our investigators to church because it is a really revelatory experience and necessary for conversion. Sister Moscoso and I decided this would be our focus and our goal for the week. At every lesson we taught, we invited people to come to church. We invited random people on the street to come to church, and when Saturday night rolled around, we had tons of people lined up to come to church! We were really excited. We were going to call people and wake them up Sunday morning and also visit some people and walk with them to church. However, when Sunday morning rolled around, we did all we could but only two people ended up coming. And we were pretty disappointed because Celia, Leticia, and Nickoly didn’t show up like they said they would. But we didn’t stop there . . . we decided to leave during Sunday school (we have sacrament meeting last) and try to find those who didn’t come. We visited people and invited people on the street to come, but still nothing worked. We entered the church building just in time for sacrament feeling a bit dejected and tired. I was down, especially because I was hoping for some big miracles on my birthday! But taking the sacrament was a huge miracle for me this Sunday.
As we took the sacrament and renewed our covenants, I could feel the burdens being lifted from my shoulders. I knew that God knew we tried our hardest, and that is all He expects. A scripture in 2 Nephi 25:23 kept running through my head:
We literally did all we could do, and once I realized that, I decided it was time to put my trust in God and wait for His grace to help us out. During the sacrament, I was praying we could find an investigator who would feast on the scriptures, progress, and come to church.
And after church, we went to work. We started visiting people and we kept having the most amazing contacts and experiences. We met one man named Aparecido and he especially was such a huge miracle. We started talking to him and his neighbor, Shayla. Aparecideo told us he already read all of the Book of Mormon because his daughter was an investigator of the missionaries. He said he LOVES to read and was anxious to read the restoration pamphlet we left with him. When we invited him to church next Sunday, he readily said yes and we are going back to teach him tomorrow. Sometimes it baffles me how quickly and how specifically Heavenly Father answers our prayers.
We taught a few more lessons and then a family in our ward made dinner and dessert for us for my birthday. They made a dessert with pineapple (abacaxi) because I told them it’s my favorite! I felt so loved and so grateful to be here at this time. Sure, at times, our investigators don’t progress like we want them to and we can’t always understand the people on the streets. Sure, at times, it’s really difficult to walk up the hills of Sao Paulo or work in the pouring rain. But I am a missionary!! I get to wear a name tag every day. I get to meet the most inspiring people and I get to have trials that help me build my faith. Yesterday, I just felt so grateful to be a missionary right now. I think it’s the best gift I could have received!!
Also, the family we ate dinner with recorded little messages for our families. The mom is Girlane and the dad is Isais--they help us out so much! Rebecca is their daughter and Samuel is their son. They made SO many desserts--I was so full afterwards. This is not typical in Brasil, but they spoiled me rotten for my birthday.
This week we will receive a new mission president and also we will have a Festa Juninha with our ward! It should be a great week!
LOVE YOU ALL!!