September 29, 2014
I called the secretary this week so I am glad you finally got the itinerary. (Lindsay arrives October 15 at 10:03 a.m. She reports October 26 at 9 a.m.) He told me I would have a layover in Michigan too and I was pretty excited. My mission is like a Brazil sandwich. Crazy the time is passing by so quickly!
We had a great week here in Utinga filled with exchanges, Conferencia das Mulheres, and Zone Conference too! This week flew by...I seriously can’t believe it’s Monday again. We had some difficult circumstances due to rain, lessons falling through, and investigators dropping us, but one miracle that happened really affirmed my faith and showed me once again Heavenly Father knows what He is doing.
We taught our investigator Ronaldo a few times this week and he was progressing so much!! We finished all we had to teach him and so our district leader came to do a baptismal interview. It went well and they set a baptismal date for October 5 in between conference sessions. We were excited!! On Sunday we were in the chapel waiting for Ronaldo to show up to church but it was 9:15 a.m. and he still hadn’t come. I was disappointed, but we had the strong impression we should visit him and see what was going on. We went to his house and he let us in. When we invited him to come to church, he gave us a mountain of excuses...I have things to do...I am tired...I am just not feeling it today. We were SUPER confused at what had happened. After a little while longer of asking questions, he confessed he had to give his brother a ride to the bar the night before and when they arrived, all of his friends made fun of him for not drinking and so he drank one beer. He felt AWFUL about what he had done. While he was sitting in the bar and thinking about his decision, he saw two Mormon missionaries walking by the window. The elders walked by, looked in the window at Ronaldo, but kept on walking. Ronaldo said they looked in the window directly at him and he knew he shouldn’t be there. He left and said he thought about his choices and prayed for forgiveness. But here is the cool part of the story:
1) The elders who walked by were the same elders who came to do the baptismal interview. This was crucial because Ronaldo recognized them and he thought they saw him as well. We called the elders later and they didn’t even notice him there! But it was just the reminder Ronaldo needed.
2) The elders were in our area to do a baptismal interview with the other sisters in our ward. They walked to our area but the man who needed the interview wasn’t home. They thought they walked all the way there for nothing, but once again it was just the reminder Ronaldo needed.
3) Our district leader is training a new elder right now. When the man wasn’t home, our district leader said to his companion, “Right now we have a bit of extra time so we can talk to people on the street and I want you to follow the Spirit and go where He wants us to go.” The new elder felt like they should go down one street and there was absolutely no one there...but this was the street where the bar was.
How cool, right? Ronaldo said he woke up and decided he wouldn’t go to church, but he felt strongly we would come and visit him during church. It was so good we came. We talked about repentance and the power of the sacrament and in the end he agreed to come to sacrament meeting. Here is where the title of my e-mail makes sense.
There are moments on a mission where people do or say things that make you SO RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY!!! All you want to do is hug them or shout because you know they are making such a good decision that will help them in their eternal progression. However, the difficult thing is you have to pretend like nothing happened because your investigators can’t think you are absolutely bonkers. It’s the hardest thing to control for me because at times during my mission, my heart feels like it will explode. Anyway, when Ronaldo said he would come to church I felt that way. He had to go take a shower first so we waited for him and then went together. When he said he would come, I wanted to shout and show how happy I was inside, but all we said was, “Ta bom. Nos esperaremos aqui.” When he left the room, I started to cry. I am such a baby these days. But I was so overwhelmed by how perfectly orchestrated everything was and how strong the Spirit was when we were testifying of repentance. He came to church and loved the testimonies that were born, and he is still on date for this Sunday.
I hope all of this made sense. It truly was a really great experience! Pray for Ronaldo this week!! I love you all so much and have a great week!!