This past week we had divisions in our area. I went with our Zone Leader, and Elder Diaz spent the day with Elder Moreira. We had a great day of success! We found so many people to teach and we had a couple of miracles.
When I was with Elder Nelson (my Zone Leader), we had just gotten out of one lesson and we went to our other appointment but they weren’t home. We turned around and we were at a little park when he asked me what our back up plan was (which was to make contacts). This park was a good place to do them so Elder Nelson asked, "Who should we talk too?" When I looked there were a few people there, a mom with her child, a couple of kids flying kites and this guy sitting by himself at a table.
(A pink dog in the Favela)
The guy kept looking at us, the 2 Americans wearing ties and nametags. I thought to myself, "We need to talk to him." But, he looked like the kind of guy who would stand up and walk away the second that we started walking towards him. I told Elder Nelson that we needed to talk to that guy and so as we started walking towards him; I was praying the whole time that he wouldn’t get up and run away. It felt like a super long walk but it was really like 2 seconds.
We finally get there and he hadn’t gotten up and left, so we got right into it saying who we were, why we’re here, and what we had to offer. Elder Nelson was talking and I was looking at this guy. He started to tear up and then just lost it. I saw it happen, the transformation in his face and countenance. It was amazing. We asked if we could sit down and he said sure. We sat and he told us that he was kicked out of his house because of a fight he had had with his father-in-law and that his life wasn’t going the way that he wanted it to.
We were talking and he then just spits out the question, "Why did you guys come and start talking to me?" I started to answer and Elder Nelson cuts in and says, "We were over there about to teach somebody else but they weren’t home, so I asked Elder McKeon who we should talk to and he picked you. It was a feeling." I thought to myself, "That’s what it was, just a feeling, but it was the Spirit putting that in my mind to talk to Carlos, and that he needed to hear our message." I was so glad that I listened to that prompting and that we met Carlos, because it was a miracle. The only reason we were in that area was because of that ONE appointment, and turns out that Carlos was there waiting for us to talk to him. It was a powerful experience. I am so glad that I had it and it has helped my testimony grow so much.
We also had a baptism this past week for Antonio. We made a contact with his grandson, who didn’t want anything to do with the Church, but he said that we could visit his Aunt, where Antonio lives. We went by there and met Atonio, who is a more experienced man of 77 years. We taught him that night and we left, but I didn’t think much of it because he was old, and didn’t really seem that interested.
We went back once more and met his daughter, Miraldete. We have taught them and then we asked if they had already been baptized and they both said no, which is pretty surprising here in Brasil where everyone and their dog is baptized. We explained that it was a commandment to be baptized and they were ecstatic. We took them to Church and they had a great experience and we baptized Antonio yesterday. I was kind of scared because we woke up and it was POURING rain, but after 10 minutes it stopped and the sun came out and it was HOT.
We have to use this machine to heat the water in the baptismal font, because there is no hot water switch, so there was no way to heat the water and he is an old guy of 77 years. I was afraid that he wouldn’t go through with it, but when I got into the water (and I am used to cold water) it was like ice!! I was standing there shivering and I look back and lead Antonio into the water and he didn’t say a word. Meanwhile, I’m freezing my butt of and shivering like a little girl. I take him and I say the ordinance and as soon as I said, "Amém," it felt like we were in a different font with fire water instead of ice water. It felt like we were in a Jacuzzi. I can’t explain it. I stopped shivering and I was warm all over. The Spirit was so strong and the Lord was there with us in that baptismal font. We got out of the font and everyone was joking and laughing, "I bet that water was pretty cold huh??" I said nothing and Antonio just said, "It was warm." They all laughed because they thought he was joking, but he wasn’t joking. It was real and I knew it and I knew that he knew it. It was so amazing. I was so happy that day. It was so great and I will never forget that feeling.
(Antonio and Elder McKeon)
I hope you guys have a great week and I love you!!!
How is everybody doing??
It is getting colder down here! I'm glad to hear that the heat wave has passed you guys, but down here it’s getting kind of cold. I had to buy a beanie to wear when I go to sleep. It reminded me of how dad always used to wear his beanie on just the top part of his head every morning just to cover up that bald spot! I guess now he has to cover the whole thing since his whole head is bald haha.
We had a good week, but it was different because we had interviews with President Ferrin on Friday. We got to do a division with Elder Cleveland, the Assistant to the President. He is a great guy and I am really close with him. He is an amazing missionary and I learned so much from him in the 2 days we spent together. The cool part was that Jardim Camargo Novo was his first area on the mission. It’s where he was trained and learned how to be a missionary. We worked so hard during the day and I learned a ton of new things to try when I work now. We had a lot of good lessons together and we now have 7 more people to teach because of the techniques that I learned. At the end of the day we would visit the people he taught and it was touching to see the love that these people had for him and how he helped them come closer to Christ. It was truly amazing. I just hope that this is the same feeling that the people that I have baptized feel for me as I feel for them.
On Friday we had interviews with President and it was kind of hard because when we, Americans, have interviews with him, he speaks in English. It’s hard because it’s been a long time since I have spoke in English and I would have to say a lot of it in Portuguese so he would understand what I was trying to say. Sometimes, he would say a word in English and I wouldn’t understand it and then I would ask another American what it meant and none of us would understand the word.
This next week should be great! We have a lot more people to teach and lot of new people coming to us and they seem promising!
I love you all so much!