This week was just increadible! Here are some highlights
Tuesday my whole zone (20 missionaries) did a takeover in Sao Francisco de Paulo. The ramo is very weak there, and all of the leaders come in from different branches. The purpose of this takeover was to find the families, and people who were prepared to hear the gospel, and to help strengthen the branch. Even the assistants to the president have been working and living in the area for about 3 weeks! It was such a successfull day. In total we had about 130 people enter the church to do a tour!
Thursday we did a fast with Emilia for her to recieve an answer if she should be baptized. The next day we visited her and she was just glowing. She recieved her answer that this is the only true church, and that God leaded her to us. She told us how much her live has changed since she has bee hearing our messages and going to church. She is so much happier, and now she understands her purpose in live. SO sunday she was BAPTIZED!!! She invited her family and it was such a powerful baptism. She couldn't hold back the tears of happiness, it was a day that I will never ever forget. More than 2 months we have been teaching her, but let me say that she will be a strong convert that will help in building the kindom of god here on the earth.
Saturday we had our Noite Americana! It went fantastic thanks to dad and all the amazing things that he brought! We had a member teach a country dance, we decorated cupcakes, had mac n cheese, played chirades, gave away prizes, etc. It was so so fun! And elder and sister copa were more than thankful for the party in their honor. But let me just say Brazilians go nuts over american things....I put out all the candy, and american snacks and the whole place turned into a zoo attack. It was like the first one to the table and the others would go in for the kill. I was even shoved out of the way when I was taking out the goodies. Oh funny part was I was dumping out the huge bags of candy, bars, fruit rollups, etc and they would pick up these huge bags and boxes and start filling them up for themselves ....craaaaazzyyyyy...... but glad they liked it!
some Tips I learned from our training with President Campos: God loves all his children, but he only trusts some with his important tasks. We don't grow when we have trials. We learn. We grown when we APPLLY what we learn.
So I love my time here. I love seeing my recent converts passig the sacrament, going to the temple, planning for missions, etc. Joy that I cannot even explain.... :)
Let me just start that I feel so blessed to be serving in the land I love, with people I love, for my Father in Heaven that I love. I am having so many spiritual experiences that I know I will forever remember. I love that my savior is walking with me every step of the way, and I feel so blessed to be his represenative.
This week Raquel was baptized and it was such a tender experience. I loved hearing her testimony that she wants to have an eternal family and raise her kids in the gospel. She said that she has never felt such happiness in her life.
So it has been raining a freaking ton here in Gramado....I am on my 4th umblella. They just break so easy, and basically fly right out of my hands
This week we had divisions and I was in the Campo Bom area. Man, campo bom is campo branco. That area is increadible! Every house that we knocked had people! The total oposite of Gramado. So hard because everyone works all day everyday and only return at night.
My companion and I are having such a blast planning this Noite Americana that we are going to have Saturday! A huge thanks to dad to sending an increadible about of American GOODIES! (even my president of the mission will be attending...ah!)
Rafael was baptized!!!!!!! Not sure if I have given an update on him in a little while..he is the boyfriend of a member! His baptism was so amazing, he was just glowing. He is a really really shy guy, but the day of his baptism it was like he was truely a different person. So happy and his eyes were shinning.
He invited his siblings and they came! (his brother has purple hair and tons of piercings, and his sister is also dating a member!) After his baptism his sister Raqael told us that she never felt such an amazing feeling during Rafaels baptism, and she wants to be baptized! We are going to baptize their whole family so that they can be sealed for time and all eternity!
Oh so we had quite an experience this week. We got of of a bus at night, and all of a sudden this man pops out from behind us and randomly tells us this long story about how he lost his bible. He pleeded with us to bring him another.
Sure it was extremely random, but we thought maybe it could be an amazing teaching experience! Anywayssss we passed by his house later that week and gave him a lesson about the trinity because he had lots of questions. We were sitting on chairs that were placed half way out the door (because cant teach a man alone inside of his house. During this lesson I felt just a horrible feeling inside. Which is not normal for a missionary to feel! But we finished the lesson and out of the blue he goes "Do you two have the courage to teach a trafficer?" .....uhhhhh first of all sister snyder and I did not recognize the word in portuguese so we got out our dictionary to find out what in the world he was asking us and when we saw the word trafficker (drug) we both just stared at eachother and back at the man in complete and utterly shock. I immediently said that everyone is a child of God, and that we were represenatives of Jesus Christ who are not affraid. (we totally acted chill but sprinted right out of that house FRIGHTENED out of our minds).
Still not quite sure if he was joking, is actually a trafficer, or whatnot. But, just to be safe never ever going back there again. As a missionary you really do experience just about everything....and more!
This keyboard is so hard to press my fingers it is growing my apps and biceps...but ANYWYS...
This week was awesome, here are some litle snippits
1.) Afonzo, my 17 year old recent covert bore his testimony is sacrament meeting! He was so nervous, basically every part of his body was shaking but he did wonderful! There really is no better feeling than seeing him progress in the gospel and even prepare to serve a MISSION!
2.) This week we had such a spiritual experience with Emilia and her family. We were explaining the importance of the Holy Ghost and the necessity of having the gift. We explanined that my talented companion would sing a song in english, so they wouldn~t understand anything, but to focus on their feeelings. During the song they all started to cry, and felt so strongly the peace, confort and influence of the holy ghost. I know that if we just open our hearts, the holy ghost will makes a huge influence in our lives.
3.) So something that I started doing this week....the first thing I do when I wake up is SMILE, and the last thing I do before going to bed is SMILE. So simple, but it has made such a hude difference in the way that I feel!
4.) I know with all my heart that this is the true chuch of Jesus CHrist. Is is a church of change, of transformtion, and examples. We are truely chosen to live in this latter days, and God has chosen us to be strong enough to endure to the very end.
Take a step back and realize how the gospel has blessed and influenced your life. Stay firm, stay faithful, and stay true. And thank God.
So I don~t have a lot of time to write this week, so heres just a small update!
1.) this week a member of the quorum of the 70 came to speak in our ward!! (elder dias) one thing that I really liked is that he talked about the importance of fasting. It is so powerful, and when we sacrice for the lord, miracles will happen in our lives
2.) this morning i totally got electicuted!! I only plugged in the microwave, but I didn~t realize that I had a metal spoon in my hand, All of a sudden my whole body started shaking and I fell to the floor! Ahh strangest feeling EVER! Every part of my body just stung for the little... I started laughing so hard once I hit the floor....too bad none of my companions were there to see it!
3.) speaking of companions we got 2 new brasilians in gramado! one from recife, and one from são paulo! they are amazing!
4.) This week I LOVED being a missionary because I have the privlate to see people through the eyes of christ. It is just so shocking at some of the things that people tell us. For example, we are teaching someone for the first time, and they pour out their hearts to us. Issues with family, difficulties with work, sicknesses, divorce, deaths, etc. It is just incredible the trust that people have in us with such personal experiences. I love because a represenative of Jesus Christ, and being that hope and light that so many people are searching for. I love being able to help others, and being there to listen to them open their hearts to us.
5.) this week we talked to 2 peope who think that they have evil spirts in them.....strangest. experience. ever. we had our bishop give them a blessing, and it was such a powerful experience! I love the priestood power!
FAMILY I invite you all to do a fast. Fast specifically to have the courage to share the gospel and to meet a person who you can share the gospel with this week. Missionary work is not just done but missionaries. When we were baptized, we promised to take the name of christ upon us. This is all of our responsabilities! Help the lord in the most important work that exisists on the earth. You can do it! The lord is preparing so many people and he will place them in your path! Have courage!
Love you alll! I hope you have an amazing summer break!
p.-s I need an apple pie recipe for my bishop...in portugues please! also a filter water bottle, mine broke :(
WELCOME HOME ELDER SETH!!! So strange that two years already passed by, but I am so proud to have a brother who served with honor. Parbens my brother, love you so so much!
This week was a week of miracles. We met with Gabriella and Lindomar again, and they WANT TO GET MARRIED so that they can be BAPTIZED! It was such a spiritual experience, so see their dedicated to follow the example of Jesus Christ. They have such a desire to be great parents, who raise they son Lorenzo in the gospel. Another miracle that happened is that Emilia (mother of Gabriella) went to church! So suprising because every time we taught her, her heart seemed that a big old, hard rock. Such a miracle that the spirit has worked through her, and that she was touched enough to get to church! In the church classes, she asked so many questions, and was so into it!
Also we met an amazing girl named Justine and her mom Janete. We taught the restoration and left her to read the introduction of the book of mormon. when we returned, she had read the intro PLUS all of the testimonies and was already deep into 1 nephi. She LOVED IT! She also went to church and brought her boyfriend with her! She accepted to be baptized, and said that she has never felt this way in her whole life.
I know that god is a god of miracles, and I know that when we trust in him these milagres will happen. I love my savior, and I have grown such a sincere love for him. I know that the sacriface that he faced for each of us was not easy, but it did it for us. When he was suffering, he specifically thought in each and one us, and our sufferings. I know that jesus christ lives.
I sincerely love my mission. I love these people. I love this overwelming, spiritual, love that I feel from my Heavenly Father. I love my family, and I am so great that my family will be together for eternity.
LOVE YOU ALL!
Said goodbye to sister Rodriguez after 126 days together....! She has been called as a sister trainning leader!