This past week was absolutely full of miracles! It all started off last P-day, my birthday. Because of our planned baptism, we wanted to work extra hard to show the Lord our determination. On P-days we still have 3 hours at the end of the day to work. From what I've learned in the past few weeks is that those hours set the tone for the rest of the week. We even taught a lesson during our P-day hours, something that really opened some doors that we'd follow up later in the week. One of the visits that we made was to one of our recent converts who is on fire. It is now my belief that recent converts are the most instrumental members in future conversions. Right off the bat she updated us on those we were working with that she is friends with. Her testimony was almost palpable as she described what she had done to help our progressing investigators. Not only that, but at the conclusion of our visit she took us to her neighbors next door, having already talked to them about the church and given them a Book of Mormon! If that isn't the Lord's hand I don't know what else to call it. She is knocking our socks off. We saw the same thing happen with another convert who was to blame for 3 more baptisms of missionary age young men in another close by area. Milagres acontece! Certainly these things made up the best present I received for my birthday.
Something funny also happened on my birhtday. I was contacting a young woman when she asked me a question. We are experimenting with the baptismal contact where you straight up ask people on the street if they want to be baptized. So she asked, "Where?" Still not knowing a ton of Portuguese and speaking candidly I replied, "Na pai batismal," literally telling her how she would be baptized: in a baptismal font! My companion thought it was hilarious and he called up the Zone Leaders to tell them what had just happened.
This week on Friday I had a division (in the states it's called a companion exchange) with the district leader being with my companion in Ivoti and me traveling to Estancia Velha to be with his companion. It was cool, I got to see how other companionships do things and learned a few more cool techniques for teaching people and grabbing their attention.
Yesterday I gave my first talk in Portuguese. After doing that, a 30 minute talk in English doesn't sound so difficult. We also had the baptism of our investigator which capped the week off beautifully! That was my second on the mission and originally my companion was going to baptize her but he had to go to the hospital for an out of the blue sickness. So on short notice I baptized her. I was pretty nervous but it was such a great experience, especially because it was my first time actually being in the water. Not only that, but also saying hte words in Portuguese!
I wish you all a good week! Enjoy the cool weather, it's getting to the point where nothing here really dries because of the heat and humidity.
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com