This past week was the beginning of a new transfer. I stayed in Feitoria and got a new companion, Élder W. Silva, from Natal, Brazil. It was cool because during my first transfer on the mission I did a division with him for one day and so we´d already know each other. He is the oldest in his family and only active member. He has about the same amount of time on the mission as I do as well. Throughout the week we hit it hard and got a lot done.
On Tuesday we visited the older couple that had been to church a few times. Their names are Macário and Vera. Turns out he had already been counselor to a few bishops and even the president of the stake young men, but had fallen away during the past 3 years. In those years he met Vera and they live together now. We got to know them better and we taught them the Restoration, one the most spiritual lessons I´ve had. At the end we asked Macário, a real quiet guy, to bear his testimony to Vera. We could definitely feel the Spirit in the room when he bore his simple testimony of what he knew. We committed them both to pray in private and ask if our message was true.
When I found out that I would stay for another transfer here, I had begun to make plans and think of what we could do for the next 6 weeks here. As I was doing so, I would say that I was hit with revelation/inspiration. I talked with the secretary of the ward and he helped me print off an updated list of all the members in the ward. We went through the whole list and marked who was active and who was less-active. From the less-actives we printed off all their baptism certificates and planned to visit them during the transfer and re-activate them as well as teach the other members of the family that hadn´t been baptized years before. We created a goal to re-activate and complete many families here in Feitoria.
The first miracle that came from this inspiration was on Wednesday, when we found a boy named Lucas who was the only one in his family not baptized. We invited them all to come to church on Sunday (which was Ward Conference) and invited him to be baptized which he accepted without hesitation. As we taught them the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ they were very excited and eager to respond to our questions because everything was similar to them and we were igniting the fire of the gospel that had been dormant so many years.
The next day we went to the house of a contact I had done the last transfer. When we entered the house and began to teach, his wife joined us and asked, "you´re the elderes right?" We responded in the affirmative and we discovered that she too was a unactive member from another nearby city. I marveled at how the Lord places people in the missionaries´ path to lead us to his lost sheep. We invited them, Luis and Gislenia to the Ward Conference as well and she was very excited as she heard our message as well.
On Friday we visited Vera and Macário again and much to our happiness they had prayed and felt that our message was true. We taught them about the Book of Mormon which she accepted right off the bat. We committed her to read a part we´d marked and pray about it as well. Then came the challenge, will you be baptized? To which she said, "don´t I have to be married with Macário first?" We said yes and so she decided to do everything to get married so that she could be baptized in a few weeks!
Recently a new Ward Missionary Leader was called and we set up an appointment with him when we had lunch at his house. The meeting was very productive and I saw that he was eager to help and do everything he could to help the work go forward in his ward. On Sunday we really saw his enthusiasm as he tried everything to get the water heater working for the baptism of Lucas. Unfortunately it still wasn´t working when the time came so as we threw buckets of boiling water in the font to heat up the ice cold water we brought Lucas to the font to test the water and see if he still wanted to go through with it this week. I´ll never forget what he said back, "Oh I´ve taken many baths much colder than this!" He made us all laugh. After church we held the service and there were more people there than I´d ever seen at a baptism before. We assigned a few less actives to give the messages and prayers which helped them a lot.
Throughout the week I had been sick with a pretty bad cold, it had rained 2 of the days straight, and the weather had dropped down to the 40´s but we didn´t even notice it because of all the miracles we saw each day.