Last week we had transfers and I found out that I would leave Feitoria and be transferred to Lagoa Vermelha. Because of the distance, Tuesday was spent traveling on a bus all day long. I arrived in my new area which is super close to the mission limits at almost 9 o´clock at night, just in time to unpack and sleep. I was excited to return to the Passo Fundo Zone, earlier on my mission I´d been in Carazinho which is also part of this zone. I got to know my new companion Élder Lacerda from São Paulo and we hit it hard the following day.
On Wednesday he showed me around and we did a ton of contacts. I really got to like the smaller area and found out that it´s a strong branch here with about 65 members attending. The president of the branch went out with us for 2 visits and came straight out asking a few of the people we visited when they were going to be baptized. I´m really liking his attitude about missionary work and feel like this transfer will be very successful.
I´d been praying a lot recently to find people ready to receive us and this week the Lord blessed us immensely. I had a goal to baptize 2 this week and even though it´d be hard as it was my first week here we worked hard with a ton of faith. One contact I did told us that she´d already visited the church various times and we marked a visit with her later.
The same day as we were trying to visit some contacts my companion stopped to look at his planner a bit. As I was waiting and looking around I saw a woman putting her clothes out to dry. I had the distinct impression that I needed to clap at her gate. We did so and her son answered. We entered and shared our message with them. They listened intently and understood everything we taught. We felt the Spirit very strongly during our message. Her name is Cristine and her son´s name is Kauã, who is 10. At the end Cristine accepted the invitation to be baptized along with her son. Then she went on to tell us about a dream she had had the night before. She told us how 2 men arrived at her door and even though she couldn´t see their faces she noticed that they had dark pants. They entered and shared a really important message with her and at the end showed her a book. She said it looked like a bible but she knew it wasn´t. On the cover it said, "From God." I almost couldn´t speak afterwards and we went on to teach her about the Book of Mormon.
The next day when we visited her, Kauã had read the part we´d marked and also read until chapter 18 in 1 Nephi! Cristine told us how he´d hardly slept the night before because he was reading. We got to know the his step dad Vanderlei and he too accepted the invitation to be baptized. We set a date next month for them as they will need to get married first but Kauã pleaded with his parents so that he could be baptized this Sunday.
As always there is always opposition as well as success and miracles. We contacted a young woman named 17 and she too accepted to be baptized in 2 weeks. We were shocked when she said she was already married too because 1 out of 100 people here are legally married. She understood everything as well and was super excited. However the next day when we got to teach her husband as well, her mother appeared and began trying everything to dissuade her daughter. We were super sad and invited them to pray about our message and we´ll follow up with them tomorrow.
Saturday morning we were involved with the Helping Hands service project throughout Brazil and in Lagoa Vermelha we gathered a bunch of food for the people suffering in the Porto Alegre area because of the flooding and we also helped another church build their chapel. I learned how to set bricks and the other workers there joked that I could now save money and build my own house Brazilian style in the Unites States!
Saturday night we visited a really cool young woman named Morgana that is really involved with another church. She has a lot of pressure from her family to reject us, yet she continues to listen to our messages. We had some very spiritual lessons with her and I promised her that she would receive a testimony of her own if she only would pray and visit the church. I challenged her to dare to stand alone and we´ll see if she has the courage next week.
Sunday was a very busy day and even though we were going to have 2 baptisms, the water in the whole city was shut off. However we called them up and they let us fill up the font. I had the opportunity to give a talk, and after Sacrament meeting we had the baptisms. Kauã´s little 5 year old sister begged to be baptized too, she saw how happy her brother was. A young man named Guilherme was also baptized.