I am serving a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brazil, Porto Alegre North Mission. I post on this blog every week, so check it out to hear about my life as a missionary!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 63

The best news of the week was that the Lagoa Vermelha Branch became the Lagoa Vermelha WARD yesterday!! Everybody was super happy and all the stake leadership from Passo Fundo came to make the ward. Lagoa Vermelha had been a branch for more than 30 years, once having 110 attending in the past. One year ago the branch had 8 people attending each Sunday, and then the Stake called President Melo to lead the branch. In one year President Melo brought the attendance from 8 to 75, and yesterday he was released as Branch President, only to be called as Bishop of the Ward!!

Friday night I received a call from him and he was practically shouting for joy, "Call everyone you know, investigators, members, recent converts, everyone to be at church on Sunday; we became a ward!!"

As the stake leadership stated, now the ward must keep the attendance at 80 for three months, and then they will authorize a church building to be built on this property that was bought many years ago:

Property of the future church building
This week we concentrated on our baptisms for the next week, mainly Almeri & Elisandro that will be married this coming week. They continue to be excited for it all and keep asking if they can be baptized right now. We have to remind them that they have to be legally married first! They introduced us to Almeri's sister and neice, and we taught them during the week.

Their names are Leomara and Thalia, and they accepted to be baptized the same day as Almeri & Elisandro during the first visit. Leomara is going through some problems but we saw a difference in her after the very first visit. The Spirit brought a light into her life. As Élder Reis commented after we left, "That was one of the most spiritual lessons I´ve had!" On Saturday we helped Leomara build her new house, as her current house is falling apart.

The same day we helped Eliane move to another street, and then on Sunday she brought a friend to church, telling us that she'd already got to know her new neighbors and wants to introduce them to us already.

Sunday was a great day, as the 30+ year branch became a ward. There were 95 people at church, and many inactives came which was awesome. Afterwards we took a picture of everyone outside:

Sunday night we were with Almeri & Elisandro, Leomara and Thalia. We taught them how to do a Family Home Evening and read The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Afterwards we made pancakes which they enjoyed. This coming week will be filled with preparations for the wedding and baptisms.

Sunset in Lagoa Vermelha

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