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, July 18, 2016

Week 98

One of the best parts of the week was when I got word that a family I'd found, taught, taken to church, and prepared for baptism had been baptized in Ala do Vale, Gravataí! Three more of the same family were baptized yesterday as well. Even though I'd been transferred a week before their baptism, I was happy to receive word that they'd continued and been baptized. Elias also received the priesthood and was ordained as a priest.

Eneida, Neida, and Lucas
Our first assignment for this week was to visit Capão da Canoa. There we were to help Élder E and Élder F to be more obedient, show them how to work more effectively, and create a good relationship with the branch. When we arrived the companionship also made a few goals to work on during the 3 days: Contact more people, commit the investigators to go to church, and teach more effectively.

I went with Élder E and on the very first day we found a really good young man named Tiago. We taught him and after inviting him to pray, go to church with us, and be baptized in 2 weeks he said yes to everything without hesitation! He told us how his mother had died one week after his birth and had felt the need to find the right path/church to follow God and see his mother again.

We taught a single mom named Josiane who has 2 little kids. Her sister-in-law was baptized a long time ago and had fallen into inactivity but had always talked about the church to her. When we appeared at her door and taught her about the Restoration she told us how we'd been an answer to her prayers. Her grandpa had died recently and she'd been passing through quite a few difficulties in her life and was wanting to find meaning in her life. She as well accepted baptism for the same date as Tiago.

On Thursday it rained a ton but still we left to work in good spirits knowing we'd once again find someone to be baptized. After lunch as we were going to our first appointment we passed a house with its door open. We felt we should knock and when we did a man named Jair appeared and invited us to enter. He is single, has 4 children (18, 17, 14, and 12 years old) and a daughter-in-law (16) that live with him. They too were elect and listened intently, asking good questions. Everyone in the family accepted to be baptized in 2 weeks.

The last family we taught that day was made of four: Father, Mother, and 2 daughters ages 20 and 10. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I've ever been a part of. They'd been intrigued with our message about Joseph Smith the last visit and asked us many questions about life after death.

At the end of the division we reviewed what we'd learned and made plans to put it all into practice. They listed things such as obedience, diligence, talking with everyone, preparation to teach, studying for investigators, how to recognize elects, being clear, direct, and firm in the invitations, and following up daily. We were happy with the result of the 3 days we spent with them.

Élder De Lima, Élder E, Élder F

For the last part of the week we went to an area nearby, Torres. There the Élders are both new on the mission and our focus with them was to help them know how to work effectively. We noticed that Élder G and Élder H are really really good, they only needed a little help to know how to use what they had to work well. I stayed with Élder G and after every lesson, contact, ect. he asked me what he could do to do it better. I was very impressed with his eagerness to learn, humility, and desire to be the best missionary he could and reach his potential.

The very first day (Friday) I got to know Bruna, a 24 year old woman that had recently moved to Torres. She had already known the church as her mom and brothers had been baptized. The missionaries had already been teaching her but she'd moved before making any progress. The Lord lead us to her and we saw how elect she is. We identified her problems as smoking and drinking coffee. What impressed us immensely was that when we returned the next day she'd gone from smoking 30 cigarretts to 4 per day, 5 cups of coffee to 1 per day, had bought a bunch of gum, carrots, and oranges to distract her from her smoking desire, had read the Family Proclamation to the World pamphlet and instead of reading the first 2 chapters of the Book of Mormon that we'd left with her she read the first 10! When we stopped by her house to accompany her to church she was sitting in a chair outside her house all ready to go. At church many members became her friend and she had a wonderful experience. She will be baptized this coming week.

While in Torres I was very happy to run into Mamélio Ferreira from Ivoti! He was one of the first members there to take me in during my first transfer of my mission. As he and his wife speak English, they'd helped me quite a bit to learn Portuguese 2 years ago. He is now the branch president there as well as the owner of an english school there and in Torres.

Mamélio Ferreira

Élder G, Élder H, and Élder De Lima
On our way back to Porto Alegre Élder De Lima and I lamented how sad we were to teach and find amazing investigators all week only to leave after seeing them progress so much!

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