But for this week! it was crazy! And hot. But let's start with the miracles!
Saturday night. We needed new investigators and were talking with a lot of people, but no one wanted to talk to us. That I think is the saddest thing. But no one wanted to talk to us and we were crossing a bridge talking about something. I don't remember what. Then this lady stopped us and started talking to us about how faith in her life has helped her and she was Catholic, but she didn't like how they used images. So she is no longer Catholic. Her name is Maria. So Sunday we went to look for her. And we got the wrong house. And the lady that answered the door started talking to us about how she doesn't have a lot of time to talk because her husband is inside. So we just told her that we are missionaries and we are here to help people come closer to our savior Jesus Christ. And she told us that she hasn't been able to go to church because her husband cannot leave the house. So we asked if we could say a prayer with her. And she invited us in the house to pray with her husband. This is the story about Marina. 3 Months ago her husband 76 years old had a stroke. And now he needs help doing things that normally would be easy. He has no control over one of his arms. He was sleeping, but we said a prayer with him and Marina started crying and told us how grateful she was for the prayer. My companion bore her testimony about the resurrection and how all of us will be perfect after the resurrection. I read a scripture in alma about Jesus Christ suffered all of our sorrows and because he did this, he know exactly how he can help us. Then she started crying again and invited us to come back. I know that it was a miracle to meet Maria on the bridge. But I think the greater miracle was that through Maria we were able to meet Marina.
Marcos and Graça: Well I hope you remember them. And unfortunately, they are still investigators. We tried 3 TIMES! last Sunday Marcos had to work. Pronto. Graça was ready, but Marcos was at work. Then we tried Wednesday night. And when we came to their house Marcos had locked himself in his room and turned off the light. WHAT? So we sat in their living room and waited. FOR AN HOUR! And Fabio (investigator and cousin of Marcos) was there with us asking questions about the gospel. Specifically about Melquesidek. We were answering his questions, but it was cooler to watch Graça who is not a member answer the questions that he had. And when she didn't know the answer she would ask us. But after an hour of this Marcos came out of the room and started bearing his testimony of the Book of Mormon. How he knows that is it true. And that he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet. And he wants to be baptized but that he just needed to sleep (cough) And then he started talking about how this is not the church of the ´´Mormons´´ that this is the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. And he wants to buy a t-shirt and write the name of the church on it so that he can get people to stop calling it the church of the Mormons. He is legit. But he was not baptized this Sunday...soooooo....I don't know when he will, But I KNOW that he will.
And Graça was telling me that because I am here in Brazil, she knows that this church is true. Because we have young men and women ages 18 to 25 here. and she always tells people that I left my GRANDE CASA with my GRANDE breakfast and my GRANDE car and my GRANDE life (even tho I tell her every time it wasn't that great...but now we are going to have an American breakfast one of these days! And I will make pancakes and eggs and hashbrowns. But I am sad we don't have butter. Or buttermilk because I would totally make grandma T buttermilk pancakes...but they don't have buttermilk here) to live here in Brazil and get eaten alive by mosquitos and burnt by the sun all sweaty and gross. But she asked why would someone do this if it wasn't true. If they did not believe 150% that this is the true Gospel. And I have to say that it is true. This is the true church and that is why we are here. Sweating. Eating strange food. Sleeping in ghetto houses. Wearing strange clothes in a strange land. Speaking a strange language that NO ONE understands me! Because I know that this is the true gospel. That I am helping people here In Canguaratama know their Savior and helping them find the path that will lead to eternal life with our heavenly Father. Because it is true. Eu sei Que Estas coisas são verdadeira!
Fabio: You remember him from the house of Marcos and Graça. Great this is the same, Fabio. The same one that has been at the church for 2 months but has trouble with the Book of Mormon. Because he doesn't think that Moroni could be an Angel and a prophet in the Book of Mormon. He was an evangelist for 2 years and he studied the bible A LOT! And man talking to him sure has been a testimony builder for me because he will ask questions that are really strange and I have never studied in my life. But I will be able to have an answer for him. And not only an answer but I will be able to say it in Portuguese. This is a miracle, my friends. It is a GREAT miracle because he asked weird questions. I think I will write a book of all of the questions that he asks me. But the coolest thing is that we were at his house and a member with just 7 months walked past and was talking with us and he BORE his testimony to FABIO! About the church about how it has helped him in his like. Helped his family. And that it is the true church. Fabio has lots of people that are bearing testimony, but I don't think he is hearing them. But the one thing that he keeps asking is for people to pray for him because his faith is weak. He is weak and needs strength. So we are praying for him because he is a good kid. But he just needs to start using the faith that he has and it will start to grow.
Janaina and Daniel: I don't know if you remember them, but their mom is a witch. Not in a bad way...well I guess it is a bad way. But you know the movie harry potter when he opens the letter and Hagrid says ´´Harry you're a wizzard´´ Well it's that kind of witch. (I don't know where that came from because I don't like Harry Potter) But the mom does not like us. Probably because she is doing work of the DEVIL and we are doing work of JESUS CHRIST! But she (remember that we are talking about the mother) Glues Janainas Book of Mormon shut. How childish! And when we went to pick up her son he is 19 years old and a member she wouldn't wake him up because she doesn't want him going to church. But we won't give up because Daniel and Janaina need this goodness in their lives. Their parents don't do anything for them. Their mom tells them that they are not worth anything. How sad is that! It is horribly sad. But we are working with her. And she wrote the cutest little note in my planner about how we are friends for life and she thanked me for helping her know that she is a daughter of God. And that he loves her and she has a role in this life.
Other things that happened this week:
We have a less active return missionary in our area. And we stopped by his house and he told us that he no longer believes in God. Welp...that just goes to show you that the adversary is always working with every one of us. And we have to remember that.
Last week we had a recent convert ask if we could bring a declaration to the President that said he wants his records removed. And we told him that if he wants this then he has to go and deliver it himself. So last week he went to church and I don't know if he gave the declaration back to the president but He was at church this Sunday for all three hours and asked us to come back to his house.
And last thing. We tried to take a shortcut this week through the trees. And it was just like a movie. The deeper into the forest of palm trees the bigger the insects get. There was an ant as big as my thumb. And then one with a BIG head and pinchers that you could physically see. they were huge. I just wish I had my camera.....hopefully next week!
Thank you so much for everything you guys are doing! All the prayers and support! Love you and l miss you a lot!