Monday, March 24, 2014
How wonderful is the Great Plan of Happiness!
Bom dia, minha linda familia! It´s getting really chilly, here! Fall in São Paulo means lots and lots and lots of rain and 60 degree weather. It´s really unpleasant. I miss the heat. I´m staying in Jardim Mirna for another transfer! And with Elder Paiva! We´ve got a TON of baptisms planned next week, the week after, and the week after! By the end of this transfer, I´ll have six months in Jardim Mirna! This ward might just get its third companionship! Two more Elders! We really hope they will arrive this transfer, because that will ease our burden (our area is shaped really obnoxiously) and that of the ward. Six missionaries in one ward. This truly is a new era in missionary work. And we´ve been working so well with the members! 18 investigators in sacrament meeting! That´s really good! We will have 4 baptisms this saturday, and at least 6 baptisms the next week! So many miracles! Our neighbor is the Ward Mission Leader. His wife is going to have a baby! We are all hoping that this one will survive, as she has already had one miscarriage. And she was sick the other day (not normal), and I gave her a blessing. The next day, I asked her how she was doing and how the baby was doing. She said something that really stood out in my mind. She said that she thinks everything will be okay, and that she is just wondering whether or not her child will be with her on this Earth, or just wait for her in the next. How wonderful is the great plan of happiness? This also this group of children that I just adore. The structure of the family is complicated, but they are all either siblings or cousins. Six of them are 8 years old or older, and are to be baptized on the 5th of April. One of them is named Jordan. He has ten years. When we met him, he was crying because he misses his mom. His mom doesn´t live with the family. She´s a drug addict and wants nothing to do with him. In another visit, he told us that he had a good dream: that his father came home from prison. Another child in this group is 15-year-old Michael. He is deaf and doesn´t know how to speak. The other kids, more specifically the older ones, learned Portuguese sign language. He wants to be baptized, despite knowing absolutely nothing about the Church. We´ll find a way to help him be baptized on the 5th. He is cousin to Jordan. Another child is Jackson. I think his is brother to Jordan. He has less than 8 years old and is severely handicapped. A large part of his brain is either not functioning or never developed. But he is so sweet! He loves giving "bate palma"(the Brazilian high five). Each of these children have such a profound love for Jesus and desire to have (in their own words) "a perfect family". I know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these children can have a perfect family someday, free from addiction, crime, poverty, and heartbreak. It is our job as members and missionaries to help these children of God return to their Heavenly Family one day. The more time I spend in this place, the more I love everyone here. I love this people, this culture, this language! I don´t want to leave! And everyone in the ward loves, me, too! I love this mission! Have a great week, and I love you all! Elder Richins