Monday, July 7, 2014
This week, I will have nine months in the mission!
Nine months! This week, I will have nine months in the mission! It´s going by so fast! I can´t believe it´s almost July! It´s easy to forget, here in Brasil, when it feels more like September. In the mornings and at night, it feels like November! We often joke that Christmas will come soon, because it´s getting colder. But I don´t think it´ll get much colder than this. We´ll see: July is the coldest month of the year! Brasil beat Chile in the World Cup this week! Woo! It´s really funny because we have a Brasileiro (Elder Florentino) and a Chileno (Elder Parraguez) in the house. Several times, the Brasileiro shouted out the window "Hey, there´s a Chileno here! Let´s get him!" The funny thing is that everyone in the street zoou (teased) Elder Parraguez before and after the game. There was a game Monday, too, against Cameroon. Brasil won that, too. That is awesome for Elder J. Barker and I because we will have to stay home on what day? The Fourth of July! And there will be fireworks because of the game. It´d be even better if there was a U.S. / England match on that day. Cileide wasn´t baptized. She was really excited all week, but someone has been fighting us and telling her bad things about the Church and about us. This same person took Cileide away for the entire weekend, preventing her from going to church and being baptized. I swear, this war is so real. Also this week, other baptisms of youths fell through because of ignorant parents. Another woman was prevented from going to church by her hostile husband, who does not like any church in general. So this week was really difficult in this aspect. Even Vanessa, who was on the road to reactivation, fell. She said that she does not feel like going to church anymore and doesn´t want us to return. Also, her mother is avoiding us. She knows the Church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, etc., but she doesn´t want to commit. The only bright spot is a family we found this last week. Juvinal and Magda were taught by Elder Pinheiro (my last companion) a few months ago. Just before I arrived, they were dropped because they didn´t want to marry, despite their willingness to go to church, quit smoking and drinking and coffee. This last week, however, Magda went to church to find us. When we arrived in their house the following day, we witnessed a miracle. Juvinal and Magda felt so bad for not going to church (for about 2 months) and for not yet being baptized. They showed true desire and real intent and sincere hearts. I´ve never seen such an elect couple. Had it not been for the World Cup, we would have gone to the city hall and scheduled a wedding. But this Saturday, for sure, we are going to mark their wedding! At first, they had small doubts about buying a ring first. But I told them that their eternal marriage is more important than a ring, and that, instead of a wedding ring, they could buy a "sealing ring" for when they go through the temple. Now, they are really excited. Magda will stop drinking coffee (Juvinal already quit everything), and I believe that nothing can stop them from being baptized and sealed. They have a daughter, Laura, who is also excited to be baptized. Her baptism is marked for next Saturday (July 12). That same Saturday, we are planning to take Juvinal, Magda, and Laura to the São Paulo Temple and teach them in the waiting room and show them the garden, etc. All three of them have such strong testimonies of the Restored Gospel. They already have read the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith and are reading Doctrine and Covenants. They have truly been prepared to receive us. This time, they will be baptized and they will endure to the end! I´m so glad to be a missionary! I know that this work is true! I know that Christ lives and loves us! I´d never trade my mission for anything! Time to go. I love you all so much! P.S. I´m in 1 Samuel 15! I´ve got a lot of time thanks to the World Cup!