Monday, March 16, 2015
He is my Savior, and He lives!
To start off, I think the medicine is working! And we are getting a LOT of rain! I´m going to the doctor again this thursday! On tuesday, we got a new roommate! Elder Jesus was transferred and replaced by a short-term missionary from a neighboring stake, Elder Do Val. On wednesday, we were going to Isaura´s house, to see how she was doing. We got there twenty minutes early. She lives in a super rich neighborhood, where there is no one to make contacts with. We decided that it would be best not to stress her out, by her thinking that we were just sitting there, waiting for her, so we decided to use some of our leftover lunch money to buy ice cream cones at the nearby Burger King. Just as we got up, a man pulled up in his car and gave us R$50, telling us to go buy dinner. We tried to refuse the money. He said that he saw us and felt that he needed to talk to us and give us money. We still tried to refuse it. Turns out he´s a police officer and was coming home from work. He had a good friend who served a mission, and decided to do a good turn. Finally, we accepted the money, but I got his address and I´m going to send a thank-you card to him (and the missionaries where he lives can teach him). We got back just after Isaura got home. It turned out to be a very significant visit. She had almost given up. But Elder Sharp and I (thanks to the Spirit), were able to help her. My experiences with depression helped her put her own difficulties into perspective (she´s losing her house because of a dishonest landlord). I promised her that if she reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day, keeps the commandments and goes to church, she will find a house, and her son, Tiago, will go to church and be baptized. I called her every night to follow up. We were unable to go to our ward because of civil unrest in downtown São Paulo, but we later found out that not only did Isaura go to church, but Tiago did, too! On friday, we had another service project in the nursing home. They are almost ready to receive one ton of food storage from the bishop´s storehouse. And another one of the workers there is being taught by the missionaries where he lives (in another mission). The owner wants to take everybody (who wants) to church. The owner´s mother made us a delicious lunch with foods from her state of Bahia. Carne seca, feijão de corda, rice, salad, etc. Dessert was oranges and "sour milk", made from old milk, lemon juice, and bread. On saturday, we visited Alessandra towards the end of the night. Her landlord and his family hate her. She says that they always harrass her about the church, swearing at her, literally putting curses on her (black magic), hitting her son, stealing, and a lot of other stuff. We didn´t see everything, but I can say that they do persecute her and treat her really badly. The landlord actually cut her electricity, and threatened to cut her water and (while she´s at church) throw all of her furniture into the street. We stayed with her and helped her relax as Bishop showed up. We went with him to talk to the landlord. He said many things that are untrue, and a couple things that are true, trying to slander Alessandra. He called her "the devil himself". Bishop calmly and cooly promised the landlord that he would get his money, but that he needs to turn the electricity back on, since she has a newborn to take care of. The landlord was in the process of cutting off water from her house when we talked to him. As the bishop, the landlord, and Elder Sharp fixed the electricity problem, I made popcorn for the family, and washed the dishes. Bishop then sat down with Alessandra and Davi and talked to them about what they should do to avoid future problems. I received a very strong testimony of the power of magnifying our callings, and the love that bishops have for their members. Bishop then took us home. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and He lives. I testify of Him in His holy name, even Jesus Christ. Amen. I love you guys! Have a great week! -- Élder Thomas Richins Ala Interlagos (antiga Cidade Dutra) Estaca Interlagos Missão Brasil São Paulo Interlagos