What an eventful week it has been! There really are so many things I need to write! Well first of all, sounds like Elder Cordner is working in mule mode out in the wilderness. Oh man, sometimes it is so hard for the people to accept the truth! But I am sure they will be blessed for the efforts!
In my studies Wednesday morning I started to study about fasting. Being in a new area with few investigators and with only a map in hand to do the work has been stressful. But I began to remember how small we are. I humbled myself even to the dust, and I knew that we needed to rely more on the Lord. We started our fast to be able to be led to those searching for the truth. We spent the night and part of the next day in Tatuapé, São Paulo to resolve some things with Sister Swindler's visa. We took the trek home and headed out with so much faith in our hearts. I testify that when we lean not unto our own understanding, He will be with us, guide us, and even take us by the hand. Here are some of the miracles we have seen this week:
We found C, the mother of an Elder that the bishop passed to us. We did not even know that the Elders were working with her before! She is the SWEETEST lady and welcomed us in with open arms. She has such a desire to be baptized but wants to wait until her son returns in 2 years! She stopped smoking, drinking and drinking coffee two years ago when her son was baptized. We talked to her about the importance of obedience and of baptism and we'll be going back tonight to hear how she has received her answer! I am sure she has one!
J is the uncle of a strong family in the ward. We randomly chose his moms name on the ward list to make a less-active visit. We marked a family night with them, and if his sister had not been there we would have never known that he was not even confirmed when he was baptized. After his baptism he got back to drinking, and started working on Sunday. But now he wants so badly to stop drinking and does not have a job. We left a chapter in the Book of Mormon for him to read the first visit, and he told us he could not put it down. He read into the early morning hours. He was so happy at church yesterday and just could not stop smiling. The Holy Ghost is so important! Without it, baptism is just a cold bath.
Saturday was a challenge. We walked and walked and walked, and sang songs, and walked a little bit more. We literally tried to visit everyone, and no one was home. The Lord was testing our diligence. He led us to a woman named S. She was leaving her home and naturally we offered to pass by another day to help her and her family get to know the gospel of Jesus Christ. We testified that our message would bless her family. She started to cry and explain how much her family is needing our message. Her son had left home and wants nothing to do with them, and her daughter has taken it really hardly. She thanked us again and again for stopping to talk to her. I know the Lord prepared those who are humble, meek and submissive to hear His message.
I love this work. When I kneel to pray my heart fills with gratitude for the chance I have had to serve my Heavenly Father and be His Son's representative. I love talking about the simple truths of the gospel daily. I do not know who I would be without my mission. Sometimes I cannot even imagine myself leaving Brasil! Maybe I'll just have to stay here. My companion is doing great! Português is a hard language!! But she is already using subjunctive tense in her second week here, so she will be fine :) I love her faith, her excitement and her sincere prayers.
Read President Monson's talk, "Keep the Commandments". I have never met anyone who regrets keeping the law of chastity or is sad that they aren't able to have a drug addiction. Wickedness NEVER was happiness. We are in our search for happiness. It is God's purpose and intention to help us find this true happiness. This is why He has given us this loving and wise guide to have a happy life. The Prophet of God spoke on a topic so simple and true because obviously we still need to be more obedient. I love him, and I know he is God's voice here on the earth!
I love you all so much, and I feel your prayers daily. They strengthen me and lift me up when I am weak! Have a wonderful week!!