Happy december! Is it really december? oh my nossa! Seriously it doesn’t even feel like winter/christmas time here. It really is the strangest thing being in a tropical and HOT place during this time of the year. But it’s great! I like experiencing new things! Also happy brithday Grandpa Goodman, Jessica Raban, Holland (and Jeffrey R. Holland by the way haha) and everyone else that I can’t think of right now :). I wish I could be there with you to sing em portugues! Parabens para voce, nesta data querida muitas felicidades muitos de vida! :)) -it sounds way better in real life just so you know. I Love you guys!
Okay so this week was good ahh I can’t remember what days were what now sorry. trying to think here….
Pauloma was confirmed yesterday as a member of A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias! and received the gift of the holy ghost woo! We helped her and the other girls in the ward that are recent converts with personal progress this week. Trying to explain it to them. haha so funny-they are so cute. It’s sad because their families aren’t really supportive/around to help sign off goals and experiences that they do for each young women’s value but they have so much enthusiasm anyways. And the YW president is awesome and helps so much! I want to be a YW leader someday-that would be awesome. I love the youth of this church!
This week we’ve found some new investigators which is awesome. Sadly no one on date for baptism. Maria moved? No idea where-to live with her mom I heard…kind of the down side teaching in an area like ours. Things just happen with investigators and you can’t do anything about it….we will continue. That being said no update on Rodigo, we continue to stop by but he’s never hope. Hopes are still high for him and his wife.
This week Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle. So there is officially a new rule in ALL of brazil that we cannot baptize anyone under the age of 15 (unless it’s a family together). Our president said that here in Brazil we’re basically building a giant primary-haha it’s true. So at first we were all shocked/bummed because we do teach a lot of youth it’s true. But at the same time I was thinking the Lord has set this policy up. So He will provide a way for the work to continue and even be strengthed. That being said we decided to really focus on finding and teaching families. Very difficult to do though because a lot of families here are scattered and broken. But that won’t stop us. So the other day sure enough we were going to an appointment and we walked right past a family. My companion stopped to talk to them and I turned around and walked back. Not even realizing it was a family. (Brazilians love to socialize so you see a lot of mini groups gathered all the time in the communities here). Yes! 2 kids and a mom and dad who sadly aren’t legally married—EVERYONE here just lives together because marriage is so expensive…it’s tough.But we shared a scripture and talked with them for a bit and we are going back to teach them this week. The mom was wearing a shirt that said “family day” in english so I was asking her about it. Ah! Seriously tender mercy! I really hope they will be home next time we come-I know that Lord wanted us to teach them. They were VERy receptive and open. My companion and I feel really good about them. WE ARE PRAYING THAT WE CAN TEACH AND BAPTIZE THEM! So cool.
The other experience we had was teaching a couple who lost 2 sons in the last 2 years. I’m pretty sure because they were involved with drug trafficking-common here in Brazil with rapazes (young men). It’s really sad. The 2 boys were both baptized when they were younger too but never came back to church. There are 3 other kids in the family still lving and one of them-Michiel is baptized. I think the mother and father are very open and receptive because of the emptiness they feel from what happened. We had been visiting less active youth with the YM pres. of the ward a couple weeks ago. Found this family and shared a message with Michiel-the less active son (14 years old). I kept thinking about that family and felt that we should go back. So we did this week and we’re going to start teaching the parents,hopefully with Michiel too. Maria and Israel are their names. You can just see the worry that Maria has for her son Michiel that he too could be torn away from them someday. Oh how badly I want them to see and experience what the atonement of Jesus Christ can do for them. How hearts can be healed, and hope poured into their hearts. I am praying that we will be able to have miracles with them as well.
I know that this church is a church of Families. Heavenly Father wants us to return back to Him in our families-happy and united. As cool as it is to teach and baptize individuals…how much more joyful it could be if a family was brought together because of the gospel. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ can do just that. Unite families and bind them together forever even after this life. No one ever to be lost. How grateful I am to know that I get to be with my family together forever.