August 25, 2014–Candeais, BRAZIL

Fam bam. Ah I sent a ton of pictures and read a lot of emails of everyone that’s coming home rapazzzz! Haha I got my flight itinerary today in my inbox-3 weeks already? What on earth? Where has the time gone? 

ohhh and my computer just crashed haha the guy behind me says “ninguem merece”-nobody deserves that hahahha

Gosh I love you guys! 🙂 I hope you all had a splendid week.
This week was full of miracles.
1st of all we received a reference from the elders of a guy named Maoel. He’s 20, and is completely radiating the joy that comes from true repentance and a desire to serve God. He already wants to serve a mission. One time this week he asked…”sooo what would my last name be as an elder?” He was baptized saturday night and confirmed sunday. His sister and g’ma are members but his mae and other sister aren’t…..yet 🙂 we’re working on that 🙂 HE IS AWESOME!!!!!!!! Seriously he is a stud. So proud of him. He invited like 1/2 the institute to come to his baptism haha there were 65 people there.
The other miracle….that’s just seriously beyond miraculous is that Alex was baptized. Remember we had marked him and 3 hours before the baptism we found out he smoked? Well pretty much since then the Lord has been working on Him. It just wasn’t time yet. It was literally in the Lord’s hands. Check this out…
STORY TIME. So remember how I was on exhanges with Sister Kron? Well we visited Alex and Jociane and Alex told us he wanted to baptized again. He said that night he’d smoke 2 more cigarrettes and then not smoke anymore the following day. We went back the next day to follow up and he told us he smoked those last 2 as he said but nothing more. Later that night we went back and Alex was still at work, Jociane told us that Alex had in fact smoked the following day and that he had lied to us. We were bummed. When we got home a few minutes later we gave him a spiritual smack down and told him that there was no way he was going to be baptized if he kept being dishonest like this. With us but specifically with the Lord. we didn’t vist them for a few more days. We show up monday night
1st of all Jociane tells us:
 “hey Alex hasn’t smoked in 4 days”
 Us:  “that’s great for him hopefully he can keep it up” …we’ve heard this millions of times before…
Alex enters the room with a swollen lip, and a hugeee gash on his chin.
Alex :”Sisters did you know I haven’t smoked in 4 days?”
Us: “Sweet. But why Alex?, what’s motivating you to all of a sudden stop?”
“Well a few days ago I was working and I had stop to smoke. I went back to work soon after and as I was loading one of the carts of electric equipment the latch broke and the bar hit me in the face, right in the mouth, breaking some teeth and I  had to go to the hospital get stiches for my lip and chin and since then I haven’t smoked. I’m pretty sure it was Heavenly Father giving me a smack in the head after I smoked that last cigarrete when I told you guys I wouldn’t smoke anymore”.
We were shocked.
He told us that he remembered setting a date with us to be baptized on the 23 of august. And told us that he wanted to be baptized on that date still.
 We go back tuesday night apparently there had been some arguing etc. and they tell us they want to separate. They were tired of each other, the love they had wasn’t there anymore etc. we talked about the importance of the FAMILY and read with them a little of the family proclamation. We shared our testimonies of the importance of families and Satan DOES NOT want us to be together forever. We then made the suggestion of going and talking to the bishop as a couple, which we thought they wouldn’t be willing to. But they agreed. and the next night we went to church. They had an interview with bishop (who is AWESOME by the way-I love the bishopric in this ward!-I love everyone in this ward haha) and they made goals with the bishop to be a stronger family and to help Jociane be a more active member of the church and help Alex to be baptized.
I still don’t know how all of this happened over that last several days but it did. I think a huge difference is the union of the family. The fact that Jociane wasn’t super supportive in the past didn’t help Alex in trying to quit smoking, going to church etc. I’ve seen and learned that marriage takes work. On all fronts. Work to love, to have patience, to thinking about your spouse before yourself, work to listen with love, work to serve your spouse and SUPPORT them (HUGE). It’s possible with the help of the Lord, a relationship based on principles of faith, righteousness, forgiveness, love,prayer, learning by the word of God (scriptures, words of living prophets etc.). This is so crucial. No family is perfect, but a family that lives the gospel of Jesus Christ is blessed and strengthened above and beyond what most “strong families” have with out the gospel. I know this is true. I’ve seen this pattern in my own family and hundreds of others through out my life and specifically in my mission. The family is the central unit of the plan of our Heavenly Father. Family is everything. Done deal.
Also-Saturday we went with some recent converts and investigators to the temple and Alex said “I love the way I feel here. I want to stay here”. They will be sealed in the temple someday. Step after step.
Sister Silva and I really are still in shock that Alex was baptized…his teaching record is over 5 pages long…and more than 7 sisters have come and gone to teach him. All I can say is that I feel EXTREMELY blessed to have been able to participate in inviting come unto Christ and to actually see Alex be baptized. It hasn’t been easy. The soon to be 6 months I have here in Candeias has been spent quite a bit in that house with this family that I love so much. But I know that the Lord is merciful and that this work is all on His time clock.
I love you all, so much. I know that the work I am participating in here in Candeias is the same work that is happening all over the world and on the other side of the veil. The work of salvation. I feel like I am making the smallest, tiniest, littlest difference in the grand scheme of the plan but I know that in the end it has a ripple affect that I can’t see right now in the beginning.
Keep the faith. Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and remember “It’s always better to look up” 🙂
Love,
Sister McCleve
Manoel's baptism

Manoel’s baptism

Manoel decided to invite his institute friends

Manoel decided to invite his institute friends

Manoel's baptism

Manoel’s baptism

Manoel's baptism

Manoel’s baptism

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Manoel decided to invite his institute friends haha 65 people were there!!!!

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
Manoel decided to invite his institute friends haha 65 people were there!!!!

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