The mission is pretty dang sweet because every moment brings growth. I feel like every week has a take away. Whether it be faith, courage, or trials, God puts purpose in our path. This week was one of the most physically and mentally tiring of my mission. And the take away was being observant. This take away has always been a strong point for me. If you know my dad, then you know where I learned of being observant. But on the mish, I’ve had to fine-tune my spiritual observancy. I love Doctrine and Covenants 103:7 in which we learn that observing all the words or teachings of Christ, we shall always prevail. Of late, I’ve been making a real effort to observe spiritual impressions which cause miracles.
When I got to Santa Cruz, I was able to organize my desk which was cluttered with dozens of useless papers. As I almost threw away the stack of papers, I felt a need to look through them. Upon observing the papers, I found an old, small spiral paper with a list of names, addresses, and crazy math/numbers. I grabbed the paper and stored it in my folder. This week, I came upon the paper feeling a need to visit the listed families. With our planning completed, my comp and I went out to contact. The first couple names on the list didn’t turn out so great. Finally, we went to contact one of the last families on the list: George and Franchesca. We got to a crazy address and entered a tiny alleyway. We got to the end and asked about the names. The boss or owner of the crazy apartment complex told us that they had moved 8 years ago. At this point, I was a little confused, but we decided to leave. As I turned to walk out, I observed an open door just outside the complex fences. When I looked, I saw a little girl and felt an undeniable feeling to go and teach there now! So we left the alleyway and took another alleyway until we found the house. We clapped and a woman and the little girl appeared. Without saying a single word, they let us in. We asked if they had previously met missionaries, and they replied nope. We shared a wonderful lesson with Adriano, Rosa, Sabrina, Jonaton, e Monitelli. They also had a visitor in house named Marici who heard the message. We got her address and were able to teach her husband Adolf, who calls me alemaozindro (little German), and their grandson, Eric. From one observance, 8 people or 2 families went to church alone without us picking them up. All are crazy to get baptized but first need to be prepared with more lessons, living commandments, and gaining testimonies.
Another experience with observance came from a morning run. When my German running buddy and I left to run at 6:00 am, we observed that all of the doors were open. When we got back, all of our money had disappeared. At first, we thought it was a joke, but then we realized we had been robbed. In total, we lost 600 reais (about $197), but the robber left our cameras, credit cards, and Ipods. I was happy and thanked the Lord that we were protected, and our most valuable items were left. I learned that we needed to be observant in locking doors, hiding money and protecting ourselves.
The last experience I had with observance was kind of funny but had awesome results. One night we had a family to visit who lives way in the boonies of our area. My comp wanted to walk to save the 1 dollar bus ride, but I was like no, no, no and said that I’d pay for his bus ride. So we took the bus and took the different route to the center. When we passed Walmart, a woman called us down and asked, “How do lessons/teaching work with you guys?” She explained how her family has all of the necessities of life, but they were always fighting about money. She said she had been praying that we would feel the spirit and knock at her house. When she said that I felt a little disappointed that we hadn’t knocked there, but later, I realized that maybe she was the one who needed to take the first step in calling us down. When we went to teach, she asked if I was American. I replied yes, and she said that 13 years ago an American and Paulister (a native or inhabitant of the city of São Paulo, Brazil) had taught her about the restoration of Christ’s church. She had almost been baptized, but in the last moment, desisted. She told us that the things we had taught her were the things she had been taught 13 years ago, but this time things were different. This time, she was married legally, has no addictions, and this time she is passing a family need. Her only wish is to have a happy family. We promised her many blessings and she accepted to be baptized.
Overall, the week was amazing. In total, our branch had 28 visitors. The gospel principles class was lotado or filled with so many people that we had to teach in the cultural hall. All of the missionaries in the branch gave talks, and we finished the reunion with 6 baptism. 5 of the other companionship and 1 of ours, Alberth! We have been teaching him for 4 weeks now, and he has made big changes in his life. He wants to serve a mish in a foreign country. Overall amazing week! I’m dead tired, but I know being observant to the spiritual whispers of the spirit brings miracles. Have an awesome week. Thanks for the prayers.
|Baptisms in the district this week|
|Alberth in the white suit|
|P-Day Parque da Gruta (Cave park)|
|The Fruit Salad life is REAL|