Wednesday, September 24, 2014

15 September 2014

My dear ones,
This was one of the best weeks ever! It was crazy because basically nothing went as planned. It all went better. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So at the end of the week we were a little short of meeting our goals, but we were determined to do it. It was Sunday night (the last day of our week) and we needed two new investigators. We started knocking on doors and miracle! someone let us in! It was a nice old lady, Magdalena, who listened to a message but when we asked if we could mark a day to come back, she was like no, it was super crazy that you found me at home because I am never at home. It will be a miracle if you find me again. Good thing we believe in miracles. But anyway she didn´t really express interest so we were still in the search!
We visited Álvaro, who got baptized three weeks ago, and met his father-in-law! He was super cool- a little set in his ways (spent 10-15 minutes straight explaining his moral philosophy that he has developed his whole life) but agreed to listen and to read and pray. As we were leaving, we asked Álvaro if he had anyone he could present us to. He said yes! And brought us to meet his neighbor, Carlos, who readily accepted the message and our invitations to read and pray. He said he want´s to see a lot of changes in his life as a result of the gospel. Álvaro was great, explaining everything and bearing his testimony about how his life was changed. He even wrote down the steps of prayer so Carlos would be able to remember. So basically the Lord put people into our path. He´s amazing like that.

Highlight of the week- Eliza´s baptism! She is amazing!!!!! So this week she got struck with a terrible cold and unexpected pains and lots of crazy stuff- had to go to the hospital for exams, etc. Friday night she was worse than ever but said that she still wanted to go through with it. She had prayed and said that she received her answer, that she truly felt that this is what she wants and what God wants for her and her family. Saturday night, still with a crazy cold and even though the water was cold (the gas ran out at the chapel! ahh!!!) she came through and was baptized! Carina, her daughter (purple shirt in the photo) wants to get baptized too and even though she works most Sundays she has already committed to come every Sunday she has off and try to find another job that lets her get Sundays off. Eliza wore a new skirt that she bought to church on Sunday and it was great to see her and Waltair together at church!! I just love that family! 
Letícia, a member of the ward, is Eliza´s niece. She is the first member of her family to be baptized and she shared her testimony at the baptism and through tears expressed her happiness to see the first member of her family, other than herself, be baptized. It was a beautiful moment for everyone. Families! Ahh!!!
Other miracle of the week was Marco. I was on a division with Sister Seely and we talked to a couple in the street. We marked to go back, and yesterday we visited with Marco on his front patio. The Lord is truly preparing people. When we got there, he said that his work friend, Bispo Teixeira (from another stake) had already introduced him a while ago to a lot of stuff, given him a huge stack of Liahona´s and stuff. AND! That  he had already researched the church on AND that he had already downloaded the Book of Mormon in PDF and liked what he had read so far. He said he is a big fan of the church but has never had the opportunity to receive missionaries before. We are the lucky firsts! He is super smart and already knows about a whole bunch of stuff. He knew about President Hinckley, and we were pleased to inform him that it´s now President Monson that came after him and basically, it was just a delight to teach him.

 Theme of the week, Alma 13:24 "For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for thepurpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
I testify that that is true.
And not just here! The Lord and His angels work everywhere, preparing people to receive the restored gospel and to receive hope and light in their lives. It´s funny because, like with Carlos, it is usualy the last door, the last idea, the last hope, that comes through. It is usually after much rejection that comes reception. The Lord has prepared successes, but first we pass through tribulations and tests of our faith. But the gospel is true and we have everey reason to rejoice! Woohoo!!

Love you guys,

Sister Smith

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