Wednesday, February 25, 2015

25 February 2015

Each moment becomes more and more precious as it goes by faster and faster.  We did an activity with all the sisters here in Pelótas so we had to split our email time, that´s why the letter is late....

This Sunday we had a funny experience. We have been working so hard to get a family to church and we have been praying and praying and we decided to fast this Saturday to help this family. We went to their house early Sunday morning and stood outside in the rain for 30 minutes and called and called and.....nothing. 

We were sad. We had done everything we could but they ended up not coming to church. However, the Lord had different plans for us. At church, Fernanda and Eduardo brought not only Andressa and Anderson, their two little kids, but also Gustavo and Allison, two other kids that had gotten back from their month long vacation with relatives during school break. It was amazing to see such an adorable family all sitting together and was the answer to our prayers. We want to see families joining the church, and this family is preparing to make that step. 

The Lord also worked another miracle in our ward. Ever since Julia´s baptism, the young women have been getting really excited about missionary work. They all went together (including Elizabeth!) to make visits to less active young women and resolve differences that have been between them for years. That takes a lot of courage. The result? A group of young women that had two sometimes three members has now almost quadrupled in size. There was hardly enough space in the young women´s room. Young women that had not been to church in years were there on Sunday, listening attently and preparing for the upcoming youth conference. 

One special miracle was Cristian´s framily. We visited them Saturday. He has not been to church in years, but has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith. He faces a lot of opposition but knows what he needs to do. We challenged him act on the precious gift of his testimony. His home teachers have never stopped visiting and the young women went and visited his daughter as well on Saturday. We challenged his 9 year old son to wake up early and jump on his dad until he comes to church. 

Sunday morning we arrive and as we enter the gates, we see a car pull up. Out steps Cristian and João (son). His daughter had already gotten a ride with the young women. We gave João a high five and asked if he jumped on his dad. He smiled and said " I didn´t even need to!" Cristian was met with hugs, smiles, and old friends nearly in tears. It was a beautiful moment to see the whole ward rejoicing in the return of the one. We all rejoiced knowin that the small efforts of everyone combined had brought to pass this wonderful event. 

Marcos also came to church again! He is working hard to stop smoking and is so willing to accept challenges and make changes. The Lord´s hand is at work here. 

In Helaman 14 we read about the reason we are here. We want everyon to know this good news. The joy that can come when we repent, when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and gain the hope of eternal life. 

 11 And ye shall hear my words, for, for this intent have I comeup upon the walls of this city, that ye might hear and know ofthe judgments of God which do await you because of youriniquities, and also that ye might know the conditions ofrepentance;

 12 And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ,the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creatorof all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of thesigns of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on hisname.

 13 And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins,that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits.

I am so grateful to be a missionary. So grateful to have the chance to wear the name of the Savior Jesus Christ. 


Sister Smith

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