There is no way for me to describe how each week here seems to get 35 times better. The mission is something entirely impossible to describe, but its something worth trying to describe, because its worth a try.
This was a week FILLED with miracles, and reasons to recognize that the Lord loves his children. I love him so much, and I love this gospel.
I absolutely ADORED our opportunity to see Vitinho get baptized. I can not explain how lucky I am to have been a part of this experience, to have the opportunity to teach a child. It makes me so excited to be a mom one day. I think that being a mom, and having the opportunity to help my children develop the love for the Lord that I have, will seriously be the best experience ever. (thanks mom for being the best mom and inspiring me here, everyday, to teach with love, and understanding). I definitely had tears as Vitinho stood there in the font with the biggest smile EVER on his face, being baptized. We talk about baptism probably 30 times every day, so this reminder of how important baptism is, this experience to see Vitinho be baptized, was so special. It is important for us to share the gospel because we really can not return to our father in heaven with our sins. We must be baptized and endure to the end to have this eternal happiness, with our families. As we remember this gift we have, sharing the gospel will always be easier.There was so much support from the ward at his baptism! He chose me to give the closing prayer, which was awesome (although it was because I speak English…haha.) And he chose the opening song (“Joseph Smith’s First Prayer”) Sister Moura lead the music and she said there were tears in his eyes. His spirit is so sweet, and so close to the Lord. He was confirmed on Sunday, and received the Holy Ghost. I will never forget his excitement, and his sweet spirit. He is already an incredible missionary.
This week the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to set 3 MORE BAPTISM DATES!
First, we have Marli and Fernando. They found the church through family history, and have kids who are teenagers and young adults (like you mom and Darren). They are SO ready for this gospel. We are helping teach them right now with the Word of Wisdom and help them understand how when the Lord commands us to do something, he will help us along the way, and bless us in other ways as well. It was the best feeling ever to walk into church and see them there. They will be baptized on 17 September. We pray for them, everyday.
Yesterday we went to work in a city of our area called Serrana. I guess our area is pretty huge, since we have a chunk of the city and also two other cities. Here we had the BEST LESSON EVER with Cleusa, because of the SPIRIT! Without Him, we can not teach. I am grateful to have a trainer who is so in tune with the Spirit. We started to teach lesson one, and then out of the blue, Sister Moura asked Cleusa if she had lost any family members recently. She says that the Spirit was speaking to her so clearly in this lesson, to ask this. She started crying and told us that her parents and another family member had recently died, and the she believed that was the end. It was such a BEAUTIFUL experience to help her understand that her family is living right now, in spirit, being taught the gospel, and preparing for the second coming of theSavior, when they will be resurrected, judged, and have the opportunity to live together, with their families and our Heavenly father and Savior Jesus Christ again. I KNOW with all of my heart that this is true. We taught her an adapted version of the Plan of Salvation, with focus on her specific necessities, and the spirit was directing the whole thing. S. Moura said that she felt the Spirit guide her to every point we needed to focus on, and every scripture. One neat thing for me about this lesson was that I felt so much like I could relate to this, having lost someone, but instead of the sadness and despair that she felt, I KNOW that I will live with my family again! I KNOW that the plan of happiness is just that! I know this with all of my heart, and I LOVE testifying of this and sharing it with others. She felt a lot better when we left, and you could see it in her that she really believes it. She accepted the invitation to be baptized, on 24 SEPTEMBER! I already love her more than I can explain!
This week I was constantly reminded of how the Plan of Salvation is so incredible. We had a lesson with Fabio, who recently lost his brother, and believes that he is just sleeping now. How special it is to testify that our loved ones live! We also had a lesson with Lucio, our friend from Portugual, who is disabled. He was in a motorcycle crash here in Brazil, and lost his wife there too. But, even though he does not practice religion, his tesimony of God, and why we pass through trials in this life, is incredible! We were SO BLESSED this week, to be able to teach him about how his wife is LIVING in spirit and how Lucio will have a perfect body during the ressurrection. The Lord loves us so much! That is something we need to remember always, and let influence our days! Sadly, we have to pass Lucio off to the missionaries who work in the area where he lives. But, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to teach him, be inspired by his faith, and help him understand the gospel, the plan of salvation. You could see it in him, how it touched him.
The gospel is something that is familiar to us because it is something we accepted in the pre-existence. Something we already know. I love the EFY song that talks about this, how it is all “so familiar” — and Alma 12:30 talks about it too, how it is something we all DEFENDED! With the plan of salvation, everything makes sense! I am so grateful for the words of the Lord here, through scriptures, the prophets and personal revelation, to heal our wounded souls (Jacob 2:8).
We knocked at the gate (haha) of a less active member named Rone, to find that he wasn’t living there anymore, BUT, the boy who answered the door was ALSO named Rone, and he invited us in, and we had an incredible first lesson. We were definitely sent to Rone, without even knowing it! We left with him a Book of Mormon and he committed to reading and praying. The incredible part was that the Book of Mormon we gave him was the same book that we took back from a house of some ex-pesqisadores we have who weren’t reading it, or appreciating it. It’s funny, because these ex-pesqisadores understand the importance of prophets, how the authority of God and the church of Jesus Christ were taken from the Earth during the apostasy, the need for the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and that the Holy Ghost will answer our prayers and testify to us of truth, but they were happy to give us back the Book of Mormon (this was during my first week here). This broke my heart. We have the best gift ever, and so often we push it aside. But, this same book, can change Rone´s life, and bless him so much.
We had a FHE this week about the atonement, with a member family, our recent converts, and also some non-members. I am so grateful that the Savior knows how to succor me, and lift me when I am down.
Some things about this week to make you smile:
– Remember how everyone says that the weather in Provo is bipolar? Well the weather in RP really is. It will be super hot one moment and then really cool the next, or raining, and then SUPER HOT. You get the picture.
– I LOVE my district so much. Sister Moura says that this district leader is the best she’s had yet, and I am so grateful for him!
– My shampoo and conditioner that I bought the first day are scented with Guarana (the most popular soda here). Imagine how it would be to wash your hair with Crush soda, or something like that. That’s pretty much how I feel everyday (but not that bad). Okay, I don’t actually mind it, but it’s pretty funny.
– I had the best EVER goiaba juice this week, and this cake with sweetened condensed milk.
– The elections are next month, so on the first of the month, the propaganda really hit hard. There are trucks that drive around announcing things with really loud radios, and it seems like everyone on the street is handing out fliers. But I guess it’s only for a month or so here. I am glad to be so far away from all of the elections over there in the U.S. 🙂 #blessed
How GRATEFUL I am to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to do his work, to help bring his children to the joy that I have, to help them prepare to return home to Him. I pray that I can be all I need to be, and do all I need to do, in order to succeed in this! None of this is because of me, it is all because of him!
Have faith have hope, live like his son, help others on their way.
SENDING LOVE AND LOTS OF HUGS!
Sarah with some fellow Sisters
A family in the area
With Sister Moura in the rain!
Sweet Vitinho’s baptism
Sarah and Sis Moura at the baptism