Yep! Better start incorporating Portuguese in my weekly letters again because my VISA shows "ready for pick up". Questions? Talk to Mom. She knows everything. But... I still don't have my VISA here, in hand or anything - so I'm in Oregon still until I get a letter or call from President Morby, here. I'll keep you all updated. Pretty exciting, but I think I'll be here for a few weeks more and that's perfect because I really feel like the work is just getting started here! We have so many great potential investigators, and our "favorite" ** is finally considering a baptismal date. Wahooo! Its about time.
*Note: "favorite investigator" is a term we throw around out here- it changes daily. Hahaha.
Ok! So it has been an incredible week - granted, every week on a mission is incredible. I LOVE it! So, bad news first, to get it out of the way: We had to drop one of our investigators - the one we took to the temple. His Alzheimer's is getting really bad and he can't remember anything we teach him. It's so sad because I know he would be baptized by now if he could remember things he has been learning. He is a sweet man, and we will miss him, but I think there is not much we can do for him. I have no doubt that he will whole-heartedly accept the gospel in the Spirit World. Really hard decision. :/
Ok, now for good news because that was a little bit too depressing. We were doing guided tracting Wednesday and went to go see a former investigator. When we pulled up, she was outside playing with her son. We said hello and she said, "You're the missionaries, aren't you..." We said yes and immediately she told us to come inside. She told us her story - she has really hit rock-bottom in her life and has a really hard time with the Word of Wisdom. Things have been tough for her and she said, "I'm so glad you girls came over, because I was just about to call you.... I know God sent you because I really need you right now." Um... wow. I love being a missionary. But it gets better. Then she says, "well, I have been reading in the Book of Mormon". K, wait, pause, hold up, WHAT???? Yep, folks, she has been studying Alma even before we show up! Basically, long story short: she already knows the church is true, she knows the Book of Mormon is true and she wants her son to grow up with the church (because she wished she'd grown up with it). When we prayed with her before we left she said, "I can feel God here with us when you just prayed. I know you are messengers of God." We are meeting again with her tomorrow, and we are so excited! She is amazing. Oh, and she already is begging to be baptized. She said, "I want to be washed clean and I want the Holy Ghost with me as a constant companion." Wow. Yeah, basically my mind is blown. Obviously she has a long road ahead of her, but we are so happy for her and are trying to help her get to the point where she can be baptized. That was the highlight of my week, and to be honest, my mission thus far.
Friday we had a lesson with another investigator (as mentioned above) and his wife. We watched the John Tanner movie. It really hit home with them because the wife was healed by a priesthood blessing, and we are trying to help the husband find the faith to be baptized. Ulitmately, he doesn't want to be pushed, as I have mentioned before, but this is the first time he has actually said he will pick a date for baptism. It was an amazing lesson! We are so happy for him, and I'll let you know how that goes, as well. Otimo!
Saturday we helped a new family move into the ward. That was really great. I was glad to get some heavy lifting in. Hahaha. I need more exercise out here - but I'm working on it. It was also so neat to see the ward welcome the new family with open arms -- I love the ward here- they are amazing.
Mom, I really loved the scripture you shared with me last week- Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." We really are all lost without Jesus. I always knew that but it's a concept I'm really learning to understand and recognize here on a mission.
Ok. Fun thing from this week: Go check out Elcio Romano's video on Mormon.org. He is from Brazil. And it's all in Portuguese. Ok, no, you probably won't understand it, BUT! You can see some pretty cool beaches in Brazil! :)
One cool scripture I wanted to share: 1 Nephi 2:20. I don't have time to type it out. But, subsitute the word land for future/ spouse/ investigator/ blessing/etc whatever best applies to you! Really our happiness and futures depend on keeping the commandments!
Also, look up The Fourth Missionary by Lawrence E. Corbridge. It is amazing! It applies to all of us - not just the missionaries. The idea is that it is NEVER to late to change. And ultimately, the easiest way to live is to fully submit your will to God. I promise that THAT is the truth! You will be happy when you surrender your will to His.
Okay. I'm out of time. I love you all so so much! Have a wonderful week! Thanks for all of your support!
P.S. Ashley Dana- congratulations on your call :) And Katie, my beloved hermanita, congratulations to you too! You'll be hearing from me soon.