Monday, May 26, 2014

Bia's Miracle

Schools out for summer, eh? Congratulations Michael- graduation this week! YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR- I knew you would do it! Conner, when is nationals? To all of you teachers and students- just go hard and finish strong. You´ve got this!
This week was great. We had 2 baptisms: Bia and Italo. Bia is a teenager - the last in a family that was baptized a month ago. Hahaha even the rebellious come around eventually. She is just the cutest girl. Love her. See below to hear about her miracle story. Italo is a 12-year-old boy who decided immediately after visiting last Sunday that he wanted to be baptized and the best news is that his mom is hopefully going to be baptized this week too! Families!
With my new calling, I got to go on splits this week (actually I go on splits every week, but this week was AWESOME! I went out with my daughter! Aka, my ex-companion that I trained- Sister Bassi. She is so great! I LOVED working with her again; it is so funny to me that she is with my most recent companion working in my area now. I am kind of thinking Bassi and I worked a lot together before this world began, if you know what I mean. Ah.... soul sisters. Haha I feel that way about all of my companions- love every single one of them to death! The trick is teaching them to deal with ME! Haha :D
So this 40-day fast I am doing is changing my mission. I am feeling the spirit much more strongly than I have in a long time- its like a part of my greenie fire is coming back. Testifying brings tears these days and I feel every word I am saying to these people. Accompanied with that desire is a really proud love for each of my investigators. Its SO cool. Speaking of the 40-day-fast... I guess its a talk or story related by Elder Gene R. Cook called purification or sanctification. Try googling it on the internet and it should bring up this 40-day-challenge. You are invited to try it with me. And, speaking of the challenge, I wanted to share a few quotes I read this morning about sacrifice. The first 2 are by Neal A. Maxwell.
“Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us on the altar and letting it be consumed!”
“The submission of one´s will is placing on God’s altar the only uniquely personal thing one has to place there. The many other things we ``give`` are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.”
“sacrifice is the key. The Lord will not deal with you on any other basis. It is the key to controlling the powers of Heaven.” - Hartman Rector Jr. 
Then, 2 quotes from the talk itself, ``there is no limit to what you can do if you and the Lord believe that you can. If you look to Him for your strength and are willing to make the sacrifice, all things are possible.”
``You will find that as your spirituality increases, you will be literally impelled to overcome your ´failings.´”

Loved the message. Give it a shot. You will be amazed at the miracles Heavenly Father will work in your life.
And.... how does this week look? Well, tomorrow we have a mission tour again. YES. ONE. OF. THE. BEST. THINGS. THAT. HAPPEN. HERE. I will let you know how it goes. And...more splits. Should be good. I love going back to Guarabira to work with the sisters there. Tomorrow makes 14 months. Geeesh. Getting old, aren't I?
Ok. I promised to write about Bia´s miracle. So, Bia initially had no desire whatsoever to be baptized. So, we watched the restoration with her. I was a little worried when the audio stopped working and she was hardly paying attention while doing her sisters hair. But, we stuck with our plans and I began to read the subtitles to her- which allowed for discussion as the movie continued to play. I believe it turned out better that way, to be honest. Then at the end, we asked her if she believed it, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. She said yes. We then asked her if she knew that this meant that this is the only true church. Again, she said yes. We asked her then what it is exactly that makes her not want to be baptized... she kept quiet for a long time. She had talked earlier about being tired of getting baptized because she´d already been twice before in different churches. (This was the reason for hitting hard on the first lesson). After a long silence I said, ``Its because you haven't prayed yet, isn't it...`` She nodded and we invited her to pray with us that minute to close up the lesson. She refused to pray for about 6 or 7 minutes. We talked to her, testifying of how much her father in heaven wants to hear her and finally, she agreed to pray using a ``missionary speak, investigator repeat pattern``. When it came time for her to thank and ask for blessings, she did so alone, but she didn't ask for an answer... So, I told her in the prayed to ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet. She kept quiet for a long time. I changed the question, telling her to ask for the strength to be baptized Sunday. Again, she wouldn't speak. After a long pause, we knew she was done- she wouldn't say anything else. So, we closed the prayer and standing up, I asked her why she wouldn't speak.... and asked her if she knew these things were true... She looked at me with eyes seriously sparkling as she said, I know its true. I asked her how she felt during the prayer and she said, ``Its funny, because I really didn't want to be baptized but when you told me to ask those questions, I felt something.`` I asked her if she knew that God wanted her to be baptized. She said yes. I asked her, ``So, are you going to be baptized...``She asked if she could give me an answer next week when her sister (recent convert) shouted out, ``Oh woman just get baptized already!`` I looked at her sister, shocked really, and said, ``you really want her to get baptized don't you...`` Her sister responded, ``Yes, and I know she will, the day i was baptized i dreamed that bia got baptized the same way i did.`` And in that moment, when her sister testified like that, Bia jumped for joy, grinning from ear to ear and said, ``I will!`` And then everyone was hugging and laughing and honestly, I walked out of there just wanting to cry. Folks, THAT is the power of prayer. This is God´s work, and He gives His children answers- it was another testimony to me of the power of prayer and a testimony that the Spirit converts God´s children- He speaks to them. He really does. That is the power of prayer, and that is the power of love (love between 2 sisters that may or may not have made me think of my own. Shout out to Katie).

Anyways, I hope the story made sense, as you know, I am always in a hurry. But I LOVE this work. I love this Gospel. I love being a missionary- this is my life- the best I have ever lived it. Its everything I never knew I needed.

Have a wonderful week- proud of you all. Love you all. Thinking of you all. Sorry, still don't have pics- I will fix that. 

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