Well, it´s been quite the week. Plenty of ups, and a few downs, but that´s life. Fortunetely, with my new positivity kick (though we all know I wasn´t much of a downer to begin with) even appointments falling through have been exciting, in one weird way or another.
Também, I´m sending pictures this time! One is of us with Aluizio and Regylani at their baptism. The other is of the family we baptized. Leandro (on the left) baptized one of the family members who are the five in the middle. Probably two of the greatest days of my life. Happiness abounds at baptisms.
But, the subject of the e-mail may appear a tad strong. Basically, I´m learning a lot about charity this week. Our chapter of Pregar Meu Evangelho (Preach My Gospel) this month is chapter 6, Developing Christlike Attributes. As I´ve been able to study more about charity, I´ve seen how it is literally the base of everything we do to help other people. This study has been amazing in helping me to overcome my biggest problem as a missionary, listening. In Kansas, it´s a little more easy to listen to what people have to say because they´re speaking English. In Brasil, no one speaks English so listening is a full force effort. At times it´s really easy to let my mind wander as people are talking. But as I´ve studied more about effective questions, listening, and true charity, miracles have happened.
When I arrived we went to see a family, Nena and Bernardo. Their daughter, Raiane, was baptized a month or so ago and they´ve been hearing the good word since then. Irmã Nena has been to church a few times but Irmão Bernardo has never been. We were wraping up our lesson and I felt they needed still more support. So I came out and said "We are here as representatives of Jesus Christ to help each of you to come closer to Him and one day have an eternal family." and the Spirit intensified like crazy. We asked what they needed to do to receive this and they admitted they need to be baptized into the only church of Jesus Christ and that Irmão Bernardo needs to come to church. We asked Irmão what was impeding his arrival at church and he admitted his fears. Then the Spirit poured out of my mouth and said "You have no need to worry. As representatives of Jesus Christ we will remain by your side during the whole 3 hours" and he said "Alright. I will go to church this week." As we were walking away Elder Bradley said "Wow, he´s never said he´ll come to church, ever before" and that is the power of listening to the Spirit and to the people. God knows when we´re really listening, and when we honestly show that we´re willing to sacrifice our own personal desires to meet the needs of His children, miracles happen.
It´s experiences like this that always testify to me that this is truly the only church of Jesus Christ on the earth. The Book of Mormon is evidince of this divine work, and is the whole reason why I´m serving here now. Read it. Read it over and over again and it will change your life just as it changed mine. Miracles are real. I´m seeing them every single day.
Até mais! Amo muito cada um de vocês!