Well, these past few weeks have been pretty legit. All of our baptisms that we had planned fell through. BUT, we´ve found some super awesome new investigators and we have a couple that will get married on the 7th so the husband can get baptized. We´re still working with his girlfriend, but for now he´s the only one committed.
But, that´s the cool thing. Élder Bradley and I have been thinking a ton about what we can do to have more success, especialy in baptizing. We´ve been lacking in baptismal numbers lately and we want to really stretch and baptize this transfer, ideally every week (hey in Brazil, you can do things like that). I´ve been praying a lot about what I can do personally to really baptize more because I felt for a while that I wasn´t really a "baptizing missionary." Then I remembered a short discourse I read once from Élder Balard that said, "the difference between a baptizing missionary and a non-baptizing missionary is all in the attitude."
So, here´s where we get to the story of Regis and Maria. Remember Elizabeth from a few weeks back? Well, her baptism didn´t come through. But, he daughter and son-in-law who are living with her right now have great potential. Her son-in-law, Regis, is a less-active member of many years and her daughter, Maria, is not a member. We began to teach them all together and after the first lesson Maria seemed skeptical. She said she was willing to pray. We returned a few days later and presented The Book of Mormon. She accepted it easily, though she and Elizabeth both still seemed reluctant to accept the message. As we were leaving I had a slight feeling that we needed to leave Alma 32 with her. We left it and we started praying like crazy that everything would work out. The following Sunday, they slept through church, but we visited them the following night. When we showed up, it was as if a miracle had occured. Maria´s original skeptecism had completely dissapeared. She began asking questions about the Book of Mormon and then shared with us a scripture that she really liked Alma 32:27 that talks about "experimenting on the word". Then, with no prompting from us, she said "So basically, I have to try out what you guys are saying and that will confirm to me that these things are true." We were a little shocked that everything came together so fast but testified "Yes! That´s what you need to do!" We continued to visit throughout the week and she had some of the most amazing questions. We learned a lot about the importance of scripture study to answer her questions as well. Then she came to church yesterday with Regis. We left them at their house and said if we weren´t transfered that we´d drop by that night. We waited anxiously for the call and Élder Santos glady announced we´d be staying. We kneeled in prayer before we headed out and I asked our Father in Heaven to bless us with a miracle. We booked it to Regis and Maria and as we began the conversation she said "so we need to get married before I get baptized?" After explaining that they would have to be married they said "well, we´ll probably wait, because we have to return to Regis´ house to care for his mom" (who lives close to São Paulo). I then said "well, if we mark your marriage this week, you can be married before the end of the month before you have to return to Minas Gerais" and they responded "Really?" "Absolutely" we said. So, they´ve agreed to get married now so that she can be baptized now. But that´s the blessing. We really believed that a miracle could happen. I think this applies to all of us. If we really believe miracles can happen, they will. But we have to be willing to let the Lord work. So, make some miralces happen in your own lives.
Até o próximo milagre,