So, taking it all into consideration, I think it will be a lot easier for you all to learn Portuguese for our Mother´s day call than it will be for me to speak in English. We taught an English class last week and for the life of me, I couldn´t speak English. Well, I could, but when I would start to speak English, I would stop thinking and Portuguese would slip out. It´s kind of funny because all of the little kids around here coming running up to us and start saying little phrases they learned in school like "What´s your name?" and I always respond "I can´t speak English" The best part is, it´s really not a lie. Long story short, I´m probably going to speak in more Portuguese this mothers day than I did during Christmas.
Also, Mom beamed me the big news, PHELPS IS COMING BACK!!!! My boy, Michael Phelps is heading to Rio. But enough of Babylon.
But this week was awesome. I learned bucketloads about myself, and my companion, and more importantly, how we can work together. There was one experience in particular that I would love to share with each of you that began as we were in our district meeting for the week. Our Zone Leaders were telling us that we needed to work harder and that the reason we weren´t having enough baptisms is because we need to give our 100% to the Lord. As I was sitting in the meeting, I felt a little lost. I´ve been trying to give my 100% to the Lord ever since I got here. I sat and I ponderd about what more I could do and the Spirit whispered to me that I needed to pray more. Though I felt a little confused, I decided to go for it.
We had an exchange later that day and our Zone Leader, Élder Santos, came here to work with me. As we knelt in prayer to begin our day I prayed specifically that the Spirit would magnify our words. WE headed to lunch, and our lunch appointment fell through. This has never happened in my time here and I was worried. I thought "great, this is a sign. Everything is going to fall through today." Well, the Lord blessed us and it all worked out. We headed to our first apointment with a man named Francisco. We made contact with his mother a few days earlier and scheduled our visit. She wasn´t available, but he was. So we began teaching about the Resoration. It was one of the most marvelous lessons I´ve ever been in in my life. Élder Santos and I were 100% in sync the whole time, even though we´ve never taught together before. The lesson flowed so smooth and Francisco understood perfectly what was happening. Then, we got to my favorite part. I explained about Joseph Smith and his grand question of which of all the churches was right. As I began to explain the First Vision, I felt the Spirit a little, but not anything grand. As I began "I saw two Personages whose brighness and glory defy all description" I suddenly became filled with the most inexplainable joy. The Spirit was working through me to testify to this man that these things are true. As I taught, my own personal testimony was renewed. As we finished the lesson we invited him to pray and seek and answer. And then invited to baptism. Without much hesitation he said "Yes. I will be baptized" It was amazing. The rest of the day was much the same. We taught, we testified, and the Spirit confirmed our words. I began to see that the experience of Brigham Young applies. He explains his conversion by saying that if all the tact in the world had tried to convince him of the truthfulness of this work, he wouldn´t have believed it. But a simple tesitmony, confirmed by the Spirit changed his life.
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God and Jesus Christ to restore the proper church of Jesus Christ to the earth. I love the opportunity I have each and every day to testify of the divinity of his work to the world, and the dear people of Ceará. I know that the Lord has blessed me beyond measure as I know He has blessed you. So, go out and share those blessings. There are millions in this world who don´t have the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Get out there and share it. They need it.