Well boy do we have news this week. I have about a million things running through my head right now and I have to write down the most important ones. But it´ll all work out. I´m finding that it´s becoming more and more difficult to write in English now (seriously, who ever would have thought that) but I´m managing.
Remember when Élder Andersen came and visited here? Well, the church newsroom has an article about what happened on the link below. Enjoy!
But this week has been a set of ups and downs. Wednesday was our farewell conference for President and Sister Souza. They bore testimony, gave hugs, gave ties (I got two!), and it was generally a super awesome spiritual experience. They gave some good parting advice to everyone and we got to meet the missionary that baptized Sister Souza. It was cool to hear his testimony because he said "You don´t know who you baptize" and then went on to tell us about how cool it is that Sister Souza is the wife of a mission president. Then Sister Souza got up and explained about their family that is all active in the church with many serving in prominent leadership positions, all of the 620 missionaries they cared for (and I was one of them *swelling with pride*) and all that good jazz. In general it was a really good meeting even though I cried a little. I really don´t like crying. But then this morning I saw President Bonini in the office when we went by to get materials. We shook hands and then he headed into his office with the assistants for a meeting or something. Sister Bonini seems super cool, but we´ll have a little more time to get to know them in the conference on Wednesday.
Remember the woman from last week, Rosa? Yep, she´s doing awesome. She said that the first day without coffee was like death but after that didn´t have anym more problems. She is truly an elect of God. We were so lucky to find her.
But the big news of the week is that the Lord qualifies the called. He does not (and I can testify to this) call the qualified. The past week my companion and I closed our area for a day and a half to head down to Canindé, which is a city about 2 hours south of here, to do exchanges with the missionaries there. One of them is my good buddy Élder Lima (remember him? I wrote about him December 16th last year. I love that guy) and Élder Tamanho said I should do an exchange with him. We had a blast. It was good to do some good work with Élder Lima again and to see a more experienced missionary do work. We taught this one lady, Leda, who said she had read and prayed the same day that Élder Lima and his companion had passed by. Élder Lima asked her how she had felt during the prayer and she responded by simply saying "better." As missionaries this is the sign that the Spirit has answered but instead Élder Lima asked "do you believe that this was an answer from God?" and she said, "yes". I was super cool to see that the Spirit doesn´t need to shout at us to get our atention. If we´re listening and seeking for what the Spirit has to say, we will be guided. Which was one thing that I learned personally as well. It´s interesting to see how things change on the mission. Élder Lima was my leader for such a long time, and now I´m his leader. As such, we talked as we were walking about his difficulties and his challenges. The problems they´re facing in Canindé and how he can help his trainee become a better missionary. The miraculous thing for me was that as Élder Lima was talking to me, I was able to come up with something to say! What was even better was that it helped him! It showed me that the Lord always prepares those he has called. I had no desire to be a leader, especially over someone who was already my leader, but the Lord made me capable. Am I perfect? No. But the Lord has magnified my talents and abilities in ways I never thought possible. This is the Lord´s work. Were it now, I would not be here. I testify that Christ lives. He is our Savior. This is His church.
Até o próximo,
P.S. The photo is the last day I saw President and Sister Souza