Wow. This week was full of ups and downs and very few in-betweens. I guess you could say that things are getting harder in the work as many of the people that were progressing lost interest and desire. While the week was a little more sad, we had some amazing things happen with a family that we´re teaching that will be the theme of this e-mail, the Week of Miracles.
Let´s backtrack a little. Two weeks ago, we were preparing a young girl named Vitória to be baptized. We had initially be teaching the family, but all of them decided that they didn´t want to participate for now, except Vitória. So, Vitória has been faithfully reading the Book of Mormon, stopped drinking coffee, and has attended church every single week for over a month. We were talking with the family and everything was going well. They said that Vitória could be baptized without any problem, even though they didn´t want to be at the moment. We were so pumped. The day of the baptismal interview, we passed by to go to the interview when the father answered the door and said "well, we´ve decided that we´re not going to let it happen anymore." We entered and began discussing with them what was happening what they were feeling and for what motive they had suddenly denied their daughter the opportunity to be baptized. It was a super powerful experience for me because as a missionary sometimes it´s hard to be bold and straightforward about some things. But as we were teaching and explaining that Vitória wants to be baptized in the only church that has the authority of God, the Spirit was very strong. He testified that this was truly the way that Vitória needed to follow and that her parents needed to let her be baptized to obtain the fullness of our Father´s blessings. One way or another, her parents decided that they would have to think about it and that we could return the next week.
That weekend, we did a fast with our zone that we could have more baptisms and that they people we´re preparing could be baptized during this month. The day that we marked to return to speak with Vitória´s family, we (well, I) approached the door with aprehension, praying that we would have the Spirit. We knocked and he father opened the door. The conversation went something like this:
Us: Hey, do you have a little that we could talk to you guys some more?
José (Vitória´s father): Yes, is it about Vitória being baptized?
José: We´ll allow it. No problem.
I almost fell over backwards. The week before had been a battle just to get a return appointment and now they would allow the baptism? They sure did.
This past Saturday was Vitória´s baptism. The Spirit was so sweet as we were at the baptismal service. The young women sang a beautiful number that filled the chapel with the Spirit. What was even more amazing, all of Vitória´s family came to watch the baptism. They all enjoyed it. We invited them to come to church the next day to witness the confirmation, but they all said, "I don´t know. Probably not, but we´ll see."
The next day Élder Tamanho and I were walking to church. We looked in front to see Rosa (yep, our recent convert) with Vitória walking to church. I saw another woman with them too, that I though was a member that lives close to Rosa and Vitória. Then as we got closer, I realized that it was Fransisca, Vitória´s mom!! It was awesome! We had almost no investigators with us in chruch yesterday, but the simple fact that a mother and a daughter could be there together for that special moment was everything. The meeting yesterday was so full of the Spirit and was very powerful. We passed by their house afterwards and Fransisca said "one of these days I really want to stay for the classes afterwards, but if I have the courage next week that I had this week, I will go to chruch with you next week."
I´ve seen a large number of miracles on my mission. Most of them were small, little things, like the tender mercies of the Lord. But what I saw and witnessed this past week was nothing short of a miracle. My God is a God of miracles. He has never ceased to be one and will never cease to produce such wonders in our days. As we exercise our faith, the Lord will work miracles in our lives.
Amo vocês. Até o próximo milagres
P.S. Have I already said that I love being a missionary?!?!?!?!?