Monday, February 2, 2015

Ovelhas perdidas (Lost sheep)

Oi família!

Well, this week was one of those weeks where nothing and everything happens.  We had a few tough days where seemingly nothing happened but some really cool miracles happened as well.  We´re working hard and sweating a lot (it´s really hot here) but we´re having fun.  This is Élder Borges' last week of the mission and we´re going to work like crazy.

We received a list of referrals from the mission office this week that we had to contact to give feedback today.  We went hunting after some of them on Friday and it was discouraging to say the least.  As we went after them we found out that the majority of them didn´t exist.  I saw one name on the list that we hadn´t contacted, Tiago.  We looked at the map and saw that Tiago lived way at the end of our area which was even more discouraging.  We had to contact him one way or another so we headed out there.  The whole way there I just kept trying to think positive.  "This is going to work out.  He´s going to be the elect.  We´re going to baptize him."  When we finally arrived at a street I had never seen in my life we began looking for his house number, 290.  We got to the spot where his house was supposed to be to see two houses, number 294 and 288 but no 290.  We asked a few people if they knew Tiago and they said, 'He lives a little further down" and the "thought" (inspiration) came "maybe it isn´t 290, maybe it´s 190 and we just got the number wrong."  So off we went.  190 existed, so we went up and clapped (we don´t knock much here, we clap).  A man came to the gate and the conversation went something like this:
Us: Hey, do you know Tiago?
Man: Yeah, he lives on the other side of the street.  Are you guys Mormons?
Us: Well, it´s a nickname people give us.  We´re from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Man: I was baptized there.  You guys want to come in for a little bit?
Us: Sure!
So, we met Cléssio.  He was baptized about 8 years ago but after his father died it was hard for him to keep going to church.  After that he invited his girlfriend to hear our message too, Irmã Rose.  As we were getting to know them Rose said, "You know, we´ve been looking for a church to attend and we´ve been attending many different ones.  But Cléssio always says, 'I want to return to the Mormons.  I feel the best with the Mormons."  We proceded to teach about the Restoration.  After Élder Borges recited the First Vision the room was full of the Spirit.  We asked Cléssio and Rose, "How do you guys feel right now?"  and they responded, "I feel so good.  Happy and peaceful.  It´s amazing."  We testified that it was the Holy Ghost teaching them that what we had taught was true.  Then we threw out the big invitation, "Rose, with a certainty that these things are true and being prepared, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the resotred priesthood of God?"  and without pausing she said, "Yes, I will"  we testifeid about how we knew that the Lord had sent us there to find them at this critical time and how He was looking out for them.  We prayed and as we were leaving you could see the emotion in Cléssio´s eyes because he knew that the Lord was aware of him.  They came to church yesterday and loved it.  They are 100% commited to learn of and apply the gospel in their lives.  It´s awesome.  But what I learned is that even way at the end of an obscure neighborhood in Caucaia, Brazil, the Lord knows where His lost sheep are.

I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth today.  I know that Jesus Christ lives.  He is our Savior.  Joseph Smith was His prophet and Thomas S. Monson is His prophet today.  I am His representative.  This is His gospel.

Amo vocês!  Até o próximo!

Élder Evans  

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