We had not one, but two baptisms and confirmations this past week, and I highly doubt that there is a happier missionary in all of Brazil right now. The morning of the baptism we had so many problems, so much went on and there was so much confusion about when and how and where Hiago would be baptized. He is 9, and his mom and his moms family are members, so we had to coordinate with them and it was such a mess. We also had to go to another church in a different bairro for his baptism, and Sister Freitas and I had never been there, so we were a little nervous about that. Then we showed up and he wasnt there. But he showed up, thankfully =]
Our other baptism has been called a miracle, and that is a very humbling thing to hear. Edla has been going to church for the past 2 years without fail and almost all of her children are members, but she went through many pairs of missionaries and still refused to be baptised. She gives lunch to the missionaries every week, and they always share a spiritual thought afterwards, and my first Wednesday here I gave the thought and I invited her to be baptised - this was my very first baptismal invite on the mission. She didnt accept or not accept, kind of more of a, We will see, sort of an answer, and we have worked with her ever since. But about two weeks about she set a date for herself because her daughter was going to be here. My goodness, when we started to tell people in the ward that Irma Edla was going to be baptised.... I wish you could see my face right now =D Everyone was incredulous, and more than one person said what a miracle it was. And I believe it. It is an answer to so many prayers, and I will never forget it. I have no words to describe how I felt at that baptism.
The next day - Sunday - was kind of a mess, too. We were trying to get our investigators to church, and by the time church started we only had one. So Sister Freitas and I set out to find more people. We invited everyone we saw. An hour later, we returned to church with 1 more investigator to find out that Hiago wasnt at church, and the member we had asked to pick him up said that no one was home. This was really bad, because he needed to be confirmed in Sacrament Meeting (which we have last here). So Sister Freitas and I set out again to the opposit side of the bairro. We showed up at his house and his aunt, sister and brother were there, but not Hiago. So we sent his brother off to find him and we offered one of the most ferverent prayers I have ever given. 10 minutes or so later he came walking down the road with his brother. I have never been so releaved in my life. Turns out he had woken up at 6 that morning to get ready and waiting and waiting until 10am when he finally decided no one was coming and so he went to play. We got to Sacrament right as they were finishing the confirmation of Irma Edla, just in time to have Hiago confirmed. I am a very, very, very, very blessed missionary, and I am trying so hard to show my gratitude to my Father in Heaven by working even harder.
This next week should be interesting - we have a conference of sorts in Iléus tomorrow, and then I will stay there until Friday moring on an exchange with Sister Forester! I am excited to be able to work with her again, although I still want to be here to help Sister Freitas accomplish the goals we have set. This week, the goal the ZLs gave for us is to have a Zona de Exelência. Presidente Vecchi set a few goals for the mission, and when a companionship meets those goals they have followed the Pattern of Excellence. So the goal for the zone is to have every companionship meet these goals of the President. We are praying and working really hard to make this happen. Again, one of the hardest things is getting people to church, but we will make it happen with the companionship of 3 - Sister Freitas, me, and the Lord =]
I hope all is well with vocês! I miss you and love hearing from you!
Até mais -
Pictures sent this week.
|Itabuna at night|
|Our desks and our tiny area map|
|Sister Freitas and eu|
|Elders Adrezzo and Fernandes, my first ZLs|
|Elders Fernandes & de Campos, my new ZLs|
|Baptism of Hiago|
|Edla's baptism, she was baptized by Irmao Castro|