First, go read that talk (Mountains to Climb, by Elder Eyring). It's reaaaaaally good.
Ok. So this week was just a roller coaster! Sister Christoffersen is such an incredible missionary, and I love serving with her. No Dad, she doesn't have an accent. I think that may be West Virginia...but who knows! (Certainly not me. Geography=not my strong point). She's just really determined to do all she can to share the gospel with everyone. She knows who she is, and why she's here (I meant that as in her purpose as a missionary...but it works for life too!), and she wants all the other people to know just how special they are as well! We've talked a lot this week about what standards we're going to set for ourselves for the rest of our lifes---our "promises to me". I love it. I love, love, love it! I know the mission will pass by so fast, so it's important to know how I want to change because of it. I try to treasure every moment here...literally, we are called by God to serve Him and His children. There is no greater calling than this!
We were blessed with a ton of new investigators this week! We've had some days of flat out miracles, as we do everything we know how, and then watch the Lord do His work. For example, recently we were walking to our next appointment, and started talking to a woman that was going for a walk. We talked a while (it was an appointment a little far away!) about the gospel, about her family, etc...and all the way, testifying of how the gospel will bless her. She was so receptive, and moved here just 3 months ago. Just before she turned to go a different direction than us, she stopped and looked me in the eyes. "I'm a widow," she told me, and tears immediately filled her eyes. The way she said it, I felt as if it may have been one of the first times she's said that, or really admitted it. I made the connections--her and her four children moved here from Sergipe (no where close) just 3 months ago. She doesn't know anyone here. Literally, I think he passed away recently and that she's really struggling. She had commented that she goes on long (reeeally long) walks every day now...I can just see how all of it just shows that she's suffering, and needs to know about the Plan of Salvation. She needs to feel the love of our Savior. And we felt so, so amazed that Heavenly Father had sent us to walk over there, and so grateful that we had opened our mouths to speak.
A lot of our investigators we found WERE miracles! Once we were walking, "Hey, Sisters!"--there was a woman who moved here that studied with the missionaries in her old city. Another was a family that was a referral from a man that doesn't even live in Salto! He lives in Campinas but was working here that day, and talked about the gospel with a family that lived in the house he was installing a fridge in or something. So he asked if they'd like to learn about the church, wrote down their address, and then saw us on the street! One was just kind of fun--it was about to rain, and I didn't want my stuff to get all wet, so I asked for a garbage sack from a family sitting in front of their house. Then suuuuper obviously, "oh, I don't want to get my Bible wet! Or my Book of Mormon!" as I cheerfully placed the Book of Mormons (Books of Mormon? haha) in the sack. And the man asked, "What's the Book of Mormon?" Pahahahaha. I LOVED IT. We left them with a teaser and asked if they wanted to learn more. "Oh yeah, definitely!" Wooohoo!!!!
The really sad part of this week was that Roberto did not get baptized. We had some incredibly powerful and spiritual lessons with him, and he shared his testimony with us. It all started with him knowing that the Book of Mormon is true, and then his faith grew to the point that he told us he knows the Church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that he needs to get baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ. Really, that testimony is so important. We're not here just to tell people about a "cool message" that will make them happier and deal with stress and learn how to be a better person. Will all that come? Absolutely. But we're here to testify--we have a loving Heavenly Father. His PERFECT plan for us is that we learn to exercise our faith in Him, and change. That we need to make the covenant of baptism and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! And that's the only way we can have eternal happiness, and live with our families forever. There is no other way--only through Christ. And that's what Roberto understood. Just that...the fight is real. And Satan worked really hard on him, and Saturday, he didn't show up to the baptism. We did everything we could, but didn't get in touch with him. Finally, Saturday night he sent us a text message explaining that he had invited his brothers to come to his baptism, and they started talking anti, and telling him it was the wrong choice to make. They didn't want to have any more to do with him. He started doubting his own ability to follow with faith, and he just got scared....it was really sad. But we talked to him, and he still really wants to get baptized. So we're praying a lot that he'll be able to feel the Spirit helping him to make this next decision.
More then anything, what I know is that the gospel is true. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. He wants us to be happy, and He's given us the gospel to help us reach our full potential--to become like Him! I know that our Savior loves every one of us. He is the Good Shepherd, and he knows His sheep. He'll take care of them all. So....you know how I love "We are all Enlisted"? So true. But the words are different in Portuguese. Roughly translated, "We are the soldiers who battle against evil. Let's march!" Adding that extra layer onto the song....I am enlisted. I am a soldier in God's army. We are here to fight against evil, against darkness, against sadness and sorrow. And we are happy! Because we have the light of the gospel, truth is our helmet, buckler, and shield....
Just go sing. Keep on singing. It's all true.
I hope you all have a great week. Do something to share your testimony every day!
"The grass is greener on the other side" ...literally!
A rainy night, waaaaaay far away from home...waiting for the bus!
The view from our bedroom window.