June 9, 2014
Dear Family, world, whoever it is that will read this....
I hope you're doing great! We've had a really, truly amazing week. Remember Vânia? She accepted a baptism date!!!! She knows that this is true, but she still feels a little of that fear to make a decision. (Prayers welcomed) She's doing so great....she's reading and praying, and thinking about the gospel all the time. The other day she asked us, "Sisters--how can I know when I have an answer from God? How do I recognize the answer He gives me?" Good question!!! We had an awesome lesson with her and really helped her to see how the Spirit had already answered her prayers, and would continue to do so. Then she came to Stake Conference, and Elder Scott spoke (it was a...what is that word. Transmission? from Salt Lake) and gave his little spheal about prayer! It was perfect! Just going to Conference was a huge act of faith. Her mom was leaving to go out of town for the next 4 months to visit her sister in the states, and there was a little going away event for her. But Vânia decided to use another time to say goodbye to her mom, and woke up, got her three little girls ready, and brought them to church at the Stake Center--where she's never been before. I love this woman......
Stake Conference was great. Saturday night was about the Work of Salvation, and one of the counselors in the stake presidency told a story. There was a stake activity on Tuesday, with the purpose of involving the community and taking advantage of the situation by giving tours of the chapel, explaining a little about the church. There was a woman who looked hesitantly into the hallway after the initial part had finished, and a member noticed. He invited her to come see the church, and the little booths set up to explain about some of the church programs. (Food storage, missionaries, etc) With his invitation, she went. He then went and alerted the missionaries (spoiler--it was me), who went and talked to her, and got her address. We passed the address to the Sisters that cover that area (which just happens to be S. Pereira) and the next day they visited her. But that night, this woman had a dream. She was in a dark room, and heard a knock at the door. She lit a candle to help her get to the door, and when she answered it, there was light again, and she saw two people she'd never met before. They said, "We're here to bring you a message about God." In the dream, she was filled with peace.
When the Sisters contacted her, the house was dark. The security camera was broken, so she couldn't see who it was. She answered the door a little reluctantly, and there were the two Sisters, who she'd never seen before. And they said just about the same thing the people had in her dream.
She recognized the similarities between the dream and this meeting, and felt the spirit confirm that this message really was for her, to help her. She's excitedly studying with the Sisters now, and went to go tell her acquaintance that's a member all about it!
He told the story, and talked about what a miracle it was, how we have to invite and follow up, etc. But what really struck out to me...I knew about the story before he told it. I was excited that the woman was receptive! But...the way he told the story was so special. I don't know, this is probably all just a bunch of rambling for you all. But what I got out of it was that I can not take these experieces for granted. We see so many miracles as we work as missionaries, and we really do depend on them. And they really are miracles! And it's the same thing with so many small experiences. I just don't want to ever take these things for granted. I want to love each and every one of them for the blessings that they are!
In other news, we started going on exchanges, and it's getting crazy. I'm going to Cerquilho this week! World Cup also starts--on days where Brazil plays, we can't leave the house after 4:00. We'll lose so time to work, but we'll have extra time to plan and pray, soooo....it'll all work out :)
Good news! I talked to S. Cristoffersen, and all of my recent converts in Salto are doing GREAT!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!
Oh bother. I had more I wanted to say, but I'm out of time. Um, really quick...we're teaching a woman to have faith in Christ for the first time in her life and it's incredible, and we're finding new investigators with tons of potential! One lives right next to the church!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Sterling, loooooooved your talk. Then I shared it with S. Vaughn and she copied parts of it into her PMG in the part about christ like attributres. You're famous now!!!!