Dear Family and Friends,
This week is a week I´ll never forget. Tuesday and Wednesday were normal. Thursday was a day unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. It was I believe, my first, but undoubtedly the worst case of food poisoning I've had in my life. We would try to walk down the stairs to leave the apartment, and then we would just walk back up. And I´ll leave it at that. Not fun.
Friday was hectic, as not much had been achieved and we were scrambling to make something happen. Yet, it was a day filled with just rejections.
And then came Saturday. It too started off very slowly. A service project where we worked, moving some rocks and shoveling sand, and then the person changed their mind and we moved everything back. Oh well. Lunch was delayed almost an hour. Then we went to contact a referral from the Bishop in a neighborhood way off in the country. We had tried to do this Friday, but no one was there. No one was there again, so we went to knock on doors. The first, was a mother, daughter, and son. We had a wonderful lesson, and in the prayer to close, the mother said that she knew we were sent from heaven, an answer to prayers, etc.
The second door we knocked, was the same thing, but this time with lots of tears involved as well. At this point we were both feeling good knowing that we had been guided to these houses. Deciding to try the referral one more time, we returned. This time, Neide, the aunt of the bishop was there. We had a wonderful, wonderful lesson. She was very open with us. and testified and testified that just by looking at our countenance she knew that we are the servants of Jesus. And in our prayer to close the visit, overcome with emotion, she said that this was the best day of her life, the day that she encountered the truth. It was simply amazing to feel the spirit so powerfully, and to know that we were being led to people prepared to hear.
The day before, we had briefly visited a young mother and decided to return. She was waiting for us. Had read the pamphlet about the restoration, prayed, and received her answer. Her only question, `´Where can I get a Book of Mormon?´´ We left this neighborhood and went to go back to the center of the city. Two kids, ages 17+15 stopped us and wanted to know more. At this point, we´re completely overcome how everything is happening - how our prayers are being answered and how we are truly being tools in the hands of the Lord. We continue on, and while still walking, receive a text message with a referral from Church headquarters. My first referral received that way in eight months. And all the others were busts. Same history with E. Brito.
But this day with only miracles happening, we have a good feeling and want to try and visit. It´s almost 8 pm. The legs start to really pump as we go after it. When, again, someone stops us in the street. Again, they have a question for us and after commit to go to church on Sunday. Why wouldn't it happen? Generally only drunks and beggars stop us on the streets. But this is THE day. We end up a little lost, looking for the address. We ask someone if they know where its located, and wouldn't you know it, he stops his work, offers a ride and drops us off where we needed to go.
Ring the doorbell. Marianna is amazed that we are there. Turns out she´s been having some health problems, difficulties, etc. Basically just looking for something more. Became friends with an LDS blogger and they talked a lot about the gospel, shared church videos, etc. And now, Marianna wants, with all her heart a chance to read the Book of Mormon and visit the church. What a lesson. What a day. It feels unreal. Truly a wonderful, wonderful day. All we could do was offer prayers of gratitude. We had read Elder Uchtdorf´s talk earlier in the walk, ´´Fourth floor, last door.´´ It´s important to just keep going. For three weeks here, we have not had success, Yet, on a Saturday, everything changed. This is the Lord´s work. We have to do our part, and He will help us.
And yesterday, while I can´t say everything perfectly again, we know that those investigators who did show up were blessed. It was a special conference broadcast to all 272 stakes and 38 districts of Brasil. We heard Elder Holland try to speak in Portuguese, the courting story of Elder Claudio Costa, and above all, how important it is to keep the Sabbath day holy.
As Mormon 9:19 says, "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."