What a week. I have to say that Chase Gardner was right when he once told me `on the mission, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days`. It is soooooooo true! I had some VERY slow days this week, but when I look back, the week went by fast!
A lot of great things happened this week. I first want to say that I HAD A BAPTISM!! (I can’t baptize the new convert, the Elders do the baptizing because they have the priesthood.) My first! Lourena- she is such a wonderful girl and truly has a testimony of the gospel. A few days before her baptism, she attended some church activities. She told us she wants to learn as much as she can about the scriptures, and how she loves how she feels at the church. She said she doesn’t understand how people can leave the church after what they feel there. I know she truly felt the spirit strongly confirm the truth of this church. Her baptism was absolutely wonderful! The spirit was so strong, and you could tell that this meant so much to her. The ward was very welcoming, helpful and outreaching to her. I am sure she will stay strong in the church. I am so grateful for this experience because I was able to see what it’s like to baptize someone who is truly converted. I am convinced that the numbers here on the mission aren’t what´s important. Anyone can baptize people, especially here- all you have to do is offer cake and someone will be baptized! But I am here to find those who will have a strong testimony, to truly convert people to the gospel through the Holy Ghost. It´s so important!! Of course, everyone is welcome to feel this. All you have to do is pray and ask to know if this church is true- and you know what is so great?? God will ALWAYS answer. It´s so amazing :)
I would LOVE to attach pictures from the baptism, but I think I just accidentally deleted them. Which really stinks... but nothing I can do about it! Next week I will use my companion’s camera and send you pictures. (I´m pretty sure I just took off my shoe and smashed a huge ant that was on the wall next to me. Oh the joys of northeast brazil!)
FOURTH OF JULY!!! - was fun. I think my companion thinks I´m crazy! I happened to have some patriotic symphony music, and the star spangled banner on my iPod, so I marched around our apartment quite a few times this week in celebration of my country. It was pretty fun! As I tried to think of American food to cook for her, I found it difficult. Either we don’t have the right ingredients, no recipe, or I couldn’t cook it because our oven doesn’t work! Someday in the future. I also found it somewhat difficult to explain the fancy words in our pledge of allegiance, as I taught it to my companion. We had some fun though! Hooray for USA! The incredible thing is the influence that the USA has on the world. People here know American movies, music, celebrities, politics and so forth. For being a pretty new country, we sure are influential!
This week was also full of some let downs. We had a contentious moment with a friend of an investigator, trying to disprove everything about our religion. They are teenagers, and pretty sure they only want to listen so they can twist our words and bash us down. I feel sorry for them. We just taught our lesson, bore our testimony and left. I hate moments like that. They are few here though, thank heavens.
We received our new mission president this week- I haven’t met him yet, but I hope to soon!
I want to share a thought with ya´ll. Please-PLEASE members of the church, realize how IMPORTANT missionary work is, not just for missionaries, but for you! The members here are so wonderful with helping us find people to teach. The important thing to realize is that it is not the missionary´s job to find people to teach, they are there to teach. So work hard! Share the gospel! Pray for opportunities. If you believe in the prophets, and have a testimony of following what they say, realize that EVERY prophet tells us that missionary work is one of the most important things. So this week- try a little harder. Okay? Do your part, have the spirit with you, and the Lord will do the rest. I love this gospel. I LOVE that it makes sense! It is true. It is pure. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, fully here on the earth, just as he taught it. It´s wonderful!
Well, I don’t have too much to say other than that! So much happens, but never enough time to write. Pray for us, I hope to find new people to teach this week. I miss you all, and love you very much! I think about you and pray for you often. Let me know how you are doing, please! Keep letters coming, and have a wonderful week.
Sisssss Mish Steph Gordon