Everything works out for good for those who believe in God. Just have a little more patience with that mission call. Missions require a LOT of patience. That´s what I´ve been learning. Faith is knowing God keeps His promises, so you keep going even when it seems you aren´t seeing the blessings. I read James 5 where it talks about patience and the footnotes has a small list of examples of when people such as Paul, Alma, Abinadi and Joseph Smith who all had to suffer through great afflictions to bring forth the work of God. I read each one today and also the story of the sons of Mosiah. The Lord promised them success if they bore their trials with patience. Just read Alma 26 to how their mission ended! I want converts like the Anti- Nephi- Lehi´s. Or the 3000 baptisms of Peter.
But right now it´s not really going like that yet... Tuesday I went to a leadership meeting with Sister Sciammarella and stayed with the other juniors, where Sister Cameron from my old area told me that not a single one of my converts comes to church. Even J has stopped coming for a month now. I wrote her a letter but it really hurt to hear that. Other than that this week was actually pretty miraculous. We found such elect people, were going over and beyond the padrões de excelencia, planning every day with the spirit and using our member to help us. Saturday night 21 people told us they were coming to church, and they all had a way of getting there. How many people came to church? Just one, Carla, who has to get married, so we don´t have a baptism for next week again.
So the fruits aren´t quite there yet, but we definitely can´t stop now. James 5 talks about how the Lord is full of tender mercies, so this week I´m going to start counting them. Fabio, our investigator who ALMOST made it to sacrament meeting last week wasn´t at home this week each time we went. He lives way far away and we always talked to his mom but for some reason just assumed she wouldn´t go. But the third time we saw her, we almost left, but I felt I needed to invite her to be baptized. She turns out to be really cool and said she had never been baptized by immersion and her son had never been baptized at all and they needed to be! It was actually really weird, she went into her house and came out again and said God touched her hearts and she was thinking about us and was excited to go to church. Well, she didn´t go yesterday because Fabio is sick and she wouldn't go on his motorcycle, but we came back and taught her yesterday.
Then there´s the three miracle menos-ativos of Rua Nossa Senhora do Rosario, a road otherwise known as Salt Lake because everyone there is baptized. First there´s M, who we´ve been working with for a while now. She has three kids that will be baptized any day, but with our new rules she needs to go to church with them. At first we thought there really was no hope, she was just a lazy, noncommittal mom who got baptized at 13 and immediately left. But it´s really been a little journey. She gets really happy now when she sees us, wants to go to church even though she hasn´t yet, and even her kids are getting less annoying. But we´ve taught them to pray and read the scriptures and it´s amazing how just that has transformed their home.
The second is Janete, who´s ex-husband is in our ward. We found her on accident looking for another house. She was very active in the church before, but left when she got divorced and is now living with someone. She just started crying and we taught her about repentance and forgiveness. She´s also started praying again, we´ve read the scriptures with her and she wants to come back, but it´s really hard for her. She promised her daughter Julia she would go yesterday and didn´t, which was sad, but she´s coming along and we hope to teach her boyfriend and get them married. The coolest thing was when she told us that when we found her, she felt as if Christ was knocking on her door and she thought she´d been forgotten. What a beautiful thing for a missionary to hear!
Carla is not baptized, but her boyfriend Alex is and is VERY inactive. He smokes, they live together, but she really wants to be baptized. They say the best prayers, doing exactly what we ask them. They both prayed to know if the church (they even said the name of the church right) is true and if Joseph Smith (NO ONE gets that name right) was a prophet and they received answers. Wednesday we´re going to the Cartorio with them to mark a day for their wedding and baptism the same day. How cool is that??? If we can reactivate Alex and get him to stop smoking, maybe he can baptize her!
So the rest of our investigators I´m just a little annoyed and decepcionada with, but I know our goals are still possible because we´re working with families and rescuing less-actives.
I love you guys!! I pray for all of you specifically, to get your call and for Eric to baptize 3 people before he goes home. Don´t fear, just believe! The church is so true and God knows us and it is the best joy in life to watch Him mold you into what He knows you can be. We are so capable of helping others when we carry the light of Christ. God answers our prayers. Just remember that Jesus te ama.
I haven´t gotten my package yet. Haha maybe tomorrow. The Brasilian postal service is on strike so that´s probably why. By next transfer I mean there will be a transfer and before the next will be Mother´s day. Haha sorry if that´s confusing, a transfer is like a measure of time like a month. Missionary language...
I´m rapidly heading towards the halfway point of the mission, and after that, it´s just over. You´re always in the middle! The mission is SO short. And so full of fun things like screaming donkeys and random people buying you corn on the street. If you´re a Sister in Brasil you´ve always got at least 3 drunk or very old boyfriends in every area. The Nordeste is one of a kind. Always an adventure.