Maria was baptized and it was for sure one of the coolest by far. So as I told you, we found her Saturday night of last week and she brought herself to church. She had already been taught by Elder Kurahashi, our District Leader who now is in the chapel but a different ward. He really had taught her well, she told us straight at the beginning the reasons she wasn´t baptized, but she knows Joseph Smith was a prophet. She even bore testimony of that to her daughter and we never taught her anything about the restoration. But coffee was the biggest thing for her and she just had no desire to give it up. We had a long lesson with her Wednesday that I felt was almost angry, just because we were basically telling her that COFFEE was stopping her from entering the kingdom of God. And this is a smart lady too, she teaches math, science, history and Portuguese to adults. We just left frustrated because she had basically told us no. But we came back the next day and she said she had had a revelation that night, and a voice just told her she needs to do what those girls want. She drank her morning coffee, but then when she almost drank it again in the afternoon, she thought of us and didn´t do it. Which was huge. So we just did a practice of the interview to show her she was ready and after the last question she just said ´´you won´´. God won :)
So her baptism was really special because it was at stake conference with Sister De Paula and Elder Georgianna´s baptisms too, my favorite people from Zona Rangel who are now also in my zone again. It was just so cool! I think the most touching thing was that Elder Kurahashi got to baptize Maria. He just started to cry when we told him about her. He never baptized anyone in Colinas do Sul and we all know that was so hard for him. It was such a special thing for them both I think. Maria just needed girls because her husband got jealous and kicked the Elders out of their house the first time. Maybe her husband will get baptized too someday..
Besides that it´s just been a good, tiring week. Almost for sure me and Sister Sciamm are getting separated, and we both kind of want to leave Colinas but we´re ready for anything the Lord wants us to do. I´ve reached the halfway mark of my mission and in the chance that I train or am senior, I´ve thought of a few things I would want my companion, or anyone going on a mission to know. The most important things to me that I´ve learned are this:
1. You have to learn to understand and accept the love that God has for His children. First of all, that He loves you, always has and always will no matter what. He is endlessly patient with you weaknesses and you should be too, and realize He exists to build you up, not tear you down. The fact I´ve learned is you have to love yourself, not selfishly, but to know God´s love for you as his child, to be able to in turn love all of God´s children. Let others know they can feel that love.
2. Do all within your power to be best friends with your companion. You will make a lot decisions between good, better and best, but always put your relationship with your companion first, because you will go through a lot of crazy stuff together. You will laugh, cry, get really sick, and have moments when you need each others testimony.
3. BELIEVE IN BAPTIZING. Don´t be a goleira. Do all you can, beg the Lord to understand why baptizing in two weeks works and why it´s the best way. Then do it and love every second.
4. Be an example wherever you are. In your house, with the members, with other missionaries, everywhere. You will never quite know who is watching you, but I´m certain we change many lives who we will never even know. It´s one of the most frustrating and amazing things of being a missionary.
5. It´s not worth it to be stressed and worried. It´s always just a waste of time. It´s always just a sign you don´t trust the Lord enough. Follow the spirit. You can´t do everything, you can´t save everyone. But just calm the heck down.
I love being a missionary. I had kind of a hard week really thinking about staying until January after you talked about NYC, but I prayed and feel for certain with a lot of peace in my heart and I want to finish completely.
I love yáll. Pray for us to baptize Roberto this week and keep praying for our ward. I´m so excited to talk to you guys on Sunday!! I will get on Skype at 6:00, real Skype and probably use Sister Sciamm´s account. It´ll work out. I´ll find you guys. Her name is Emily Sciammarella.
´´Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him´´ 1 Corinthians 2:9