Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013 Upcoming baptisms and preparing for visit from Elder Snow

Querido family and friends,

Yesterday the time changed--jumped an hour forward. So you all will probably be getting this super early in the morning. Sorry about that! I´ll try to swing back around at the end of the day and respond to the emails you´d normally send during the day. I am doing well! This week has been an instructive one for me. Wednesday and Thursday I was just feeling...off. Not really sure why. Some days are just like that. So I was praying that I could get out of that feeling, and Saturday the answer came. We were teaching Adrianna and emphasizing the importance of baptism in our salvation. The conversation was going really well and I was planning to read Mosiah 18 with her. When I started setting the context for that part in the Book of Mormon something told me I should use 2 Nephi 31:17 instead. So I went with it, and talked about repentance and baptism as the door to salvation. I read with her and she started looking all puzzled at me. After a little silence she said a long, long time back she had a dream in which she was in front of a small, simple wooden door. She saw a light emanating from it and wanting to open it, but something was holding her back. She knew there awaited only good things on the other side but was afraid. And didn´t open it. She told me that when I read that scripture in 2 Nephi it brought back that dream to her. I asked her if she believed baptism was the door she needed to open. She said yes. I asked her if this time she´d overcome her fears and open it. Another yes. So that was really cool for us. She´s still recovering from her surgery and is going to take out the stitches (there are loads of them) Thursday. 4 days after that she´s clear for basic physical activities (baptism included!) So we´re hoping to baptize her before the end of October. That´d be awesome.

We also received a referral from another area. His name´s Daniel, he´s 42, and he was one of the major pastors of the "Assembleia de Deus" church here in Brazil. He was in charge of the church in Campinas (which would be the equivalent of the responsibility of 4 stake presidents) and preached all over the world in front of congregations up to 50,000. But he got fed up with the corruption at the top and saw the whole thing was turning into a business. So he walked away, leaving behind his farm, mansion, and several imported cars he´d gained while serving as pastor. And now he´s taking the discussions! He has a photographic memory and has already read The Book of Mormon cover to cover well more than once. And 50 times with the Bible. It´s incredible. We can cite any scripture and he knows the content word for word, the context, where it´s found, and everything. But he is extremely humble. Which is amazing to me with all the knowledge he has. He has a baptismal date marked for November 3rd but we need to get him to church! He bailed on us yesterday.

Among the other people we´re teaching (so you can pray for them if you´d be so kind :) ...) are Gislane and Leonardo (still needing to get things straight with her boyfriend but coming to church every week), Hamad (a 15 year-old who told me he wanted to learn more after one of our English classes with him), Patrícia and Jorge (Rodrigo´s sister and dad), Cristina and Letícia (baptism marked for the 3rd), and SHEYLA, RICARDO, IGOR AND DIEGO!! Who just so happen to be getting married and baptized this week after 2 months of waiting! I´m beyond excited. Their interviews are set for tomorrow, and we´re planning their wedding presents and all that goodness. I´m going to have to practice today on the piano to be ready for their reception. Sheyla bore the best testimony Friday night. She told us that her first fast and testimony she felt a little bit uncomfortable with everyone saying they knew The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true church, but as she´s prayed and gotten to know more she can say the same thing. I promise to take lots of pictures and all that goodness :) 

Last thing, this Wednesday and Thursday Elder Steven Snow from the Seventy is coming to do a mission tour with Missão Brasil Campinas! So we´re running all over the place to get things ready, but I´m excited for what we´ll be able to learn with him. He´s asked for 4 hours to talk to the whole mission. So everyone´s coming to Castelo Wednesday and Thursday to hear what he has to say. Should be awesome! I´ll report more on that next week.

Love you all, and until next week! And Happy Birthday Sister Shell!!

Elder Sears

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