Monday, December 9, 2013

Staying in Castelo and loving it! November 11, 2013

Hello :)

So, I´m already going to apologize from the start because transfers are tomorrow and this email is going to be super short. Elder Chagas and I will be staying in Castelo! AND, 2 Americans straight from the States are going to be our companions! I´m pretty pumped for the opportunity. My companion is going to be Elder Elswick from California. He´s already served for a while in the United States while waiting for his visa, and it finally came! Hopefully the same will happen with Sister Shell. And soon!

Wednesday, Gilbert was baptized!! (again :)) Everything went just fine and he was confirmed this Sunday. It really has been a miracle. 8 years of inactivity and now it´s been 3 weeks straight going to church and all of the activities. Gilbert and Fátima (the parents) already gave us a referral and we´re hoping will get callings soon. Which will happen because our Bishop is way on top of things. Friday we were able to do the interview of Andreia, Sig´s mom. (if you don´t remember, Sig asked me to baptize him 2 weeks ago since I knew him for a while because of the English class). His mom made the decision she wanted to be baptized as well and the sisters in the area called us asking if we could be there for the baptismal service. Which of course was a yes! Sunday directly after church Sig was ordained as a Priest so that he could baptize his mom. We had to run to catch a bus right after church so we could get to the chapel in time to be there at least for the ordinance. Only Sundays the buses are always way slow and we had to wait for 30 minutes to catch one. Sig called me and asked if we´d be getting there soon. I told him the only way we´d make it was if a bus showed up thirty seconds later, so I told him he could start the baptismal service and pray we´d make it in time. Elder Chagas and I said a prayer and, lo and behold, 30 seconds later the bus showed up. We walked into the chapel as Sig and Andreia were headed towards the font. We took a picture really quick with them and then were able to watch Sig baptize his mom :) It was a really special experience, and another tender mercy from the Lord.  Adrianna made it to church in a wheelchair on Sunday, along with a few others, but we need to have a bigger focus on finding now that God has helped the majority of our teaching pool be baptized. I continue to look for more ways to be grateful with everything He´s given us as of late. I don´t quite understand what´s making the difference, other than the incredible ward we´re serving in and His perfect ability to work miracles when He sees fit. 

I´ve gotta go now, but I´m sending the pictures from Andreia´s baptism right now. Oh! I almost forgot, remember the other Andreya from Ponte? I got a phone call from Elder Vianna and his new companion telling me her 18 year-old son was baptized yesterday! That made me realllyy happy. It´s amazing to see how far one seed can go. With her, it was a simple sacrament meeting talk about the Sabbath Day. With Sheila and Ricardo (who are well by the way--Ricardo and Igor received the Aaronic Priesthood this past Sunday! :D), it was an invited to church from a 15 year-old. Miracles are so, so real, especially when it comes to God´s own work.

Love you all! I know I always say that but I mean it. 

Elder Sears

P.S. I also want to say thank you to Sister Helsing (I continue to get your letters and sent a response off last week!), Grandma Julie, and the Powder Springs Stake Presidency who have all written me recently. You are the best!

8382: the sisters from Costa e Silva ward, Andreia, Sig, Elder Chagas
(p.p.s. mom, Andreia asked me specifically to tell you she says thanks for the example she knows you were to me :)  )

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