Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March 29, 2014 Refiner's Fire

Hello queridos,

Unfortunately there´s not a whole lot of exciting things to report this week--it´s been one of the harder ones on my mission. Eva and Marcilene´s baptisms had to be postponed. Eva, in spite of her age, has some things to clear up with her boyfriend that we found out yesterday she had, and Marcilene´s still struggling to get over coffee. We´ve been praying, planning, practicing, and following up like crazy. We´re just kind of on stand-by right now with each of them. And patience isn´t exactly my strong suit :) But things will get there. 

2 high points of the week though--first, thanks to a VERY dedicated young women´s president, Wanda and Ana Claudia are back in our teaching pool and progressing. Last night was new beginning´s and Bianca Martins (young women´s president) did everything in her power to help Ana Claudia and her mom feel totally included. It was super positive and we´re hoping to be able to go to the cartório with Ademir and Wanda this Wednesday to get things marked for the wedding, now that her birth certificate finally came in the mail.

Second was a lesson with another one of Marcos´ referrals (Weslei and Andréa). Here´s what I wrote in my journal:

"We taught Weslei and Andréa with Irmão Jean. It was one of those lessons where you know from the way your investigator is beating around the bush that they want out. The conversation ended (almost) with Weslei telling us he was going to stay Catholic unless something bizarre happened, and Andréa saying she was at a crossroads and didn´t know which direction to take. They´re such a good couple (the kind that has that light in their eyes) that I couldn´t let them go that easily. The question came to mind, `Do you think the suffering Christ went through was easy? Put yourself in His shoes for a sec--He never sinned, not once, He dedicated every moment in His life to selfless service and sacrifice, He cast out demons and worked miracles--and yet His final earthly reward was to be mocked, condemned, spit upon, and to take on the sins of the whole world. How do you think he knew He needed to continue, that the injustice of it all didn´t call for Him to stop and ask why it had to be so hard?´ `Because God told Him He needed to.´ `Exactly. And He´ll tell you you need to join the Church if you ask Him. I understand that it may be hard, different, and maybe even a little bit scary at first. But as a representative of Christ with His authority I invite you to ask Him and promise you He´ll answer.´  When I finished Andréa was crying and I knew they´d both received a primary answer. We dropped them (for now), but I´m hoping they wake up and show up at church Sunday."

It was one of those lessons that I felt really guided by the Spirit, and I´m grateful for that. I´m glad I know this work will roll forward, even if it´s (visibly) going a little slower than I´d like at the moment. As a fellow missionary quoted a few weeks back, "shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

Love, Elder Sears 

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