20 months ago to the day I was set apart as a full-time missionary by President Owen. I had no idea how much changing I´d be doing--in my own life and those I´d come to serve and love. The reality of so much time behind and so little ahead hasn´t really set in yet and I´m grateful for that. I´m praying it stays that way because I love it here. Even on the difficult weeks.
It´s been one of those weeks....where you have plan A to H and the warmest reception you get is from the lady selling you pistachio ice cream after a tough day. But you know what? It´s all good! Because pistachio is a really good flavor. Actually, because I´m a missionary and this work is eternal and isn´t going to be stopped. It seems to be a trend on my mission that a week before someone in our teaching pool is locked in for baptism, the rest of the work gets pretty difficult. So be it :) Because Ademir and Wanda and Viviane are still rock solid for the wedding next Saturday and their baptism the following Sunday (May 25th). We reviewed with them on Thursday the sacred nature of the baptismal covenant. It has special meaning to them because Douglas, their son, blessed the sacrament for the first time last Sunday and did it flawlessly. I was sitting next to Wanda and she smiled after he finished and said "that´s my son up there." Yes, it is Wanda. And in 8 days he´s going to be performing your baptismal ordinance. So really, I have no right to complain about this week.
I was studying in 3 Nephi 8 today and was once again reminded/amazed by God´s power. He completely reshaped the Nephite landscape in THREE HOURS. Who would dare to question His ability to reshape a human heart? And in spite of the difficulties finding new investigators this week, He still answers prayers. Last night after plan H fell through Elder Nelson and I were laughing it off when we heard "hey Elders!" coming from a passing car. I recognized that they were members from a nearby ward and, probably 75 percent joking, said, "boa noite! got any referrals?" They stopped the car and the mom said, actually yeah. There´s a lady that lives on this street that went to a ward activity last week. Her sister is a member and she recently separated from her husband so she´s really needing the gospel right now. We´re on our way to the supermarket but we can show you where the house is." Alrighty then!? We took down the address and are going to pass there on Sunday to meet her. Lesson learned: ask EVERYONE for referrals, even members you´ve seen once in your life that don´t live in your ward. So that was a pretty cool experience.
And while it´s been difficult finding new investigators we´ve been working with a really cool less active father-son duo: Ricardo and Pedro. We visited Ricardo on Thursday and he said it was perfect timing because he´d just gotten in a huge fight with his son and was needing some more hope and a new perspective about everything. We read with him in Alma and talked about Amulek´s conversion/return to the Church and how much of a difference he made as a faithful, active member and missionary. Ricardo said he´ll be at church Sunday and that he´s made a goal to be worthy to take the sacrament soon while he watches Pedro administer it with the other deacons. So that was a high point :)
Placídio continues to progress, slowly. He´s almost reached a certainty that eternal families are possible (coming from someone who believe in nothing after death when we met him 6 weeks ago that´s pretty exciting), but he still needs some pushes and promptings to take the next step to secure one. Tonight we´re going to read with him in Gospel Principles and invite him to go the cartório next week. Carlos started avoiding us after we taught him the law of chastity on Tuesday. I´m hoping he shows up at Church tomorrow. Something happened with José Milton too because he´s not answering our calls....
But, life goes on and it´s a happy one for me :)
P.S. the Mother´s Day call was FANTASTIC last Sunday. Obrigado minha família!