Can you believe it has been over 4 months since I have eaten an American cheeseburger? I thought the day would never come! LOL well this week I completed 4 months as a missionary and 2 months in the field! And what a week it was! Still no baptisms BUT a good week nonetheless!
And what’s still better is that it is P-day and today we did a little hiking. Elder Vieira, Léo and I (a youth in the ward who turned 18 today) hiked to the top of a rock called “a Cabeça do Cavalo” or “The Horse´s Head.” Wow, I’ve been climbing hills every single day in Cascatinha but this was a difficult but rewarding hike! We arrived at the top of the rock, ate some apples, tangerines, bread, Jelly Bellies (thank you mom!) and flew kites! It was really fun I will include some pictures for all of you folks watching at home! Above the rock was an abandoned reggae bar LOL!
Well this week we really focused on making solid contacts to find new people and it has been working pretty well because we are starting to teach a new family! Let me tell you a little about the family of Jacques and Claudia. Jacques and Claudia have been married (actually legally, which is a miracle to find here!) for over at least 20 years. They have a daughter named Gabriella, who is 19 years old and Gabriella has 19 years and also has a 3 year old daughter! They all live together in a house with an amazing view of the city. MEANING it’s a climb to reach their humble home. Anyway, we met Jacques in the street and asked if we could share a message with him and his family. He accepted excitedly and we marked a day to visit them. On the scheduled day, we knocked on their door and met Claudia who rescheduled for the next day. And what A visit it was! We arrived exactly at 4 in the afternoon and knocked on their door (which in Brazil is a lot of shouting and clapping… I love it) and no one responded. At about 410 Claudia met us in the street outside of her house, and she was a little tipsy, but told us that her whole family was in the house and she wanted us to pray with them. At this request we entered their house and met the family. We talked a little bit, they recognized that I was American and Claudia asked us if we had girlfriends. Elder Vieira immediately said yes, and I have learned now that I should have said the same because Claudia (still tipsy) proceeded to present her daughter Gabriella and said that I should one day take her back to America with me, I laughed because I really didn’t know how to respond! Luckily they all laughed too. Well I offered the opening prayer and I felt the spirit in the house with this little family, Claudia started to cry. We proceeded to share a message with them, but Claudia insisted that the message should be Psalms 93. We read it and invited the family to Church; they accepted and seemed firm that they would fulfill their promise to go to Church. Jacques told us that his leg is always in pain and he is usually in bed all day, but he said they would make an effort to attend our meeting. But when 9 o’clock rolled around, the 10 then 11, then 12… they didn’t show up. But I think with time they will have the desire to come to church and eventually be baptized.
I have been thinking a lot about how God doesn’t look at us as only how we are now, but our potential to be so much more than we are at this moment. I looked at this family and saw how much the Gospel would strengthen each of them individually and unite them as a family. I saw their challenges as ways that the Lord is going to open doors and bless their whole family.
I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it really blesses each and every one of us INDIVIDUALLY as well as makes great miracles in families, as I hope that it will in the little family of Jacque and Claudia. It brings peace into our lives that is different than anything that the world will say that brings happiness. The savior taught:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
When we trust and live the gospel of Jesus Christ, we gain the assurance that we will have divine peace in our lives that has more value than anything that the world has to offer.
I know that is true, I have felt the Peace of the gospel touch my heart at difficult times and promise that it will fill your life if you live it.
Until next week! I love and pray for you all!