Hello, Its p-day the sun is shining and I’m getting ready for another week in paradise here in Juiz de Fora Brasil!
Well this week was a bit of a roller coaster with some highs and some lows and really no space in between. First off the weather is starting to mellow out which is a really big blessing and every day closer to Christmas the apartments and houses are getting more decorated. I really have no idea what to expect as far as Brazilian traditions and Christmas goes but I think that whatever the traditions, this Christmas will be a Christmas to remember!
Well remember how I talked last week about one of our investigators Hélder? I was super excited because we had scheduled his baptism for yesterday. But after visiting Hélder last Tuesday we learned that Hélder is 8 years involved with illegal drugs and uses them more than he smokes cigarettes. Simply put as part of the requirements of baptism you have to be sober for at least a week and after 8 years of usage this challenge is a big one for Hélder that he will have put in a lot of effort to overcome. His parents have essentially given up hope for him to turn from drugs but we have been visiting him almost every day and helping him to make goals to overcome his addictions so that he can be baptized. He have been trying to help him a lot and we pray with him and for him but the bottom line is that he has to have the desire to do whatever he needs to do to quit using the drugs. He has to change friends, change habits, and start to do the little things like reading the scriptures and praying. We invited him to church on Sunday at 9 o’clock but because it was too early he said he will try the next week. I was so excited to baptize Hélder this last week. It’s tough when baptisms fall through ask any returned missionary. We will continue working with him to help him change his life for the better.
This week we have been knocking on a lot of doors trying to find new people that will accept our message. We received a golden reference this week. Marcos is the friend of a member and he received from his member friend a pass-along card to receive a Book of Mormon. Well he called to receive the book and so on Saturday we received the assignment to bring to him the book. Like I said this reference is golden. Marcos and his Wife Simone are 20 years LEGALLY MARRIED and in case you didn’t know, here in Brazil that is a big deal! They have 4 children and live near the top of a HUGE hill that to be honest at times it is tough to walk up the hill to get to their house. Well we brought him the book and explained about it and bore testimony about its divinity. The spirit was so strong in the room and i felt the spirit in my mind to invite Marcos to be baptized. But in my mind I said “how will I do that? We haven’t explained baptism or joseph smith or the restoration or anything.” I kept feeling that spirit urging me invite him, but I made excuses and soon the moment had passed and we scheduled to come back the next day to teach the restoration. I felt a little down and knew that I should have invited him so I prayed for forgiveness and for another opportunity to invite him to be baptized. And the next day in the middle of the lesson I had the same promptings come into my mind “INVITE THEM” so this time I decided to obey. I invited them the best I could in Portuguese, and they accepted the challenge to be baptized on the 16th. The whole family accepted the challenge and Elder Jordan and I were floating down the hill after that lesson.
From the low point of Hélder´s baptism falling through and the extreme high of Teaching Marcos, this week truly has been a roller coaster. Christmas is around the corner and there is no other place that I would rather be than here in Brazil doing the work of the Lord. I know that he Lives, and that he answers our prayers. He works miracles through us and he always will bless us when we decide to put excuses aside and obey his words.
a Fé é Tudo!