April 4, 2012 – letter (received April 19)
Well, we just finished conference yesterday, and all I can think is how blessed we are to have inspired men chosen of God to lead us.
One phrase I really like was when Dallin H. Oaks said, “the symbols of OUR Christian Faith is the lives of our members:” WOOO, what a responsibility. We’ve got to be good. We can’t just go through the motions; we’ve got to really believe the Gospel.
Now I’m making goals to follow the council of the Prophets and Apostles. Wow, there are a lot of things to work on! Lately I’ve been studying the Christ like attributes, and it’s been amazing. I encourage you guys to do the same, and make specific goals to develop that attribute! For example, I’ve made the goal to serve Elder Lopes in some way if I have a negative thought about him, even if it’s something stupid, like get some water for him. It’s fun.
The Lord is blessing us a lot here. I don’t know if you remember Vera, that lady that we baptized, we’re seeing real miracles with her. She’s the most firm baptism I’ve had yet! The week before her baptism, the gas valve connected to the water heater broke, so she had to be baptized in cold water! A 59 year old lady, being dunked in cold water!!?? Yes, that’s what we do as missionaries. Haha. But we asked her afterward how it was with the cold water, and she said she didn’t even feel the cold, because she was filled with the Spirit. That’s conversion. She’s amazing.
After the baptism, our bishop gave her a special Liahona about the Temple, so that she could prepare to go to the Temple. We passed by to see how she was later that day, and she already had read the entire Liahona!! She even shared a story that she really liked in the Liahona with us! Just like a visiting teacher already.
Now, we’re talking a lot about family home evening. She lives with just her and her 11 year old granddaughter, Camilla. Camilla is a really sad situation. Camilla is the only child of Vera’s daughter with a man I don’t know (for present purposes I have dubbed him Vagabond) Vera’s daughter is really negative about what happened with Vagabond, so she kind of treats Camilla poorly. Well, not kind of, for example, Vera’s daughter takes her sons of her present husband to activities, like the waterpark, or to church. But she never invites Camilla. Camilla only has Vera. So now, we’re trying to baptize Camilla. She’s such a good girl. Vera and Camilla are already holding Family nights, and reading the Book of Mormon together. In fact, Vera and Camilla each drew an Easter bunny picture for Elder Lopes and I, and gave them to us. It’s now on our refrigerator. Camilla is so great, and Vera is helping her so much. She’s going to Church this Sunday, and soon after we’re going to baptize her. She’s going to start attending Primary, and things will start looking up for her, because the Lord will bless her.
We’re praying a lot of them, but I’m sure that it will turn out fine.
For now, I’m still in my first area! Bairro Novo. It’s amazing here, I love it. There are always people who the Lord is preparing.
OK time for the weird thing in Brazil
The strange thing is that here J-walking is not only perfectly legal, but it’s basically the only way to cross the street here. The delinquent juvenile and the humble family alike break this American Law. But that’s ok, because we look both ways here in Brazil.
Lot of Love