It´s wonderful to hear about the rescue visits. We here, unfortunately, have been having a dry spell of investigators, though I´m sure we can do much better. I gained a testimony about resolutions last night, which I´ll get to in a minute.
A little bird told me that Mommy added a disclaimer about my English on top of one of the blog posts…… Look, the Portuguese words are intentional! No, but seriously. The Lord is helping be fulfill a prophetic promise from one of my brazilian roomates in the MTC: “If you continue your study of the language, like reading from the scriptures and saying your prayers in Portuguese, you will speak better Portuguese than most of the natives.” Yeah, I shrugged that one off until last week when we went out with our WML. He usually gives us notes on teaching ability, but the large part of his notes were about “Words that are correct but the layman doesn´t use.” So, I guess that´s one up for the Lord.
I´m continuing to read the books. I´ve put the biographies away for a bit (after finishing President Monson´s), and have turned to “Broken Things to Mend” by Elder Holland. The opening talk (same name as the book) was instantly one of my favorites. He invites all to come back and be perfected in Christ. The way he says it, it´s a wonder that so many turn away from the teachings of the Church. It is such a healing message and one of hope.
That leads me to my experience last night. After a Sunday of not having investigators at Church and not visiting anyone, I was deeply discouraged. As we were walking back from an improptu visit (1st lesson of the day at 5:00 in the afternoon!), I thought a lot. I remembered some of the promises that the Lord had said in the Doctrine and Convenants: “And in all times and in all places, open thy mouth proclaiming the gospel like with the sound of a trump, and there shall be a force given unto him that is not known among men.” (I´m translating here. The real scripture is in D+C: 24) I decided to do just that. I opened my mouth. We invited one of our failing investigators to a FHE (a tough 13 year-old who thinks more of soccer and video games than respecting his suffering mother), and then we went to one of my favorite families here.
I mentioned a few weeks ago about a man named Luiz. Suffice to say, his situation for the last few weeks has been terrible. Saturday night was his B-Day and he thankfully received his children back for a time. They will be traveling back and forth between their Mom´s and their Dad´s (divorce sucks!!!), and so, this weekend was a rare opportunity to teach the family together. I took the lead and began the Plan of Salvation (Lesson #2). That immense, heavy, peaceful silence that is so specific to the Sprit filled the room. I acted on the intention to re-extend the invite to baptism. To my wonderful surprise, Luiz accepted. I then turned to Gulia (said like Julia) and invited her, and then her little brother, Enzo. These two wonderful kids (11 and 9, respectively) asked that, instead of waiting for the 26th, that they be baptized on the 19th. I couldn´t have felt more lighter at that moment. This was a situation that I, a few months ago, would have dismissed and continued onward. However, I felt at the beginning that this story should have a happy and it would.
I can´t thank my Savior enough for providing with a family like Luiz´s a true hope. With the sure light of the Gospel and the knowledge of “things as they really are”, one cannot help but have within his soul a certainty that “all is well.” Beyond this, I have to thank my Father in Heaven who, in the midst of all this pain and suffering inflicted by the enemy, cares enough to stay his hand and allow us to be proven. We must try to obtain his heavenly vision of our trials and sufferings, and even our joys. The trials and sufferings are fleetling, while the joys are maginified when viewed through the lens of the Father. There is so much more waiting for us in this gospel, and thank the Lord for establishing a church to help us reap the benefits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Eu amo vocês!