Well this week went by kind of slow/kind of fast. We had to mark some lunches with less actives because the normal group of our lunches went to the temple.
The highlights of the week came mainly Wednesday, and the end of the week.
Wednesday we went and taught some contacts of ours (one was referred by someone
who called us the most beloved people in the town, and the other walked by the
church and even came in at the end of the meetings). The first we went to,
Irene, said that she was really needing a good message, and we were glad to
give it to her. We talked about how prophets helped people in the bible, and
how the church in the new testament was perfect for all of our difficulties. I
had the privilege to recount the story of the restoration of the fulness of the
gospel and bring the good news to this woman. She said she felt much better
after our message, and we left our invites with her. I told her that maybe she
wasn´t looking for a new church, but she just came across the true church of Christ. Our next appointment was with Nici. She was in need of a message as
well. We felt that she was in need of the same message, and we spoke a good bit
about how the church helps us. At the end, we bore our testimonies and I asked
her how she felt about our message. She thought for a little bit and said
´´It´s true. I feel that it´s true.´´ I truly felt the sincerity in her words
to us. As we were leaving, she said ´´You two were really sent from God to
me´´. At that moment, I remembered something Elder Matzenbacher taught me in
the last district meeting, ´´We have the authority... so bear your testimony.
When someone says that our church is wonderful, agree with them!´´. With this
thought in mind, I responded ´´We certainly were. You can trust that we were
sent by God to help you.´´ It was a really good afternoon for me... just what I
needed in fact. At night, we visited with Deivid and Diego. While we were
there, a good amount of young men that are less active showed up, and we talked
with them and played around a little bit. We talked with one in particular and
we talked about church with him and even about doing visits with them.
That was our best day for sure, the rest of the week is really just a blur for
me. I do remember though on Saturday, we had to get ourselves excited (and the
members) to go to church. Last week, 25 people came to church... 6 of which
were because of us. This week we really needed some extra help, so we decided
not to put anything to chance, and we prayed that the Stake President would
come and make a visit to our branch, and give us some revelation. Sunday
morning comes, and we opened up the church at 8, and at about 8:40 arrives the
stake president and his 1st counselor. He greeted everyone, and afterwards
pulled us aside and said to us ´´It really is a blessing for you to be here. It
is in areas like these that you get the privilege to prove your faith to the
Lord´´. Afterwards he said that the best way to help in the branch would be to
organize family home evenings and do ´´splits´´ with the young men. We both
really liked the ideas and were already thinking of how we can put them into
practice. During sacrament meeting, the stake president told a story about how
he took care of some animals when he was younger. He told a story about how a
new-born was stepped on by its mother, breaking two of his legs. He put splints
on the legs of the new born to help heal the bones. They had to bottle feed the
animal because he couldn´t feed himself. After a good amount of time, they
decided to take the splints off. His legs had healed and with difficulty he
stood with his own force. The next day, he was walking slowly. After a few more
days, he started to run, and with more time jump. He went on to comment ´´I
remember observing that little animal. Of all the others, he had the most
energy, he had to most life and he was the happiest.´´ I applied this with our
own faith. When we are nursed by others, we can´t truly enjoy things because we
are limited. When we are able, we start to walk... then run and then jump.
Those who live by their own faith and their own testimony truly are those who
are happiest to be alive. When we know what it is to be limited, we appreciate
even more when we are free. AT night, we visited with Branco and Ancylia and
talked with them about how the temple was for them. We noticed a HUGE
difference in them as opposed to a week ago. We got to see how living the ordinances of the gospel makes us perfect. They had their spiritual eyes
opened, and they have already planned when they are going to go again. They are
very happy to have a temple coming to them in Fortaleza. They are just like the
little animal. The can only do little at a time, but when the crutches are
removed, they will truly be the happiest.
So that was my week, and this is my reminder of how happy I am to have a part
in the wonderful work!
I love you all!