This week Lots of things happen. Breaking news in Relva! Due to excessive wind a power line was knocked over and forced to the ground nearly landing on a cinder block house! Luckily nobody was hurt and even more luckily they were able to just leave in like that the whole day live and full of power so everybody could watch the soccer game.
This week was also zone conference. I was lucky enough to be called on to give a training which went by pretty good but the highlight of the conference wasn't there. The zone leaders came up with this idea that included every missionary there leaving and going out to try our faith. The activity was that we would all go out, find a member, teach them and receive a reference. Then we were to go and find that reference, teach them and mark a baptismal date with them. I know it sounds crazy. Because we weren't close to my area I was assigned to go out with my last companion Elder Christensen. We headed out of there a little confused by this difficult activity but we were ready to accept the challenge. We headed to the nearest memebers house. We talk to her and she gave us the sad story of all her friends live in a different city. There was a pause for a couple seconds... The member finally said ''oh actually I do have one friend that lives just up the street''. We knew that this person was inspired and we needed to go contact them. We ask her if she would come with us to contact her friend. She didn't really want to but then after a little bit of convincing power she agreed. She said she was going to go change cloths and then she'd be right back... 5 minutes later she came back shouting ''I brought a surprise!''.. she had left to change her cloths but she also slipped out the back door, pick up her friend, convinced her to talk to us, and then showed back up with her friend bright and ready to accept the gospel. We talked to the friend for a little bit, read with her joao 14. 1-6 and then invited her to be baptized... She seemed a little surprised by the invite but the spirit was s strong there she had to say yes. In the end it was a great experience and I thought that would be the highlight of my week....
Little did I know God had been preparing a miracle for us to find back in our area upon our return,
I appreciate your letter and I will keep working to help out where I can. This week I saw and felt God's love and I truly saw and felt that God always hears and answers our prayers.
Last week Elder Nhafé and I decided that we were running with a shortage of investigators in Relva and felt it would be effective to start working in the next zone over as well as in Relva. In the next zone, Achada Grande, there are only 3 active members in the whole zone! A couple months back Elder Schillimat had been working there everyday and after having no success the zone leaders told them he couldn't work there because it's was too catholic. It's a decent sized zone and with only 3 active memebers, to me the catholic church didn't seem like a good enough reason to avoid the area.. We trained the 3 members one day after church and had received 21 references, that seemed like enough for a full day of work there. This last Thursday we headed out with high hopes and with a spirit of urgency to find these people and to share the restored gospel with them. To make a long story short, we didn't find the success we were looking for. I literally witnessed a 70 year old lady run away from us screaming out ''no no no I'm catholic''. We walked back home that night with broken hearts and with a little bit less faith for the work in the area. The next day we had a division planned with the district leaders and I was suppose to go back there with Elder Guy. I truly felt that there was at least one person there who was ready to hear our message. I prayed, a true prayer, with all the energy of my heart and with all the faith that I had this work that on this, the second day in Achada Grande, I would find at least one person who would accept and feel our message. God heard my prayer, and he definitly answered it.
We found a lady in the streets who, after talking a little bit with her, she invited us to come talk to her at her house. She told us all about how she had been searching for a church that was just right for her family. She explained how she had talked to several different pastors and preacher and had a mountain of pamplets, books and bibles to prove it. I felt in my heart, in that exact moment, that she was the person ready to receive us. I told her about the day before and how I had prayed to find a prepared person, then I spoke a little bit of the restoration and bore my testimony of its truthfulness. When I finished there was a short pause between us and then she started to cry a little bit.. then she tried to talk but it just turned into a lot more crying... After a couple minutes she regained her bearings and told us that she has been praying for this for a very long time.
I know that during that day I truly was instrument in the Lords hand and He truly guided us to that person to recieve his message. I pray that I will always remeber this and that I will always pray and search for his elects.
To finish off this week of miracles, I saw the fruits of my labors yesterday in Elders Quorum. Yesterday there were only 11 people in Elders Quorum. 2 were me and my companion, 5 were my recent converts and 2 were investigators we brought to chruch... I know that I have and am still making a difference here in Relva and I'm glad glad to be a part of this work..... And to just add to this pill we baptized and confirmed the mom of a bunch of members this week... She was the first investigator I have baptized that I had to teach in Creole because she doesn't understand or speak a word of Portuguese.
I love you all and hope you enjoy this, the longest email I have ever written during my mission and probably during my whole life.
God is watchin out for us. (See Alma 26:1-12ish... I think)