Monday, February 3, 2014

Tough Week of Miracles

February 3, 2014

This week has been tough but we witnessed a whole lot of miracles so it was worth it.

We started the week out with a nothing pday. Good times.

Tuesday we had our district meeting and did a division with the District Leader from Massangana, Elder Quispe. He's from Peru and is training Elder Vargas from São Paulo.  I stayed in my area with Vargas. It was a fun division. He's a good guy. Obedient, but he's still developing his confidence, which is super normal. You don't just arrive on the mission with the confidence you have like you do when you have been out for  over a year. We visited a few of our investigators and also did some contacts. We got in a bible bash with this girl from the Assembly of God. Normal. These people like to argue and say that the argument is "sharing ideas". Nope we were hard core arguing about the gift of tongues and she was absolutely convinced that it exists. I think I've walked by a 1000 churches with people yelling, babbling, mumbling loudly to feel the "spirit of God" ...its ridiculous. I used all the scriptures I had to prove her wrong but there was no way she was going to believe me. Bible-bashing doesn't work. It never has. But sometimes it's satisfying, not gonna lie. We won and left. At the end of the day, Vargas was telling me how he wanted to develop the confidence that I had when I was talking to the people.  It kind of shocked me because sometimes I don't feel confident. I just say things that I think I have to say to get the people to do the right thing.  I've learned here that with these people, you don't have to beat around the bush to get your point across. You can say what you want and the people either accept or reject the proposal. But they keep being friends with you no matter what you do. It's cool, and isn't something that really happens in our culture. People are super straight of with each other here. It makes missionary work much easier.

I don't know why this week was so tough for us. I think the Lord is giving us trials to make up for the easy work we had the first couple of weeks here. We discovered that a lot of our investigators aren't really as good as we thought they were. It's disappointing when this happens.

Last weekend we were given a referral from one of the families in the ward. It was of a guy, Edimilson, who had fallen from a roof while he was working on a house and he had broken 3 vertebrates. We went to his house and talked to him for a bit. He was on his bed without being able to turn over, not even able to talk a lot. He accepted the proposal of us giving him a blessing. It was an awesome experience. Very spiritual and his family was really happy that we passed by. We went back after a few days and left a message with him. He was sitting in his bed at this point. A few days after, we went to have a family home evening with them and the family from the ward. It was great and we really strengthened the friendship there. They gave us tons of food and let's just say that my stomach didn't want to keep it when I was sleeping. He was walking at this point during the family night.. After a few days we returned and taught everyone the Restoration. The spirit was so strong and they even were crying and feeling it. We taught them that God was telling them that everything was true and challenged them to be baptized. They said... "No. Who knows maybe one day we will,,, if god touches our hearts.."  You've got to be kidding me!  At this point the man was walking around and working on houses again. WHAT MORE DO THEY WANT?  We were super bummed and left that lesson just wondering what happened. This actually happens a lot. We did our best but it ends up being their choice in the end. Sometimes I just want to take people's freedom of choice. just kidding. But we gained a greater testimony of how true the priesthood is.

A miracle that we were a part of was the reactivation of this lady, 'E' who hadn't gone to church in like 5 years. A member gave us her name and address and we acted like we were just knocking doors when we found her. She was leaving but we marked with her for another day. We went back and she had decided that if we went to her house that night, she would return to church. We almost didn't go because we were super busy with preparing for the baptism but we went and it was great. She missed the temple and the hymns (we sang a few) and she was in church on Sunday. Woo! The blessings we get from fasting are great, especially when you double it by doing a service project at the same time.

We baptized again this Sunday. It was solid. Luan. Just turned 15 and we baptized him without restrictions from the age rule. Great baptism. I sang "Come Follow Me" and his friend, Otavio baptized him. His mom was there(non-member) and really liked it. We'll have to chase her down. haha. I'll send the pictures next week. This week my companion and I both bore our testimonies. The spirit was felt and everyone was crying. Ferreira talked about his life's story and how he had everything going against him when he came to the mission. It was great and the members really were touched. 

Well family. Glad to hear that you're all OK in spite of the snow disaster. Cool to see the pictures of snow,,, something that never existed here. I think that if it snowed here the people would just flip. haha.

The Church is true, and Christ lives and loves us. The atonement works... I promise.

Love you all!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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