How are you all doing?! I hope you all had a great week! Here in Salvador life is wonderful! We had an AMAZING week and I will get to the main highlight towards the end of the email. Let me just say as I begin that I love serving the Lord and helping people come closer to Jesus Christ! There is no better work!
So we had a very full day! We got home that night absolutely dead tired but that is the best feeling as a missionary because we had worked hard!! First we had a Zone Conference with the two zones here in Salvador combined. The problem was that I found out it was 2 zones a little bit late. I’ll explain: The meeting was scheduled to start at but there was a leader meeting at with President Bangerter so my companion and I got up early to get to the stake center. We arrived on time but the chapel was locked and no one was around. I tried calling a ton of people and no one answered. Finally some of the Sisters who serve in the area where we currently were answered. I asked "Sister, is the Zone Conference cancelled?" She replied no, and I said, "Umm then why is no one here?!" She realized what had happened and said "Elder are you guys at the Itapuã Stake Center? The meeting is at the other Stake Center!" Ugh! So no one had told us and we had to get on another bus to the other chapel! On that bus we hit Los Angeles like traffic! And I mean BAD!!! We ended up getting there late but in the end it was all worth it because we had a GREAT meeting! My favorite training was from Sister Bangerter! Her Portuguese has improved so much since I arrived here in the field! She always likes to give trainings that mix Portuguese with English. She focused her training on a scripture in 2 Nephi chapter 9. First she shared the last part of verse 39 in Portuguese and talked about it. Then wrote the same phrase but the English version. The phrase is, "and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal." She took the first letter of the last five words and it spells SMILE!! I loved that! When we are spiritually-minded we will smile and be happy!! It was a great meeting!
After the meeting ended we had to book it over to Viviane and Anna Beatriz's to have a very important lesson! It was going to be their last one before their baptism interview ! We taught about the Sabbath day and tithing! Both things we had previously touched on but had not really explained it completely so we wanted to help them with that. The best part was when we were teaching them about tithing! I was explaining what tithing is and that we pay 10% and then Viviane goes, "only 10 percent?" It was so awesome! I thought it was a great, positive outlook on the topic! They were excited and a little nervous for but all was looking good after !
The same day we also went to contact another media referal! It was a lady who's name was Suzana! We called her the day before and she said she wanted a Book of Mormon so we scheduled an appointment to deliver her one! We showed up around 6 that night and after knocking on the wrong door at her neighbor's she came out and said she was Suzana! So we went in and met her and her family! She lives with her husband and their 3 little kids. The oldest is 6 and the other two are under 3. We had a fantastic lesson about the Restoration and explained the Book of Mormon. The way she found out about the church is cool too! She got put into a group text with a bunch of moms. She said that a majority of them live in São Paulo and they are members! They had little by little explained about the church in the group text and when she asked a question they would answer! In the end the other moms told her about the church website where she can ask for a Book of Mormon! So she did and we showed up! This work of salvation only works when members of the Church are active it! I promise it! You don't have to talk about the church every breathing moment like a full time missionary, but being an example to others is the main part! All of the success I have seen here on my mission comes because of members helping with the work! I also thought another cool thing was that Suzana goes by "Sue" and it made me think about Aunt Sue this week with her surgery! Heavenly Father placed this other Sue in my path to remind me of Aunt Sue at home. She and all the Robles’ are in my prayers!
night a really cool thing happened. Close to our house is this huge grocery store. It’s kind of like Ralphs or Vons but a little bigger. These types of stores are RARE here so it is great to one close by. night before we went home we went by to buy some food and I FOUND CREAM CHEESE!!!!!!!!!! I know that is probably a really funny and silly thing to get so excited about but I freaked, lol! I of course bought it and have been eating it just with bread every day, haha! These are the little type of things that don't usually exist here that when I find them are amazing. Like I realized that sour cream also doesn't exist here! And the worst is ranch. Ranch, I think, I will never find. Barbeque sauce is really common here in Salvador so that is good. Sorry for the food update, it was just so exciting! LOL!
we went and met with Matues and Lo. They are interesting people. We love them but we are starting to feel like they are only wanting to have us as friends and not as missionaries who talk about Christ. They like our visits but aren't keeping the commitments that we have given them. So sadly we might have to “drop” them. It’s always hard when this happens but we are here to help them come closer to Christ, not just to have a good time and visit as friends.
we had the interviews of Viviane and Anna Beatriz! Our Zone Leaders Elder Rodrigues and Elder Santana came to do them! Anna went first and the interview was quick and without a hitch. Viviane was second. As Elder Santana was interviewing her the rest of us were just out in the hall talking... and talking... and talking, because the interview was taking forever! I started to get worried and Elder Pereira even more because this was the first time one of his investigators were being interviewed for Baptism since he is new! Finally they walked out and everything was good! We headed out and the second we left I said, "Elder Santana what the heck happened?" He replied, "Dude, I didn't even barely talk. She already has such a strong testimony and she just kept talking about how much she loves the gospel! That is why it took so long haha!" So it was all okay but a little scary there for a minute!
So now for the highlight of the week and the biggest reason that this week was so good…Viviane and Anna Beatriz were baptized ! OH HOW HAPPY I WAS! The meeting went perfectly! Elder Pereira baptized Viviane and I got to baptize Anna! It was so spiritual! I felt the Spirit so strong when I got to baptize Anna Beatriz! After the actual ordinance, our ward's Relief Society sang a special musical number. The Spirit was SOO strong in the room helping everyone feel the peace, comfort and witness that Anna and Viviane had done the Lord’s will. I looked over at Viviane and Anna, and saw Viviane reach over and grab her daughter’s hand as both had tears in their eyes. That was a special moment. This Gospel is about families. Eternal families. And their next goal will be to go to the temple. was a day that missionaries live for!
was great too! Both Viviane and Anna came to church and were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as they received the Gift of the Holy Ghost! It was so special and such a privilege to participate! Our next focus is now going to be Rafael, Anna's boyfriend! He has now come to church twice and was at the baptism and is LOVING church!
So that was a very quick recap of our amazing week! I love this privilege of representing the Lord Jesus Christ! I love you all so much! Thanks for being awesome! Have a fantastic week!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
|Elder Pereira, me, Vivane, Anna Beatriz and Raphael before Viviane and Anna's baptism.|
|The Relief Society Sisters in the Ward came to support Viviane and Anna at their Baptism.|