Us and Viviane and Anna Beatriz at our "goodbye party"!
How is everyone doing? I hope all is going well and that you all had a great week! Our week here was great! It was the last one of the transfer and it was sad to see this transfer fly by so fast but all is well! Last night we got the transfer calls, and as expected I am being transferred! BUT, I am just being transferred to a different area in our same zone! I am not going far away at all and I am staying in the same stake! That means I will see everyone at Stake Conference in a couple weeks! The area I will be going to is called São Cristovão, but it is part of the Mussurunga ward! We have two sisters in our ward too! My new companion will be Elder Estevam!!!!! I am so excited as he was one of my Zone Leaders this last transfer so I got to know him a bit! It also means I will be serving with him as a Zone Leader. I am really nervous for the new challenges and adventures this transfer will bring in a new area and with new responsibilities, but I am excited too! I know that through a lot of prayer, fasting, and hard work the Lord will shape me into the missionary that I need to be to help my zone! Lots of changes!
Our week was great and we had some awesome experiences! night we went to visit a man named Edson! He is the brother of a member in our ward here in Imbuí. Edson showed up at church the week before with his sister, who is a member, and he had a great time! She just invited him out of nowhere, apparently, and after years of rejected invites, he finally accepted! So at church, of course, we marked to go visit him! night was the time! Edson is about 45 and is married to a woman named Claudia! When we got there they let us in and we got to know them a little bit! Claudia seemed a little skeptical of us and just stood a little distance off in the kitchen listening at the beginning! We started to teach the first lesson about the Restoration, and it was so cool to see how Claudia started paying more attention. We found out that she goes to a different church every week and has heard a lot of bad things about our church so I think that is why she was a little skeptical at the beginning. I had the privilege of teaching the part of the lesson about the First Vision. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I recited the First Vision for the million-eth time and I absolutely love that I feel the Spirit so strongly every time! It has been a bunch of little spiritual experiences that I can remember and those have made my testimony stronger every time! It was so interesting to see Claudia get interested as the lesson went on! By the time I was reciting the First Vision both her and Edson we focused and wanted to know what happened next! The Spirit was so so strong and they both loved the message and committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about all of it! It was great and they look promising for the next Elders to come in and continue teaching them!
morning we had interviews with President Bangerter! It was great to see and learn from him and Sister Bangerter, who was also there! When my companion was being interviewed I went and talked with Sister Bangerter! We talked about General Conference and our favorite parts. It was great and I love to see how everyone got different personal revelations out of conference! Sister Bangerter also gave me some great advice on how to study the Book of Mormon! In my interview with President Bangerter we talked a lot about helping people thru the last step before baptism. I thought it was interesting that we talked a lot about the fundamentals and that having our investigators do the simple stuff is what will get them to baptism. We talked a lot about prayer and how they need to be praying correctly and specifically for things. It was a really great help and afterwards I was thinking about it and thought how it applies to us too, those of us who have already accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and been baptized. Just like the simple, fundamental things help our investigators get baptized, it is those same things that help grow our testimonies too so we can stay strong in the Church. Daily prayer and scripture study are the most common answers to our questions because they are the BEST answers! We all need to do that; new member or whole-life member!
morning we had Elder and Sister Briggs come over to our house. They are the couple missionaries that are in charge of the houses in the mission! They are so awesome and I love them. They have already been here in the mission for almost a year. I remember the first time I met them because Sister Briggs was funny. Anyway, it was great to have them and they complimented us on our clean house! (mom that story was for you! ;-)
night we had a really cool lesson with Thailane! Usually teaching her is a little difficult because of the setting! She lives with a lot of family in her house and it is usually very noisy and busy there so these last few weeks we have had trouble feeling the spirit strongly in the lessons with her. We had been praying that we could have a lesson that was a bit more peaceful and easier to feel the spirit and the Lord answered our prayers! we went over and she was there, with her mom Michelle, who is an inactive member, and grandpa Fransisco who is a member and has returned to church recently. Just them! So we had an awesome lesson with them where the spirit was felt really strongly! We all read 1 Nephi chapter 8. We gave Thailane a piece of paper and told her to draw Lehi's dream as we went through the chapter! So we all read together and she drew. At the end we had a very spiritual conversation. We asked all 3 of them where they thought they were on the drawing. Fransisco put himself on the pathway getting to the tree of life! We agreed with that one as he has been coming back to church and is doing awesome! Then Michelle who is an inactive member put herself off the path but said she was coming back slowly! Then Thailane. She put herself on the path to the Tree of Life but a little further back and in the mist of darkness. After everyone drew themselves on the paper I asked, "Do you all want to feel the love of God? Do you want to taste the fruit?" They all responded yes and then I asked, "So then what do you need to do to get there?" Thailane said, "be baptized." It was so cool and sooo spiritual! We then testified of the things we had talked about and I was feeling the Spirit SO strong! Like a lot! I was speaking 100% from the Spirit. We ended the lesson with a prayer that Thailane gave and it was awesome! I hope that that lesson was the turning point for her!
Suely and Reginaldo are doing great too! We had a tough time meeting up with them this week but they are really doing great! Excited about the progress that is happening and it makes me very happy to see how they have changed! They were at church and they seemed so happy there together and it made me so happy and grateful for the opportunity that I had to be able to get to know those wonderful people and help them come closer to Christ. And I will still be able to accompany them a little because I will be staying close!
was a little sad because I was going around saying goodbye to everyone here in the area. Even though we didn't get the real transfer news until night, I knew I was leaving as President Bangerter had told me in our interview .
Anyway, as we went around so I could say goodbye to the members and investigators I think the hardest was saying bye to Anna Beatriz and Viviane! They threw a little “going away” party and we talked and played a few games with them and Anna Beatriz’s boyfriend. When we left Anna goes, "wait stop don't leave yet!" She ran into her room and grabbed her Book of Mormon and came out with it. The week after they were baptized Anna made these really awesome book covers for her Book of Mormon and one for Viviane's too! Everyone in the ward was so impressed and it was just awesome! So she came out of her room with her Book of Mormon cover and all. Then she takes off the cover she made and hands it to me. I was confused and said, "Umm what is this for?" Anna goes, "It is for your Mom! I want you to give it to her as a remembrance of us and as a thank you for sending you here!" Man it was so cool! Mom I forgot to take a picture of it but you now have a Portuguese Book of Mormon cover. You'll have to wait get it when I get home, haha. After we left I was sad but I know that I will see Viviane and Anna Beatriz again for sure, especially since I stayed in the Stake.
I am so grateful for my time here in Imbuí! I remember how nervous I was to come to Salvador and serve here, but now I can't believe how fast my time in this area passed! I was here for almost 5 months! That is crazy! I grew to love this ward and the people that I met. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for putting me in the pathway of so many special people here in Imbuí! I will never forget my time in this wonderful place!
So that was our week! Like I said earlier, a LOT is going to change this week but I am excited and know that if we trust in God, all will work out!
I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
|The moon looked so cool this week!|
|Helene. She is the cutest little thing and I may miss her more than anyone in this area! :-)|