Monday, January 30, 2017

Ping Pong Night

Kaique and Marcos and me! Marcos has the hat!
Hi everybody!!

So how are you all?! I hope you guys had a great week. This week was great for us. Just to let you guys know, Kaique's baptism didn't happen Saturday. But don't worry it's not for a bad reason! He still is going to get baptized. I'll explain a little later!

Tuesday this week we had a really great experience. Our ward Mission Leader, Cleber, is the best. Because of his help, this branch will grow. Anyway every Tuesday night he organizes Ping Pong at the church. There are snacks and drinks and he invites a TON of no

n-members. It is actually how Kaique got to know the Church. So far this Ping Pong night has been a gold mine and this last week was no exception. Elder Freitas and I showed up a little late and had fun with everyone. There were 5 non-members there, including Kaique. We got to know everyone and even played some ping pong. Quick side note- I really need to work on my ping pong skills. I was getting destroyed. But anyways, at the end, Cleber gathered everyone together and said that now was the spiritual part of the night, the best part. Everyone sat down and me and Elder Freitas taught a group of about 12! 5 non-members and the rest members. It was definitely the biggest group I've ever taught. The lesson was great and the Spirit strong. I felt like the first missionaries of the Church back in the olden days when they would preach to big crowds! Haha, it was a really cool night and a few of the non-members that were there came to church Sunday. 

Now for Kaique. He was at Ping Pong Tuesday and afterwards we scheduled to visit him the next day. So Wednesday night we went over to his house. We finally met some of his family. His mom, brother and little sister. His mom is really nice and glad Kaique is going to church. We taught her and Kaique about the Book of Mormon. We had planned to go into the Plan of Salvation, but when his mom offered us coffee we decided to teach the “Word of Wisdom” about how we don't drink coffee, tea, alcohol, etc. first, haha. Tuesday at Ping Pong I had asked Kaique if he had told his mom about the baptism. He said he did and she was all good. The problem, I found out, was that he told his mom about the baptism, but not the DATE of it. So Wednesday at their house when I mentioned something about Saturday she kind of freaked out. She said (1) "That is really soon! Doesn't he need to prepare more?" and (2) that she wanted to be there for the baptism, and make a cake for it. We talked and decided it would be best to have his family there so we pushed it back to February 11th, which works for everyone. So Kaique will still be baptized for sure. Plus this gives us the chance to teach him better and now teach his family too!

Friday night we got to go to the wedding of one of our investigators, Vagner. He was dating a member and after years of not wanting to marry in the church, changed his mind. So their wedding was at the church Friday night. It was really cool and special and Vagner is awesome. The branch is already supporting him a lot and he has a ton of friends at church. He'll get baptized someday, I’m sure.

Saturday afternoon we had another awesome lesson. In the branch there is a guy named Daniel in his 20s.  He is a returned missionary. He is dating this girl named Maria Gabriella who is 19 almost 20. Maria has already been to church a ton. Saturday we finally got to teach her. Our lesson was in the chapel with her and Daniel. It was a really cool lesson. She was a little timid but opened up as the time went. The best and most spiritual part of the lesson happened during the telling of the First Vision, like always. After I said the words of Joseph I paused and let the Spirit work. After a few seconds Elder Freitas asked her how she felt. During the 1st lesson when telling the First Vision we always show the image of Heavenly Father and Christ appearing to Joseph. Still looking at the picture she said, "It's... strong." She then explained, "Ever since I was a little kid, every time I see an image of Jesus I feel something different, just like now." That experience was just another witness to me how we, the missionaries, really aren't the teachers. The Spirit is.

So, for the last thing… Sunday was amazing again. It's normal now. We had 6 investigators at church!! The same thing as last week happened. For the 3rd hour we taught. Except this time it was more than just one. We taught 4 of the investigators who were there. Kaique, Marcos, who goes to Ping Pong, Vagner, and an older lady who has a really difficult name haha. But we all gathered in a classroom and we taught. AGAIN we taught the Restoration and AGAIN the Spirit was so strong. We marked with every one to visit them this week. They all should be baptized! For me, yet again, the coolest part happened as I was recounting the First Vision. As I was saying it, Kaique, who was now hearing the lesson a 2nd time AND who already read the whole pamphlet, was mouthing the words with me. It was amazing. Kaique saying the words to himself as I was telling it out loud to everyone. SOO awesome!! The kid is a stud!

Cleber, the Ward Mission Leader, has so much fire about the work and a vision about what we will do. It is helping so much and making this work more fun than it already is. I am really excited for all this. We will have baptisms here and we are pumped! Also the fact that it is 99% certain I am staying here this transfer is sweet. The future is looking bright here and I can't wait to see what it brings. 

I love my mission. I love this gospel and I love you all!! Have a great week! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

PS- One strange thing about this week was that I realized I LOVE to clean! Hahaha! Crazy! I felt like Uncle TJ! 

Wednesday when we watched the training from Salt Lake about the changes which will happen here in a little bit! Just schedule changes though, nothing too strange. Can you spot the American? LOL! 
Picture of the First Vision we showed Maria

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