Monday, February 13, 2017

What a day!!!

Elder Christofferson ad Elder Freitas at Marcos and Kaique's BAPTISM!!!!!
Hey everybody!
I hope you all had a great week. Our week was fantastic! We had both Kaique and Marcos get baptized on Saturday!!!! It was perfect! Sadly, Maria Gabriella was not baptized this week but she definitely will be in a few weeks. It was a great last week of the transfer! 

So the surprising news is that Elder Freitas is leaving. The transfer is over! I am in shock! I already have 6 weeks here? Time is flying. I will be getting a new companion, Elder Bear. He is an American! It was seriously the last thing I expected. We got the news this morning and I am still in shock!! Elder Freitas and I had a great transfer together and I'm sad to see him go! But change is good and this next transfer will be fantastic too! About my new companion, I hear he WORKS HARD too so I am excited. Having an American companion really will be strange. Please pray that all goes well with my new companion. I always get nervous when the transfer ends. I will, of course, pray a lot these next few days for all to be well. The next few weeks are looking good in terms of baptisms. We are looking at 2 or 3 people who are close to commiting so I'm pumped. Baptizing is just the best. It makes all our work feel worth it.

Tuesday night was Ping Pong Night, of course. We planned with Kaique and Marcos that we would do their baptism interviews that night. The missionary who does the interviews is the District Leader. The District Leader here is Elder Araújo and we live in the same house as him. We realized Tuesday afternoon that Elder Araújo and his companion Elder Reinaldo always have a dinner with members on Tuesday nights. That meant we had to do a split and I went to the dinner while Elder Araújo did the interviews with Elder Freitas. I was sad because I wanted to be there! But the dinner was fun and I got to know more people. I practically ran home to find out the results of the interviews. The news was good. Kaique’s interview went perfectly. Marcos had some doubts and wasn't sure if he really wanted to be baptized though. Ugh! That darn old Satan was getting in his head. But Elder Freitas and I only got more motivated to beat his deception and work past Marcos’ doubths so he could be baptized on Saturday! So we scheduled to go to his house Thursday night and help him out. But I'll get to that.

Wednesday was not a very good day in the end. We were very excited to meet with Maria Gabriella! A miracle had already happened concerning her that week. She and Daniel, the member boyfriend, had said they didn't know if they would be able to meet with us on Wednesday. Maria only can come if Daniel brings her. He said he might have to leave town for work, and that we should call the day before to see if we could meet with them. Tuesday night we called and he didn't leave town! Woohoo! So we were pumped for Wednesday night. About 10 minutes before we had scheduled with them I felt like I should call Maria. So I did and she said, "wait... Daniel didn't tell you?" I was like ahh no! So then I called him and he explained that because of the rain he had to stay at work longer and had just gotten home and he couldn't bring her. Ugh! I asked if we could meet with her a different day and he said to call the next morning. So I did and Daniel explained how Maria was working extra that week, not her choice, and that she was busy all week. :( Also he explained that she still was having some trouble with coffee. I said it was all good and that we would meet with her next week. It was sad. But she is awesome and I know she will still be baptized. 

Because of what happened with Maria, I was struggling a little this week with, yet again, accepting the will of Heavenly Father. I was so so so sure we would baptize her this week. Like in my mind it was already decided. Ja era in Portuguese. So Wednesday night and especially Thursday morning I was pretty sad and frustrated. Like I know she will be baptized but I just was so ready for it this week. Obviously, Heavenly Father and she had a different idea. I think that He is really making me work on patience out here on the mission. Which is something I need and I know I’ll be better for it. 

On to happier things! Thursday night with Marcos! We showed up with a plan to help him thru his questions and doubts. We sat down with him and talked about his concers. He was under the impression that being a member of the church meant you couldn't do anything fun like go to a party, go to the beach, watch movies etc. We explained that that is NOT true. That actually as a member you have MORE fun and feel more joy because you are following God’s commandments! We then read 2 Nephi 31 with him. That chapter is amazing. Everybody go read it! (Here is the link to it online. Anyway, it was cool because at the end of reading the chapter I asked, "So Marcos, what do you think now? Do you want to be baptized this Saturday?" He was silent, looking down at the floor. After about 30 seconds he looked up with a huge smile and said, "well my doubts are gone, and I feel it's right so yes... yes I want to be baptized!" WOOHOO!! He finalized plans right then and there and we set everything straight for Saturday. 

So that led to the climax of the week, the baptism on Saturday, of course! It was a perfect meeting. There were a ton of members who showed up and I was very happy to see the support from them. That is the key with keeping people strong in the church. I had the privilege to conduct the meeting and it was awesome. The actual ordinances were very very very spiritual. Cleber, the Ward mission leader, was the one who baptized them. And during it he got emotional because of the strong Spirit. A lot of others did too, including Kaique's mom! She told us after that, " today is the second happiest day of my life. The first when Kaique was born, and the second, today!" Wow! She isn't even a member. We were stunned but are excited to start teaching her now.

The coolest part of the baptism service for me was after the actual baptism. I went back to the change room to help and make sure the guys were all good. I asked Kaique and Marcos how they felt. Both of their answers were great. Marcos said, "I feel renewed. Just... better." Kaique said, "I have never felt anything like that before. I feel like I'm floating, I will NEVER forget it." Then both he and Marcos jumped on me and gave me a huge bear hug. I was very happy. What a day!!! 

Yesterday was Stake Conference here and it was great! President Bangerter and Sister Bangerter were here and gave talks. Sister Bangerter is so funny. She is just so bubbly and sweet and friendly that everybody loves her. President Bangerter told a cool, powerful story at the end of his talk about an experience he had many years ago when President Spencer W. Kimball was the Prophet and had born his testimony in General Conference Priesthood meeting. President Kimball had said that he knew Christ lives because he had seen him. The spirit was so strong as President Bangerter spoke. It was a way cool story and such a blessing to know that the church is led by men who know Christ. 

Anyways, this week will be a new, different one for sure! I love my mission, I love Brasil, and I love you all!  

Have a great week!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Elder Freitas, Kaique's mom, little sister, Kaique, Marcos's dad, Marcos, Me and Cleber (kneeling in front) at the baptism!

Elder Brito

Zone Conference

After Marcos and Kaique were baptized and had changed with Cleber, the Ward Mission Leader. 

Elder Christofferson, Dobrao, Freitas and Reinaldo

Third is almost all the missionaries with pres and sis Bangerter at Stake confn

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