|Cristielen and her family with Elder Souza and I before her baptism.|
How are you guys?! I hope you all had a great week! This week for us was AMAZING!! We saw miracles and I think I'll have to say it was one of the best weeks I've had on my mission. Seriously I can't even begin to describe to you all how awesome it was! I hope this email will do this week justice! I'll try my best!
Tuesday was great! We had a Zone Conference with 2 zones, Conquista and Jequié. President Bangerter was there and it was just a great meeting! We all learned a lot. One thing that I really liked and remembered was when President talked about how we can make our teaching better. He gave 3 points. 1- Ask more questions and make sure the lesson is a conversation. 2-Bear short, powerful testimonies, and 3- give short, simple prayers. I really liked those points and I put them into practice this week and saw awesome results! I'll get to those results in a minute....
First I have to tell you about what happened Tuesday night, after the conference when we had a crazy experience. We went to meet with Andreza and then take her to a dinner we had with a member. We got there a little late and realized it would be difficult to bring her back after the dinner because it is really far away from where she lives and we would get home past our curfew. We headed across the street to talk to Nilza, her neighbor who is a member, to ask her to come with us so she could go back after with Andreza. Irmã Nilza has a little puppy dog that is still super spazzy. As we were talking to Irmã Nilza at her door the dog ran out. No big deal. We ran to try to get him back as he was being silly, playing with some other dogs. Andreza was chasing the puppy when a car passed and the puppy jumped in front of it by accident. There was blood everywhere. We were far away from where the puppy was hit and didn't want to get too close but we could still see what was going on. We were watching from a distance and then Irmã Nilza, who was still at her door realized what happened and ran over screaming about her dog. A huge crowd gathered around them as she tried to help the dog. It was like a movie. Nilza was in shock and ran back to her house so upset and left her dog dying on the street. It was getting late by this point and Elder Souza and I had to leave because we had a dinner appointment to get to. We felt so bad but left before seeing Nilza again…. Soooooo, fast-forward to Thursday night. We saw Irmã Nilza and found out the dog DIDN"T DIE!!! I have no idea how. There was instantly blood when it got hit and it looked dead to us! Apparently that night she went back outside and took the puppy to the vet all night. Then last night, Sunday, we had dinner at her house and we saw the puppy looking normal, walking with out problems and everything. It was so crazy but I’m glad her puppy is ok.
Wednesday morning we went back to the chapel where we had the Conference to have our interviews with President Bangerter. My interview was great! President is a very smart and spiritual man. He helped me a lot with my concerns about our investigators and knowing how I can better meet their needs as they progress in their learning. We talked mainly about Cristielen. He gave us the advice to teach her 1 Nephi 16. That chapter talks about the Liahona and the first time Lehi and his family found it. He told us to compare the Liahona to the Gift of the Holy Ghost that comes after baptism. It was so great.
Later that day we went to visit Cristielen where I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my entire life. We got there and did exactly what President Bangerter suggested. It was a really great lesson. At the end we asked what is in the way of her getting baptized. She replied, "I don't know. Just I don't feel ready and I am scared." We bore our testimonies and then she started to get emotional. It's hard to describe but the Spirit was so strong. I asked her the baptism commitment once again and waited for a reply. After about a minute of silence and no response still I said, "You want to know the answer?" She looked at me confused and said, "You'll give me the answer?" I smiled and said, "No, but God will. Let's say a prayer." We asked her to do it and she was hesitant because she said she was scared for the answer. I said, "How about me and Elder Souza both say prayers and last, you say one?" She agreed and then I gave probably one of the most fervent prayers I’ve ever given in my life. Then Elder Souza prayed. When he finished Cristielen was crying. She looked up at us and said, "and if I said I already got my answer?" We sat in shock and Elder Souza said, "So...? what is it?" Cristielen asked, "The baptism is Saturday right?" I nodded and she said through tears, "I am getting baptized this Saturday then. This is what God wants for me." I cannot even begin to describe the joy I felt in that moment. One of the best things I've ever felt. She finished with a prayer of gratitude and we left. It was one of the coolest experiences ever. I called President that night as we were walking home to tell him what happened. We talked for a while and he was so happy. It was just awesome. I hope that all made sense and that you guys could get somewhat of a feeling of how it was.
Anyway, I called President later that night as we were walking home to tell him what happened. We talked and he was so happy and it was just awesome. After this week I’m feeling closer to President Bangerter than I have before. He is such a great and inspired leader.
Also, on Wednesday night we went and visited with Elen. She is doing good but it is sad because we might have to stop teaching her soon. She is so busy and her mom is not really for her listening to us. We are doing our best with her and she really has a desire to learn. We read 2 Nephi 31 fro the Book of Mormon with her and she liked it a lot. But like I said the problem is that she is so busy and can't come to church on Sundays and cannot meet with us a lot during the week.
Thursday we did a split with the Elders from Morada dos Passaros. I went with Elder Pereira in their area. It was fun to go back to that area. Thursday night the branch was having an activity and I went and saw a ton of the members! It was really great! I really am going to miss this city when I leave! The members from the branch and the ward are just the best!
Saturday was the baptism! It was at 5 o'clock! We passed by Cristielen's at 4 to walk with her and her family to the church. It was funny because when we knocked she answered and was like, "I'm not going anymore," totally joking. But I said, "STOP haha don't even joke about that!" The baptism was amazing! She asked me to baptize her since I had been with her since the beginning and I was more than happy to be able to perform the ordinance! After the baptism I asked Crisitielen how she felt and she said, "I have the feeling to cry, but at the same time scream for joy!" It was so cool. I said that was the Spirit and then she got more excited for Sunday to be confirmed!! Sunday she was confirmed by Elder Souza and it was just all amazing. The next should be her husband Luis!
Yesterday, Sunday, I gave a talk in church and it was awesome! For the first time ever I had too much material!! I even went over my 15 minutes. Oops!! I guess that is what happens when you are a missionary and feel like you have a lot to share!
Well, I love you all so much! Have a great week and share the gospel with someone! You will see the miracles!!
Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
|Me and Sister Bernardo. She reminds of Kaiten ALOT so I took a selfie with her. :-)|
|All of us in our District wear glasses and Elder Roberto wanted to take a picture like this so we did!|
|Bishop Guerra, his counselor Irmao Antonio. He is really funny.|