Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tranfer Week. Staying? or Leaving?

My favorite picture EVER!!! It took us about 10 minutes to get this right! LOL!

Hi everybody!! 
It is May! Whoa! Time is flying ridiculously fast! How was your guys' week? Ours was good but tough too! But hey, that's part of a mission right? Also as I write this it is about noon here and we were supposed to get transfer calls but still nothing!!!! I think I am staying but who knows! 

So last Monday night we headed over to Mercia's. Mercia is one of the non-member daughters of the sister in the ward who passed away in a car accident a few months ago. At the very end of the last transfer the Elders in this area went with Bishop to teach her and her family the Plan of Salvation. It apparently went very well and Mercia set a baptismal date. So at the beginning of this transfer we taught her a couple times but she started to be tough to find. At the times we had marked next visits she wasn't home. We also had no way to call her because our cell phone was out of minutes for a few weeks. So after a long time of miscommunication and her avoiding us we taught her Monday night. She admitted to us that she still is very sad and somewhat angry with God for the unexpected death of her Mom. And also how that was part of the reason she was avoiding us. She explained that she decided having us visit will help her. She also talked about how her sister Silvana, (only other member in the family), seems at peace a lot. We explained to Mercia that its because Silvana has the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We told Silvana that she could have that same peace thru the gift of the Holy Ghost as well if she wanted it. (for more info on the Holy Ghost https://www.lds.org/topics/holy-ghost?lang=eng&old=true )Then there was a silence and we didn't really know what to do. She was confused and sad. A thought came into my mind and I followed it. I got up and went and sat next to her on the couch and opened Doctrine and Covenants 121 and read this with her, substituting daughter instead of son. 
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail theeagain with warm hearts and friendly hands."
The Spirit (another name for the Holy Ghost) was so strong and amazing helping us all know God is there. She committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying! 
Tuesday was fun too! Our lunch was over an hour away by walking. It was going to take a lot of time! So I called some members and they let us borrow 2 bikes just for lunch! Man it was great! We got to lunch in like 20 minutes!! 

Later on Tuesday we went and taught a married couple, Crisielen and Luis. They are neighbors of a member who took Crisielen to church a week ago! They are awesome. This was our second lesson with them and it was great! They did the reading from the 1st lesson and came to church this Sunday! I believe they will be baptized this next transfer for sure! 
Thursday night we went back to visit with Mercia. She had read the chapter of the Book of Mormon we had left her. But she didn't pray to know if it was true! Read and pray are always 2 of the things we challenge people to do as missionaries. So we asked her why she didn't pray. That opened up a whole fantastic discussion on prayer and being humble. It was really great. Mercia is funny because she just tells it how it is. She says what she feels and thinks, when she feels or thinks it. For missionaries it is actually awesome, haha! We never have to guess what is going on or how she is doing. She will tell us!

Now for Andreza and the reason why this week ended a little tough. So the goal was to have her baptism this week. She was still a little scared/timid, but we figured, "nothing we can't handle, we've seen this situation a billion times! We got this!" That was probably a mistake to think we could do it on our own. We visited Andreza Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday, to try and help her get ready to be baptized. A lesson that really stood out to me was on Thursday night. We had left Ether 12 with her to read in the Book of Mormon. She didn't have time to read it all so we finished reading it with her. During the entire reading the Spirit was some of the strongest I have ever felt. Then I felt the prompting, "teach her the Restoration again." I had got that feeling the day before during our lesson with her and had not obeyed. This time I did. I felt different during that discussion about the Restoration. In reality it wasn't me at all. It was the Holy Ghost speaking through me. The feeling of the Holy Ghost in those moments was some of the strongest I've ever felt confirming the truth of what we were teaching. Andreza told us she believes all of this is true. So we asked what is stopping her from being baptized. She said, "I don't know, I'm not prepared yet." Saturday night we did all we could. Elder Bair went with Elder Bitencourt to visit her and for Elder Bair to do the interview. They stayed there for a while talking with her. She passed the interview and everything. So they set with her to baptized Sunday morning before church. So that was the plan!! Me and Elder Bitencourt woke up at 5am to fill the font and we were all prepared. But when Andreza got there she still said she wasn't ready. She stayed for church and wants to be baptized but needs to feel more prepared. We tried EVERYTHING possible to help her see that she is ready. During the 2nd hour of church she even met with Bishop for like half an hour and still felt like she wasn't ready. That is the beauty of free agency! We can't force anyone to do anything and I really didn't want to force anything because that is not right. Andreza believes what we have taught and I have faith she will be baptized, it just didn't happen this week. :( 

Ok, so we literally JUST got transfer call about 2 minutes ago! I am staying here in Morada Real!!! I am really excited about that. I LOVE this city and the winter is coming and it will be COLDDD!!! I am so pumped, haha. Elder Bair is leaving:(. Also Elder Bitencourt is going to Porto Seguro!! I really have become amazing friends with Elder Bitencourt. We have had such a blast this transfer working hard and teaching and learning from each other and those we have taught. I am sad to see him go but I will for sure stay friends with him. My new companion is Elder Souza. I don't know him at all. He has about 3 months on the mission, I think and he just finished his training. All I know about him is that he is Brasilian! I am sure it will be a great transfer! 

So today, a little later, I will have to go for a “swim” because we filled up the whole font at church yesterday and the plug doesn't have a string on it so I have to go down and get it out. The water is going to be SO cold so I am not looking forward to that, haha!! But it will be an adventure.

Well that was my crazy week! I love all you amazing people and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson
Our last district meeting before transfers! 

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