|Me with the futebol player statue that you can see from our house.|
I hope you are all doing great! I'm sure another week of summer was a blast. Here in Salvador it seems like our "winter" might be hittin' the road already as this week it was a little hotter! We had a great beginning of August and the future is looking bright here in Imbuí!! Elder Pereira and I are getting along great but I am definitly feeling old out here! Training is so different! I love it but it's definitely challenging.
Last Monday after we sent our emails we went bowling with a ton of missionaries in our zone! It was a blast and I got to see old friends and make new ones! Someone made the comment when we were there how it is so weird that we all got to know one another on our missions! A lot of times it seems like we have known each other forever! It's so true! An example of that is my trainer and now Zone Leader Elder Santana, I met him less than a year ago but it feels like we have been friends for years! I'll send pictures! It was a fun day!
Tuesday was a great work day. Pure work and sweat. We found some new people to teach, which we needed. A few families, one of which we will be visiting tonight! So hopefully it goes well! Tuesday afternoon we had a visit with Suely. She is the less-active lady who's son is preparing for a mission. The son is the only one active and we are working on re-activating the family, starting with Suely. It would help out the son a lot if his mom was more supportive of him serving a mission. Last week Suely had disappeared a bit and we couldn't find her home. But Tuesday we found her. We taught and read with her 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. I forgot how much I LOVE that chapter!! It is seriously such a good example and analogy for our day! If you haven't read it recently go read it! Suely really felt the Spirit and she liked the part where Lehi desires the fruit of the tree for the rest of his loved ones. She started to explain how her family needed this "fruit" again. Then we made a list of all her friends and extended family who live in the area and who we can visit. It was great. Friday we had another great lesson with her, just reading the Book of Mormon. Sunday she was at church and as we sat down in Gospel Principles she says, "Elder Christofferson, I didn't drink coffee Friday, yesterday, and today." I was speechless! This was the lady who said that there were conditions of us visiting with her. One of them being we weren't allowed to talk about coffee and the stuff she wasn't supposed to do. We hadn't said ONE WORD to her about her drinking coffee, we only reading the Book of Mormon with her and invited her to read and pray about it. The Book of Mormon is the best tool ever! It helps us in all situations! I know it is the word of God. When we read it, we come closer to our Heavenly Father and seek to do his will.
Wednesday was amazing! We went and visited our awesome investigators Viviane and Anna Beatriz. They loved Church on Sunday and thought it was very edifying. They liked how everyone gets to participate if you want to. Not just one or two men in the front talking the whole time. We taught more in-depth for them about the Book of Mormon. Towards the end of the lesson I started to bear my testimony and felt the Spirit intensely. I was prompted by the Spirit to invite Viviane and Anna Beatriz to be baptized and they both said yes! Then Viviane said, "We need this in our lives. It just seems like there is a void that nothing will fill. Material things don't do it and everything we have looked at so far doesn't fill that space. I don't know how to explain it other than that it feels like there is something missing in our lives but this seems right;" WOW!!!! We promised and testified that this Gospel, this true church of Jesus Christ WILL fill that void. That is what Christ promises, to fill our souls with joy. We set a goal with them for the 19th of August!!!
Friday we went and visited a less-active named Mateus. He is an interesting guy with a lot of questions, like A LOT. Friday when we were teaching him one of his friends showed up. He was insisting his friend come in and talk to us too, haha! He did and we taught them both together and now we are visiting with Daniel, the friend! All we are doing with Mateus is reading the Book of Mormon! It is the perfect solution like I said! And just doing that he is changing. He is talking about his friends and family who don't have the Gospel and wanting us to visit them without us even asking! It is amazing!!!
Saturday we visited with Viviane and Anna Beatriz again! Our Gospel Principles teacher, Eliete, came with us! It was a great lesson and we taught about the Plan of Salvation! They thought it was so "pretty" :-)! They loved the fact that we can have eternal families meaning that even beyond this life we can be with our families forever. Our families don't end with "til death do you part" or "for as long as you both shall live" but they can last for ETERNITY! At the end of the lesson I asked how they were feeling. Viviane said, "I was really close to my Grandmother, her name was Anna Beatriz with two N's and that is why I gave my daughter that name too." (Normally Anna is spelled with just one N in Portuguese). "When my grandmother died I didn't know what to do. I have always felt her with me throughout my life but not known if that was just in my head or real, if there really was life after death? But now that I know I can live with her again, I am happier than ever." I mean come on! What a perfect testimony she shared! Anna, who is only 19 said, "I have never lost anyone like really close to me. But now that I know this, when I do, it won't be as painful." It was way awesome. Then Anna asked if she can bring other people to church with them! We said of course and then her boyfriend, Rafael, showed up! He was getting there right as we left and he was interested too.
We fasted yesterday and are praying alot that Viviane can get the 20th off of work so she can come to church the day after her baptism to be able to get confirmed during sacrament meeting! Because if not she would have to wait a lot of weeks to be confirmed!!! Please pray for her to be able to get the 20th off of work.
Anyway, Sunday Anna was there! Viviane had to work but Anna came and brought Rafael!!! It was awesome! Anna was explaining things to him during the meeting! It made me so happy to see investigators HELPING OTHER investigators haha! Good times!
So everyone that was our week!! I love this gospel! I love the Book of Mormon! I love you all! Have a great week!