Dear Family and Friends,
This was quite the week. Sometimes as missionaries we are looking for the immediate harvest. This week I was able to see the guiding hand of the Lord in my life. On Tuesday, as we were returning from Vitória, we had about three hours until the next bus. I was dead tired, and just wanting some alone time to think and read the scriptures while waiting, but thought, no, this isn’t my time to use, it is the Lord´s time. Thankfully, the bus company has an air-conditioned waiting room, and it was there that I struck up a conversation with the chap to my side.
We actually ended up conversing with him in English for two hours. It was a miracle. He had studied in the United States, is very smart and currently works for Petrobras offshore here. Turns out he is looking for answers, has already studied the Bible extensively and was certified to be something akin to associate pastor in the Baptist church. But, in his study of the Bible, including a comprehensive geneaology tree of everyone in the Bible, he was confused with many of the contradictory facts. Seeking more, he had already downloaded the church library app, but hadn’t yet read the Book of Mormon. We had a wonderful, wonderful conversation. It was one of the best and coolest lessons I’ve taken part in. He had lots of questions, wants to know more, and I´m very excited to see what happens. Then, shortly after my return here to Itaperuna, we were stopped by a woman in the street who asked us to visit her brother in the hospital. We dutifully took down the information necessary and went the next day. Turns out this patient, Pedro, had been in a coma for four days and wasn’t looking like he´d be coming out. The rules were very strict, and I had to enter alone, dressing with a frock, washing hands, etc. So alone, I had the solemn yet very touching experience of first praying for help, and then giving a blessing to him. And with words that weren’t my own, I blessed him to recover. All in all, just a wonderful week filled with many spiritual experiences.
And, I learned that Priscilla, who was baptized a couple months ago in Quissama, will be making the 12 hour trip to go to the temple to do baptisms! She only earns minimum wage here, but has a great desire to go even before completing one year as a member! I was very happy to hear this!
Going to Vitoria was of course wonderful. Recognizing that I had never taken a picture with Pres. and Sis. Young, I took advantage of the opportunity and snapped a photo. The mission is definitely starting to take some steps moving more towards obedience. And to finish the training, we had a zone meeting Thursday to talk about everything that we learned. My training I will humbly admit, brought down the house.
Also, yesterday I had one more opportunity to talk in sacrament meeting and chose to speak about the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost. And, channeling my inner Russell M. Nelson (see April 2003 conference), after finishing my talk, the other three missionaries and I sang ´´Let the Holy Spirit Guide.´´ Even though none of us can sing very well, it turned out really good. It was the first musical number I’ve heard in one year here, and we showed up with matching ties. Long story short, we had decided to make ties for the district six weeks ago. Bought the material, and coordinated with a seamstress to make them. But, after waiting six weeks, she hadn’t even started so we took the material back, and I decided to just do it myself. And it was a lot easier than I thought.
And finally today, I received the expected news that I will be transferred. However, it was quite a shock as Pres. Young called to say I will be a zone leader. I will stay in this same zone, going to Campos. And in another shock, I will be the senior companion of the pair. I was honestly surprised, and might be the first zone leader to have never conducted an interview for baptism. And in other news, I will have the honor of reaching nine months in the same zone, and attending both stake conferences for the year here. Well, that’s it. I admit, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with this, but I’ve learned and I know that this is the Lord´s work and He is at the helm. We just have to do our best and he´ll take care of the rest.