Dear Family and Friends,
I knew that there would be miracles on the mission. I knew it. But still, I’ve been blown away by how many. Everyday here, miracles are finding us.
Dayani, who stopped us on the street last week, is wonderful. She has had a tough life, but has absolutely embraced the gospel, and is looking forward to a new life. She´s made new friends here, and has really seen a vision of what the gospel can do. The Bishop talked with her for 40 minutes, as she will need help from the ward and after he said,”Yes, she has a lot of hardships in her life right now, but she is prepared for, wants, and needs baptism.” We held a wonderful service yesterday and after the baptism, she just covered her eyes, overcome with emotion and said she feels like a giant weight was lifted off her back. This is why I´m on a mission. It´s amazing to see the happiness and peace people have with the gospel. And it’s amazing to have this opportunity to bring that message to them, to people the Lord has prepared. Dayani has so much potential. She understands the lessons, the essence of the gospel and in spite of her own trials and needs, has a desire to help others.
Sister missionaries in Serra, but in a different ward, were stopped at a bus terminal by a someone who said she had been a member of an evangelical church for 26 years (her entire life), but had had a dream about the Mormon church and wanted to know more. In the dream, everyone was dressed in white, she felt peace and comfort and she just heard one word `Mormon.’ She lives in our area, it’s honestly about at the end of the world, the farthest you can be, so we went to visit her on Saturday. It took two hours to get there, as the bus struggled, but we finally arrived, went to her house and knocked. She answers, and says she thought the sister missionaries would visit her, not us, and says she can´t let us in as her husband wasn’t there. Which we completely understand and agree with, so we just invited her to church. Then we took the bus back, much quicker but still about an hour. So three hours of traveling for literally a 2 minute conversation. It was disappointing, but then the Sister missionaries called us, and said that Kuaune called them, and really wants to come to church, but doesn’t know exactly where it is. So we arranged a ride, she came to church, and loved it! She stayed for the baptism and she cried, and wants to be baptized. So, yeah, just lots of miracles happening here.
And, Adinto, who is about 45-50, reads the Bible everyday on his tablet, and always sees an ad for our church at the bottom, so he clicked on it and asked for a Book of Mormon. We visited him Saturday, and he is so prepared. He talked about how he lived in Sao Paulo years and years ago, and knew Mormons there and always wondered about why they were different. And, in his apartment building there are two active families right by him that already know his children. So we shared our message, he was super excited to read the Book of Mormon, read some Saturday, visited the church on Sunday, and knows it’s true. So far we’ve only taught him, but he asked that we visit his entire family, so we are excited to help with that. There are a lot of people out of work here, that are struggling right now, but he is doing good. He is actually looking for someone who knows English to work for him. The bishop here has been looking for a new job, and we´re hoping that this might work out. Adinto has a cool job; he´s a soy bean broker, and right now, everything’s exploding. There are a couple of Chinese groups that are trying to buy millions of tons from him. Not unusual for big firms, but he´s used to selling just to Brasil, and now needs someone to help because international contracts are in English. Cool stuff.
Thursday we went to Vitoria to fill out some paperwork to get more Brazilian documents. Some rule changed, I think in our favor, giving foreigners here more freedom, but I don´t really understand everything. Regardless, it was cool, as the Americans in two zones went to do this paperwork together in Vitoria, and then were treated to McDonalds. Big Mac and McFlurry in Brasil. It felt a little like a field trip.
Friday, we had another trip, going an hour away to Cariocica to participate in a mission tour with the Zwicks. It was wonderful, a true spiritual banquet. There have been a small number of people in my life who I’ve met, and really inspired to become like. And Elder Zwick is one of them. Just awesome. Plus, he started a construction company, which is cool beans.
Well, that about sums up all the news. I love and pray for you all!!
Take a look around.