Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 - The Best 18 Months!

                                                                   Rayane's Baptism

                                                 Sister Monteiro, Irma Zeze and Courtney

                                                      Courtney and the Sao Miguel Valley

Hi everybody!

Things are rolling strong here, we had Rayane’s baptism this Sunday morning which started late as usual and the man who baptized her, his white jumpsuit popped open showing his garments because of his pot belly, but it was yet another soul saved at the end of the day! She is 12 and has been going to church with her aunts and uncles who all live on the same street, since she was a little kid.

As for Irmã Maria José and Gessiara, they are progressing perfectly, got on the bus early Sunday morning and came down to the chapel all by themselves. They started spreading it all around for everyone to hear that their baptisms will be this Saturday! Irmã José tells everyone she sees that her life has been changed ever since her ´´two angels´´ (me, obviously, and my companion) have come into her life. She tells about all these great things that are happening that never did before. She told us the story of her life, how she had her own cell at the jail and drank and smoke like no other, how she was always in street fights, and lots of other things. She said that ever since she went to our church all of that anger and hatred inside of her melted away and she doesn’t know how it’s possible. It is amazing to me how merciful the Lord is and how simple it is-the exact moment we decide to stop doing what’s wrong and start being obedient, the blessings automatically flow. It’s simple!

Our other miracle was with a young couple we´re teaching, Alda and Neto who are friends of members. They went to church and we marked to teach them. As we taught the restoration and invited them to pray to know if the church is true, Alda said ´´I don’t feel like I need to pray. I’ve never felt such a peace like I feel inside of that church. I feel like I’m in a different world, like all of my cares just melt away when I’m there.´´ The spirit flicked me in the head because the same church meeting that I had been spacing out and waiting for it to end, was the same one that someone had received the personal witness that Christ has a restored church here on the earth. I learn here that we really do so little to help in the work of the Lord, that He has been preparing these people a lot longer than we have been here and will guide them a lot after we leave. They are a really special couple!

What I love about my mission is that I finally feel like my life has a real purpose- I feel like I’ve found my real purpose on the earth, and I only came to find that when I stopped thinking about myself and if I was hungry or sleepy or hot or grumpy, and started thinking about others. These people teach me so much-this week was about generosity. I have never seen the kind of generosity these people show us. I learned that generosity isn’t just give when you’ve had enough, or give whatever is left over, generosity is giving to others when you don’t have enough for yourself, and not thinking twice. You just gotta imagine the look on Irmã José’s face when we accept the food she offers us- a little old woman who takes care of her son and 2 granddaughters financially, who live in a one room and one bedroom house, offering everything that’s inside of her refrigerator with a door that comes completely off its hinges every time you open it. Some things I see here are so special to me, it just doesn’t do it justice to try and explain it over email. Whether its oranges, bananas, eggs, bread, whatever she has she is more than happy to give it to us.

I know I would not be able to have these same experiences or gain this knowledge that I have if I had stayed at home. I love my mission! And I love you guys! Be good missionaries this week-be nice to the investigators the sisters bring, it was a triumph for them to get people in the church and it’s our job to help keep them there! You can do it! vocês conseguem!!

Ate a próxima semana! Beijos!

Sister Walker

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