I am so happy! I feel so much closer to the lord and I can feel his hand so much more in my life. The last few weeks have been truly amazing and I have been learning so much about my purpose and who I am in the eternal scheme of things. I know that God loves me and all of his children. It truly is an honor to be here in this great work to help others be clean of there sins so that they can recieve mercy at the judgment day.
This week was great. We started teaching a really awesome family. Iara is a recently single mother and she lives with her son Antony. He is best friends with one of the ward youth and that´s how me met the family. The lessons are going incredibly. At first Iara just wanted Antony to be baptized was a little resistent to be baptized herself but we told her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. When we went back she said that while she was reading she couldn´t stop thinking about temple sealings (the gospel principles topic on Sunday) and she realized that in order to be with Antony after this life she needed to be baptized in the right form so that she can be sealed to her son for time and all eternity in the temple. Then this weekend her sister passed away and she is even more determined to follow Christ.
Marlene and Pedro were going to be baptized on the fifth but they had to go to a family wedding instead of Church so it looks like they will be for the 12th instead. She is commited to live the word of wisdom now and they are both super excited to follow Christ into the waters of baptism. Pedro is so funny. One day his drunk dad was there and he was saying a bunch of bad stuff about us and Pedro got up and started yelling, "Can you read dad!?! Look at their name tags! Who do they represent!?! Jesus Christ!!! Respect them!" Might I remind you that he is eight-years-old. They are really incredible.
Adeline unfortunately decided to take a break from the lessons for a while. She got back together with her exhusband and is going to church with him. She said that she still feels like she hasn´t found the right place yet (which is exactly what we are trying to help her with) but that she is feeling really confused right now. She told us that she is going to call us when she is ready to start investigating seriously. We felt oddly good after the lesson. Even though she stopped investigating we left on a really good note with the door wide open for her to come back and find out more. I feel like it probably just isn´t the right time for her but someday a couple of lucky elders will be able to help her family better than we could.
We had a mission wide meeting this week with Elder Claudio R. M. Costa, area president of Brasil. He was really good and he and his wife talked to us about how God fulfils the just desires of worthy servants´ hearts and that if we truly give 100% we will receive the blessings. After he had a meeting with all of the LZs and we talked a lot about the Resgate program (I don´t know what it is called in English.) It seems like things might finally get moving on that and that he is going to be really firm with the stake leadership to get things functioning the way they should. What a blessing he will be for Brasil.
I had the priveledge to do a baptismal interview in Jardim das Rosas for a young woman that I had helped get ready for baptism. Her name is Lilian and her mom was baptized last week. The first time I taught her in an exchange and she was being so difficult. I had to call her out and really wake her up to the fact that her salvation is on the line. What a difference a few weeks and some good personal revelation seeking makes. She was so well prepared and the interview was amazing. She said that it meant a lot that I did the interview for her and when she prayed the spirit was burning in the room.
Saturday was the baptism of Marcelo. Imagine what a hard situation he is in: 17, his parents don´t support him in going to church, and his closest contact to the Church is his less active neighbors who are kind of crazy. It was a miracle his dad signed the baptismal form. He was so ready, we didn´t even have to teach him because he has been going to church alone ever since he was 10. At the baptism the young all put some money together and gave him some white dress shirts and ties to weat to chruch. He was already interviewed to receive the priesthood and started his mission preparation and forms with the bishop right after his confirmation. What a stud! All the young women are fighting to try to date him now too. HAHA!
Anyway, we are teaching some other families (complete families, as in with men who can receive the priesthood and divide the ward) that we are getting prepared for December already. And everyday I´m getting closer and closer to the Savior. The only thing that bugs me is that I´m figuring out all this stuff out now when I have only a little over half a year left in the field. I wish I could go back in time and reuse all the time I wasted... :P haha!
Love you all!
Elder MacLane Winsor Taggart