This week was incredible! Arguably the best week ever! Every single day was full of love and the Spirit!
Let´s start with Monday! Monday night we taught a referral of recent convert Bruno, his sister. Her name is Claudia and the lesson was way special. Her little girl was crying the whole time but the spirit was still way strong and she understood the message and accepted all the commitments. After the lesson we went to our family home evening with Edivania´s family and guess what? They threw me a early surprise party for my birthday! The cake was a little burnt but it´s the thought that counts right?
Tuesday was edifying. Elder Godoy from the quorum of the seventy visited our mission and we had a big meeting with him. In the morning there was a special meeting for the mission leadership and he talked about the importance of being a balanced missionary. We need to have as much Spirit as we do technique. Then with everyone he joked around and gave an amazing training about how to discover and resolve the problems of our investigators. It was a very entertaining meeting.
District meeting was alright. We had a zone counsel for the month of February. After the meeting we had a few good visits. At night we visited the kids: Mauricio, Joana, and Ana Beatriz. They have been way prepared for baptism for several weeks now so this week we just did positive contacts with them everyday. Leaving their house one of the kids that watches the lesson stopped us and said, "Can I tell you guys something?" "Sure!" "I like you a lot!" And then he opened up his arms and jumped to give us a hug. It made me feel so good!
We had new missionary training again on Thursday because of the 12 week program. It wasn´t very well prepared so we just kinda chilled there for a few hours. I sat with Elder Christensen and Elder Griffin. It was way funny! Elder Griffin goes home next week. One more of my best mission friends leaving. We´ll hang out up there in Newton, Utah after the mission.
We went into exchange with our zone leaders after the meeting. Elder Monteiro (not Elder D. Monteiro) stayed with me in the area. Our first visit was with Adelina, a more-or-less active member we are working with. She made a birthday dinner too. It was hot dogs, carrot cake, and ice cream! During the message she bore her testimony and cried a bunch.
Then we had the baptismal interviews. All the kids passed! Our other investigator Denis, that would have be baptized, said that his aunt wants him to wait a few more weeks to be sure it´s what he wants. Oh well, he´ll go for April.
Friday was the big day! March 9th! My 21st Birthday! It was incredible! First we had lunch with Aurelio and Vanuza, the family that has most helped us since we opened the area. It was a banquet! And the most incredible thing was that Aurelio, who is Coca-Cola´s worst enemy, bought what? Coca-Cola! No one believed it! First time ever! Then they made two desserts! After lunch we found a bunch of new investigators that are all super elect! At night the kids threw me another party! They are pretty poor so it wasn´t much but it was way special. After, we undid the exchange when Elder Hamblin and Elder Monteiro showed up at our house and we had a sleepover party with a ton of pizza!
Saturday we all about the baptism of the kids! The primary president gave the message and it was a mini theatre piece! So cool! I got to baptize Ana Beatriz, Elder Monteiro baptized Mauricio, and the Bishop baptized Joana.
The week ended really well with an amazing Sunday! Ray passed the sacrament for the first time and Jeferson received the aaronic priesthood! The kids were all confirmed and their mom committed to coming to church every week and got well integrated with the women of the ward. After church we had lunch with the bishop and his wife made a great lunch but the best part was the dessert that I requested. She made peach cream pie, just like Nana and Aunt Marilee! It was perfect and delicious!
We taught another new family and then had a way interesting experience. Crisleine is a woman we met a few weeks ago that we never got to visit. We finally visited her and it was an incredible lesson. She understood everything and has already read a ton of the Book of Mormon. Right when we were about to invite her for baptism, her crazy evangelical brother showed up with his gang of extremist evangelicals. They were all dressed in black muscle shirts and tried to circle us and beat us up but Crisleine saved us and snuck us out of the house. Now I´m even more convinced that she is elect.
At night was the ward musical. They made a short little piece about the restoration. It was so simple. The scenery wasn´t much and the acting could have been better, but the spirit was so strong! I loved it! I even cried during the first vision. Best part: we were sitting next to a referral we met right before the presentation and during the show he turned to us and ASKED to be baptized! After we showed him the baptismal font he said he asked, "Is it just one person per baptism? I would like my family to be baptized with me too." YES!!! We met a few other golden referrals at the activity too. Amazing!
Can you tell it was a good week? I love being a missionary. The Church is so true! You can´t deny it! Ate Mais!
Elder MacLane Taggart