Pictures: Cotrim and I in Itaqui in front of a Catholic church.
Things are going very well here in Itaqui! I am loving the members, my comp. The work and the weather! This week the weather took a big change! Now it is cold. I think my body is kind of confused with the weather pattern I have been receiving. Because I missed most of winter there in Colorado, I lasted through 2 summers, one in the USA and the other here, and now winter is here and I am cold! We have a lot of humidity here as well so this makes the cold a lot more powerful. My Comp. and I are working well together and are finding great success!
Monday, after all the beautiful emails, buying food, and doing all the stuff we have to do on P-day we got to work at 6 o´clock and visited Jorge, an investigator. We invited him to read and pray the week before, but he won't pray. We had a sad lesson with him and had to tell him if he won't read and pray we can´t return. Explained to him that these invitations are important and will help him to prepare and make covenants with Heavenly Father. We will see what will happen with him. We then had a great family night with some members and less active families. It went very good! Talked about the scriptures and how we must study them to receive direction.
Tuesday, had some troubles with the planned divisions with the Zone Leaders and they missed their bus to Itaqui. We woke up super early too...haha. District meeting went super good today! We had a great discussion on asking inspired questions. We had some great practices that I made up that really helped us understand the importance of asking inspired questions. I hope the other elders liked it. Lunch was super good today and after we left to the other side of the city. We returned to Maria´s house, but she wasn’t there. Only her son Jonathan was there, he is 15. We asked if we could share our message with him and he accepted. We shared the Restoration of the Gospel with him and invited him to read and pray. He was excited after and seemed very receptive. We then met Ini, a referral from a member. Ini is super lively and loves to talk! Haha. We tried to teach her one whole lesson, but ended up only teaching the first two points. Haha. She is super nice though and we will return. During the night we visited a member and she had 4 friends there that are all non-members! Well, what a coincidence (Mom, you will need to spell check this word. Sorry.) So we shared a little of the restoration with all of them as we sat in a little room. The message went very well and I found out I tend to speak better in groups of people. Don’t know why. We then had a great lesson on Prayer with Jusalino. He is so faithful, but has so many unorganized things in his family. The Lord will bless him though.
Wednesday, this is when the real cold hit! We bundled up in our sweaters and hit the streets. We have a lot of wind here so that makes the cold weather even worse, but I like the cold weather! I can walk faster and not sweat! I have developed a talent for walking faster now! :) Haha. Today we taught Luandra with a member present. The lesson went very good and she understands well! We then visited a referral named Mata. Sat down with the whole family and started to teach them. They have a lot of family members that are members but they don’t want to follow Christ...I was a little frustrated at the end of the lesson. I don’t understand how someone could live their life blindly, believing nothing and hoping for nothing. It is very sad! They are so lost, but they don’t even know it. And we have the answers, and the path, but they don’t want to follow. I don’t want them to live their lives like this. After this things cheered up! We visited César and talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and Baptism. The spirit was so strong there again. We explained again of the feelings he received after the blessing that these feelings were from God and that this is an answer that he is ready for baptism. We marked May 31st for him to be baptized! :)
Thursday, had awesome studies and then got to work. Lunch is always good here so I won't spend too much time talking about lunch or food. But trust me the food is super good here! We then visited a less active family. The wife and kids were there and she opened up to us and said she is having some marriage problems and that she wants to have a husband that will be home more, because her husband travels for long periods of time. It is difficult when people want advice for things like this, because to be honest we don’t know. We only invited her to read the scriptures and pray every day and counsel with the Bishop. Tonight we had our English class and it went super good! I had 3 non-members there and I think they enjoyed it a lot!
Friday, today we taught Maria again and the lesson went very good! We talked more about The Book of Mormon and the Restoration and she understands super well! She said she would pray to receive and answer! Found out some news that could slow down her progression to be baptized. She had a boyfriend that left her and the family 30 days ago and she wants him to return. So we want to mark a date for her baptism, but if the BF will return she will have to get married and don’t know how that will work out. So it´s...well, complicated. We will figure it out through time and prayer. Tonight we had the ward mission activity. Us 4 missionaries planned a night of desserts and jeopardy. It started out well, but by the end the two teams almost killed each other! Haha. We had about 50 people there and had questions about sports, The church, the BOM and Bible, and Movies. It was so funny how serious the members got. Thank goodness no investigators came...haha! We 4 missionaries left in shock after, because of how crazy the members got.
Saturday, taught Luandra and her Mom again. Tried to teach the Plan of Salvation to them, but they have so many questions about things we aren't talking about and it makes it impossible to teach. We told them to make a list of question and we will answer 3 every time we come back. Haha. They both like the church a ton but need to marry. Tonight we met with President Alisson and shared the Scripture Alma 13: 3-4 and talked about his calling as president. We then gave him a blessing of comfort. Spirit was very strong and I felt like after he had a lot more confidence in us. We then asked him to teach with us. With President we visited Paulo and Isabel and taught part of The Restoration of the Gospel. The lesson went very well and president helped Paulo with his doubt of being Catholic and changing religions. We then had an AMAZING lesson with Cesar and Family. WOW! It was revelation that we decided to have President come with us. Cesar had a problem with why members talk bad about one another and why they don’t all follow the commandments. With President being there the question was perfect for him to answer. I will never forget the spirit that we felt there that night. Cesar feels a lot more comfortable with being baptized with the doubt resolved. Crazy how this single doubt has been keeping him from making the commitment to be baptized for almost 4 years.
Sunday, I forgot to say this, but this whole week we were having a zone fast, where every day we have a companionship fasting. We were chosen to fast on Sunday and I was happy to! Might sound weird, Mom and Dad, but I like fasting. Haha. After church we taught Maria again and talked mainly about the Book of Mormon. She received an answer and wants to know the church a little more now! She believes that we carry the word of God! :) It was super cool when she told this to us. Made me feel special! We then talked with a lot of people in the street and tried to contact a few people, but they told us to return another day. We then had our weekly meeting with Irmão João that is getting better every week!
Mom, I am excited for you, Dad, and Amy for getting to go to the UK! I am glad you liked the letter last week! Elder Cotrim and I are having a lot of fun together and, yes, he is engaged. Haha! He stays focused on the work though! It is pretty impressive. Sounds like the past week was pretty exciting and that things will be getting even more excited this week! Awesome you guys were able to meet David. Keep safe in the UK Mommy! :)
Amy, Congrats on graduation and your speech! I heard it was super good! You are awesome! Keep up the good work! :)
Dad, sounds like all is organized for the last trip with the children to other countries! I am sure everything will go great with you all there in the UK! Dad, you are right about how cool it is that people from all over the world have testimonies like us. The Church is TRUE!! I am feeling more and more comfortable with the work here everyday. The Lord truly is blessing me!
I love all of you so much! Amo vocês!!!