where to start?
On wednesday we had zone conference and interviews with president, and they went really well. after that conference, we went to a house of a reference from a member and invited the little girl to be baptized ( she had been asking for weeks to be but we could never get a hold of her and her family) and she accepted! it was awesome. and sister lacey helped teach. the next night, we went over there again, and we marked the mom for baptism too. we walked out of there just on fire. there is a son in the family who is about 15 who is deaf and mute... but we assumed that he would want to get baptized with his family. so they all came to church on sunday and our district leader was asking us how many people we had marked for baptism for next week, and we said 2, but then the young man walks by so i grab him and wrote really fast in my planner wanna get baptized next weekend with your family? and he nodded really hard and gave me a thumbs up. so then i turned back to our district leader and said, hey elder! we have three people marked for baptism next week. and he was like, just now? what? it was pretty funny. a little family will get baptized! its such a miracle.
A few days later, it was raining like crazy, but we had divisions with the sister training leaders! these sisters will both be going home in two weeks and sister carroll, my comp in madeira was one of them, so it was a really fun day.
On Friday, Manuela, Vitoria and Euclides had their baptism interviews. Manuela, the mom, had hers and it was totally fine. So did Vitoria, the little girl. But the 15 year old boy, Euclides, is deaf and mute, so it was a struggle for the elder to communicate with him. Even though we had showed him the baptisimal font and gave him everything to read, for some reason he got freaked out about baptism and decided last minute he didnt want to. it was stressful. but later that night there was an activity in the chapel and we decided to try again. the elder did the interview on the computer and they basically just typed it back and forth, and this time, he accepted. it was a nice sigh of relief, and elder da veiga said it was the coolest thing he had ever done on his mission.
on saturday, THEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! Oh it was so wonderful. this little family was baptized by the moms cousin, who was the one who introduced them to the church. He is a recent convert, and it was his first time doing a baptism. When the little girl got baptized, the mom just started crying, and when she got baptized, she came out of the water just crying, and hugged her cousin for a long time, and i could hear him saying to her your clean now! its a new start! It was beautiful.
I heard once that we have no right to ask why me in times of difficulties if we dont ask the same in times of blessing, and thats exactly how i feel. We did nothing except teach and invite them to be baptized, the lord and the members did the rest. it was a miracle, and i dont know what i did to deserve it, but i am so grateful i was able to be an instrument in the hands of the lord.
There is a woman in our ward who is Capo Verdian, she was baptized about 2 years ago and is wonderful, she would be more active but she had kidneys that didnt work so she had to do her own blood treatment at home for several hours everyday so being super active wasnt a huge option. but, all in the same week, she was able to get a kidney transplant after being on the waiting list forever, and her kids that she left in cape verde were finally able to get to portugal. all in the same week. it was a miracle. and so we went there on saturday and invited them to church. its a 17 year old named silvana and a 10 year old named silvi. unfortunately, silvi doesnt speak much portuguese, because in cape verde they basically only speak their own language called criolo and learn portuguses in school. the 17 year old had a baby less than a year ago that she had to leave in cape verde. oh that hurt my heart when i found out about that. so they came to church and it was awesome, and we brought the elderes to teach them that afternoon because one of our elders is cape verdian and translated. they are prepared for sure, we are just reaping.
we have been working with this girl named Neide. she is a neighbor with a recent convert who really changed a lot for the better after his baptism, and she decided she wants that for herself. she read every page we left with her, and asked for us to mark more things to read, she said she missed her book of mormon during the day, she was talking about doing a mission, she just didnt get baptized yet because she doesnt wanna mess up after her baptism, she doesnt want to do drugs or drink again. she is incredible, i love this girl. i made banana bread for her, and put it on a plate, and then we went to walk to her place to have a lesson. well, in those 30 minutes it takes to get to her house from where we live, it rained like never before. i literally had to wring my skirt out after we got to her house. i was just doing everthing i could to protect the banana bread haha. but i would love it if you could all pray for her. Neide (Nayd)
this week in church, the first lady i ever visited in this area, a big brazilian lady who was coming back to activity, was called to be the second counselor in the relief society. i just started bawling. she will be amazing, and it was just soooo good to see. i love these people so much. i cannot put into words how much i love these people. how much these people have changed me. i cannot imagine my life without meeting these people and seeing their example of conversion. this church is true. i know this. after sacrament meeting, one of the women in the ward came and found me in the bathroom and wanted to know why i was crying. oh it was so sweet, so i started crying all over again.
WHOS PUMPED FOR CONFERENCE WEEKEND!!!!!!! i will make the same invite im making to all our members and recent converts here, bring a question to conference, and bring a friend. so let it be written, so let it be done.