Yola! (Yo and hola together). This week was cooler than the weather here. Tons of work, tons of fun. Okay, so here's whats been going on down here in the meio de nada:
-So I've been praying for spiritual experiences this week and some cool things happened. Simple, but quite dandy. So we were working and I had a thought that we should pass by the one inactive family and leave a message. So this family was sealed in the temple and were all super active and then one day they just stopped going to church. I think they've been away from the church for almost 5/6 years now. So we passed by and talked, and it seemed like they were having a lot of problems. The wife is having health problems and the dad, Paulo, is out of work. So I shared D&C 58:2-4 that talks about tribulations and the blessings we receive when we keep the commandments during our tribulations. Well, before I could even explain the scripture, Paulo starts looking at his wife and explaining why it's important to keep the commandments and go to church every. He was explaining as if he was desperate to go to church but she wouldn't let him. Then afterwards, Paulo wanted us to give a blessing to her, but only if she wanted. And she wanted, so we gave her a blessing, and the Spirit was super strong. Then we asked (kind of sassily) what they're gonna do . They didn't really say anything until the 8 year old whispered to her mom that she wanted to be baptized. It was really cool to see how the Spirit affected their determination to return to church. But the sad news is...they didn't show up. It was a spiritual experience because I got to see how the Spirit works, but they still have their agency. I'm super bummed, but we'll keep trying.
-So a couple weeks ago, a lady stopped us on the street and said we could stop at her work to teach some youth about Jesus. So we went by this week (turns out it is the building right next to our apartment), and we entered. We asked what kind of facility it was, and she explained that is was sort of an open prison. Boys who did something bad, but not bad enough to go to prison, come here, where they live/work/study and if they're good, they have more freedom to do stuff. So we're starting to teach them and they're really excepting. You can tell that there are some that are totally down to change their lives and there are others that are still a little stubborn. But hey, I'm like the Apostle Paul, I'm teaching in prison!
-So we were searching for the house of the one guy in our ward, but we just couldn't find it. So after quite a few attempts, we decided to visit another member close by. It was almost time to head back home, but too early to start heading back yet. So as we walked we passed by a house, and I said "Boa Noite!" to a women who was sitting out front. I had a feeling to talk to her, but I ignored it and kept walking. We passed the house and turned the corner, and the feeling stayed, so I told my companion that we needed to go back and talk to her. So we did. She received us really well and we taught her about the restoration and eternal families. The Spirit was really strong and it was awesome to see how the Spirit guides us. Her name is Mariza.
-This last Saturday, we gather the youth to play soccer and bring their friends. But instead we totally played football. My companion bought a football, and now all the Brazilians are learned how to be real men.
-Church was crazy. We brought Lázaro, our 11 year old investigator. And there were a lot of children. I ended up entertaining all the little ones and Lázaro, who was having a hard time paying attention, while my companion sat with our other investigator. I got to draw pictures and do silly things, which was flippin' sweet. I'm on a mission and I'm already starting Papa Prep!
Well this week rocked, and I hope you all have a radical time, n' stuff. I hope you're all feelin' my prayers! LOVE YOU ALL!
P.S. Dearest Mother Who I Absolutely Adore, all the Brazilians want cookies. Do you have a good recipe?