This week had in store a miracle that I will never forget. To end the week we unfortunately brought just one investigator to church. That was a huge downer. We had so many people progressing but their actions to continue have been few. On Saturday we went to teach one of our best investigators, Daiane. She is 18 and lives in a tough situation with many outside voices (social problems that I can't really put on the blog) that tell her she can't do this and that. She cannot follow the answers that God has given her because she either isn't worthy or ready. It is sad. But on Friday and Saturday we fasted for her. On Saturday night we got invited into her home even when it seemed impossible. We talked with everyone in the home and talked about how challenges, adversity, and the enemy of all is in all places, if......IF you let him come into your sacred atmosphere. We then told them that the enemy was working with them. That woke them up a little. We then read Ether 12:27 (And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them) with them and testified about the power of the Atonement of Christ that has the redeeming and enabling powers to cast out and cleanse all evil.
I then asked if I could give Daiane a blessing of comfort (to show them what the Savior can do in hostile venues through the power of the Spirit). The voices of contention that were erupting inside everyone's minds were calmed through the still small voice of the Spirit as I laid my hand on her head. I don't really remember the words that left my mouth but I do remember the change of feelings that came over the living room. Daiane started to cry and after the blessing she thanked me and said she had received her answer to be baptized. She now just has to leave her current comfort zone to fulfill this answer. We asked if we could give her a ride to church. She said that she wanted to but couldn't. We chatted a little more after the lesson and on our way out I felt urged to insist. I told her that we would still pass by around 8:30 am to bring her to church. ''You now have a night and a morning to find out what the Lord wants you to do and decide for yourself what needs to be done." I felt a little like Dad. Being stern but stating the truth.
When we woke up it was raining cats and dogs. A huge tropical weather storm passed through Curitiba out of nowhere. The capital with the highest altitude is Curitiba and so it gets a lot of weather systems from Paraguay, Argentina and from the north of Brasil. I rolled out of bed and knelt down to pray and calm down the rain. Something that I have never done was ask to change the weather. I prayed with all energy of heart and declared the authority that I hold and the rain stopped and light shone through our windows. Elder Tavares was down stairs and yelled, ''O sol chegou do nada!! Estava chovendo e agora não há nuvens!!" aka, 'The sun came out of no where! It was raining and now there are not any clouds!' It was an instant response from our Heavenly Father. We got ready, brushed our teeth, shined our shoes and headed out to go and bring Daiane to church around 8:20. We clapped our hands outside of her house and she just woke up and told us she couldn't go to church. I didn't feel too upset or disappointed because I had tried my very best to let her have all of the opportunities to make the right choice. We left her lawn and headed over to church.
Here´s where the miracle comes in. All of our appointments fell through yesterday and we found someone that has been searching for the true church for 8 years. He just needed his neighbor to bear her testimony. Bonnie, a new member in the ward recently moved in and didn't hesitate to bear her testimony to her new neighbor. Bonnie was not at church on Sunday and because of her absence I felt prompted to visit her and ask her how she was. If she had been at church I don't know that I would've gone over there. We showed up and she told us that her neighbor wanted to hear the discussions. He was not at home so we asked her to call him super quick. He picked up the phone and left his aunt´s house 30 minutes walking distance away. He got there in 8 minutes. We shared with him the message of the Restoration and when we got the part where we talk about Joseph Smith he looked at us for a long time without speaking. I asked him what he was thinking and how he felt when I told of the first vision in Joseph´s words. He told me that because of the feelings that entered into his heart and Bonnie´s testimony, he knew the church was the true church of Christ. And now he wants to get baptized. His name is Ivandro. Please pray for him so that any opposition doesn't grow.
The moral of the story: please bear your humble testimony for your neighbors so that things like this can happen in ever corner of the earth. I promise everyone of you that are reading this blog that if you say what you believe, yours friends, family and strangers will feel the happiness that you feel when you feel the spirit. I promise.
I believe that the Lord gave us that chance to teach one of his children because we tried so hard to teach, bless and follow up with Daiane. God blesses those who work hard, think of others, and are humble in HIS work.
|lanches, bater papo, bolo, risada, bons momentos com Giovanni Ziliotto (snacks, chat, cake, laughter, good times with Giovanni Ziliotto)|
|signing off with another sunset|