I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer weather! The weather here has been super random...hot one day, freezing the next. But nothing too extreme, so that´s been a blessing.
This week, I hit my one-year mark on the mission. I cannot believe it has already been a whole year. It feels like yesterday that I wasin the MTC trying to to memorize the basics of Portuguese. The past year has had its tough moments, but it has been full to the brink of miracles and some of the happiest moments of my life. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else in the world. It´s sad to think I only have 6 months left here!
The past week, I really gained a testimony of fasting and prayer. Last week, Ilma (our elect who was super excited to get baptized) explained that she had a sick family member who lives far away and that she would need to go there and miss church, which would automatically cancel her baptism the next week. I fasted to ask God to provide a way for her to make it to church. Sure enough, Sunday arrived, and she was there. She decided not to go. That Sunday, we fasted again to give thanks for that blessing. Later during this week, Ilma´s daughter, Vanessa, who was marked for baptism this Sunday, was expressing doubts and wanting to cancel her baptism. Normally, I would´ve entered into panic if someone said this three days before their baptism. But I felt calm, and my companion and I both felt prompted to teach Vanessa about fasting. She agreed to try it, and the three of us, along with her teenage son, Victor, fasted together for 24 hours. We arrived at her house at the end of the fast and...she felt great. God had taken her fears away and replaced them with confidence and peace.
Yesterday, Ilma, Vanessa, and Vanessa´s daughter, Yasmin were all baptized after church. It was glorious; a day I will never forget. They were all glowing, happy and excited to make this important covenant with The Lord and start their journey to the Temple and a forever family. I know that God hears our prayers and honors our fasts. He wants us to have answers and be at peace. All we have to do is humbly ask. I could not be more happy about these three amazing women. I am honored to be a part of their lives. They are incredible.
So that was the big focus of this week. I also renewed my visa in the center of Sao Paulo, so that was fun.
Also, we received transfer calls last night...and....all four of us are staying here in Poá. Again. I am super happy to be staying here. Poá has become a second home to me. Sister Felartigas will be heading home in two weeks, so we´re not sure if Sister Martinez will join us in a trio or leave and have just one companionship in Poá. But for now, no changes.
I hope you are all doing well and are feeling God´s love in your life. If not, try doing a fast. It´s 24 hours without food and water, but it´s much more than that. Start with a prayer and tell God your motives for doing a fast. During the fast, focus as much as you can on receiving your answer and on hearing God´s counsel. At the end of the 24 hours, end with a prayer. If possible, donate the money that you would´ve used for food to help those who are in need. I know that if you try this, and do it with faith, you will recieve the help/comfort/advice/answers that you need. God loves it when we show our faith and ask for help. He loves you, and He wants to help.
And I love you too. Thanks for the support and prayers! Have a great week!
All my love,