I am absolutely loving my mission and everything that we get to do here! I couldn´t be doing anything better with my life at this moment :)
I had two interesting experiences this week that I wanted to share with you guys really quick:
First, we have an investigator who is just amazing. She shares the Gospel with everyone around her. The only thing that is stopping her from being baptized is that she´s living with her boyfriend. She invited us to come over and teach him one night, so we came and he is a really great guy, but he does not belive in God. I think he is the first Atheist I´ve met here in Brazil. We taught him a good lesson, but he was very sure about his beliefs (or non-beliefs) and although very respectfully, disagreed with almost everything we said. At the end of the lesson, we got to the part where we always present the Book of Mormon and give it to the person with the invitation to read. However, literally in the moment that I lifted up the Book of Mormon to give it him, I had a super strong impression that I should NOT give it to him. I almost fought with that impression, but I have learned to trust the Spirit when He speaks, so I began to explain, "This Book is like a treasure in my life. And I would really like to give it you, because I know that it has the power to change your life. But unfortunately, I cannot give it to you if you are not going to read it with the intention to believe and follow its teachings. This Book cannot be read like a fairy tale or a novel, because it is the Word of God. Will you read it as the Word of God?" I don´t know if I have ever spoken with such authority and surety. It was really the Spirit speaking. And he replied, "I´m going to have to refuse. It´s good that you explained, because I know that I would not have given it the importance that you said I should give." My companion followed this with a really powerful testimony. It was a really sad moment to realize that I couldn´t give it to him, but it was such a powerful moment to realize that I really do treasure The Book of Mormon and that it really is a pearl of great worth that should be safeguarded and protected and treated with reverence. I´m so grateful for the Word of God in my life. The Book of Mormon and other holy scripture have brought me so much comfort and help during my life.
Okay, experience number two! Yesterday, we had a lot of visitors at church!! We brought a couple with us, and then 11 more people showed up during the meetings!! During the Gospel Principles class, we talked about the Gathering of Israel, and as I was listening to the teacher talk about God´s plan to gather all His covenant people from the four quarters of the earth, I began to look around the room at the various cultures and people that were present (5 Brazilians, 6 Haitians, 3 Ecuadorians, 1 Egyptian, 1 American, and 2 indigenous Brazilians from the Amazons) and I couldn´t help but feel so impressed. God really is gathering His people from all the earth. He wants ALL His children together one day. And with all the various cultures and talents and knowledge, imagine what we can do together?! God is so good. And I´m so honored to be a part of this last gathering before the Second Coming of my Savior :)
Have a great week! And don´t forget to treasure what you have of value and share it with those around you who are wanting to be gathered in!
All my love,