Thank you for the Birthday e-mails! It was so fun to read them all today. Sister Crane and I celebrated our Birthdays in centro today. After trying to shop, we decided to just get pedicures and milkshakes instead. It's been a fun day. On friday (my actual b day) Irma Rose made me and Sister Crane a Birthday cake and gave us a little present. A lot of members were there to celebrate too. I never expected getting so much attention on my mission birthday, but when you have a lady in your ward that loves to make cake...birthdays get celebrated!! Thanks Irma Rose!
Alright, so this week was awesome and we've been seeing a lot of miracles. We found out this week that we had 3 other investigators at general conference that we didnt even know about! We havent been able to talk to them yet though because they live super far away. We also had a chance to talk with Dennis this week. We had a really great lesson with him where he finally opened up to us and we found out the real reasons why he didn't want to get baptized. He feels a lot of pressure from his mom to continue in the church she attends, but he told us he knows our church is true. He said the one sunday he came to church with us, he did really well on a test at school that he wasn't expecting to do so well on and he said he knew that it was a blessing he received from coming to church. Then he started having lots of questions about the priesthood in the church. We answered his questions and in the end I felt prompted to ask him if he wanted a priesthood blessing of comfort and his answer kind of surprised me. He said, "Who wouldn't want a blessing?" So this past sunday after church a priesthood holder in our branch offered a beautiful blessing. This week it is our hope that the blessing helped calm his fears so that we can mark another date for baptism.
Another miracle this week happened on my birthday. It was a Birthday miracle!! We had some extra time after some appts fell through and I felt prompted to visit this girl named Simon that we found a few weeks back that we could never find at home. Well on my birthday...she was home! We felt prompted to teach the lessons a little out of order with Simon so we taught the gospel first. Sometimes, the Restoration is a big lesson to swallow on the first visit and the gospel is a little easier to understand. Not always, but sometimes. We taught her the gospel and when I invited her to be baptized she said yes! She is really excited! She is 17 years old so she is in young womens and we are trying to help her intregrate with the girls there. Her and her sister were at church on Sunday and they both really liked it. I'm really ecited about teaching them. We will baptize them this coming weekend.
Since coming to Brazil, I've been really diligent about my language study, but I've been slacking at reading the Book of Mormon in my mission language everyday. This week I've been going strong everyday and I've noticed a clear difference in my fluency and understanding of the language. I know that I didn't gain that on my own, but it is the power that comes through reading the Book of Mormon. There is power beyond our understanding in that book! We may not have a perfect comprehension every time we read, but it is the mear action alone that gives us power. When we read, we are being obedient. And when we are being obedient, Heavenly Father promises blessings. It is just that simple.
I love the blessings that I've received since being on a mission. My heart is full of gratitude everyday for the things that I'm learning and for all that the spirit is teaching me, while I'm teaching Heavenly Father's children. I love my job! The church is true! Jesus Christ lives! I love you all!