This week we baptized our investigator Luis Fernando. He arrived in Brasil only 10 days ago. He is Colombian and his son Fernando was already baptized 4 months ago. There family is sending every member one by one because they don't have money to come all at once. They had to leave because of some difficulties in the part of the country where they were living. Luis Fernando has an excellent knowledge of the scriptures and listens very carefully to understand all we teach. My little bit of Spanish has helped during our lessons. Maybe that will be the next language I learn. Last week he started reading the Book of Mormon on the tablet because the text is much larger and he has bad vision. In one day he sat and read until 1 Nephi 8 in Portuguese and started telling us about Lehi's vision. He said, "I've never read this book, it's really good!" He also told us how he had requested missionaries from our church to visit him in Colombia, but they never got there. It is amazing how Heavenly Father prepares His children to hear the gospel at the right time and in the right place! Right now Luis is sufficiently humble and was ready to accept baptism.
His baptism was really special. It was funny also because he is short, but a little chubby. When the bishop baptized him the water flew out of the font and hit the viewers in the splash zone! It was a little scary though because President was there also and he got mad at the Elders for filling the font so high. Afterwards we cake with the members and Luis felt really special. His coutenance changed and he seemed a lot happier. I LOVE baptism!
Our other investigator is a miracle also. His name is Michel and it is kind of weird how we found him. We were actually teaching his sister Monica, but he demonstrated more interest so we started focusing more on him. His first experience with the church was a Talent Show ward activity. Then he came to church the following Sunday and again this Saturday and Sunday to watch conference. He watched all 4 sessions of Conference! I have never been so impressed. He spent the night at a friend's close to the chapel so that he could return the next day. The day before conference he accepted baptism. During conference he asked us what we would teach in the next visit and we said, "Well, we were planning on teaching about God´s plan for us" then he replied, "No, you are going to talk about my baptism". He is a miracle because the day we met him he didn't even believe in God. Something changed in him. He started to read and pray. The members embraced him. He felt good and accepted. He will be baptized this week.
Finally, a family that I've been teaching for 2 transfers finally decided to get married! They are planning a wedding in 2 months so Sister Freitas and I will be on top of this entire month to get the wedding papers in as fast as possible. It has been a miracle!
I loved this past General Conference. I'll be honest, there were many things I wasn't able to understand. The way the apostles talk is a lot more formal than everyday words I hear here. I will have to read the talks in the ensign. But I do know that the things they said are true. I could feel it. My questions that I prepared were answered. I have a renewed desire to change even more on the mission and live worthily of the blessings of the Atonement. As I've studied the Atonement all week long I've learned many new things about the character of Christ. He truely is the Son of God. I know that He lives and loves us. He is real and He still speaks with His servants. The heavens have not been closed to our people in the last days. We need Him more now than ever.
I also learned that one thing I need to do even more is strengthen my love for the scriptures. I heard a story this week about an Elder that served in our mission that spoke with one of the indians that live here. He started conversing with him in a way that reminds us of the story of Ammon and King Lamoni. The Elder started by asking, "Do you believe in the Great Spirit?" And the indian replied, "Yes. Our fathers believed in two Great Spirits that cleansed the Earth. They were very good. One of the Spirits visited our fathers in this land." This left the Elder a little emtional because it was a testimony to him that the Book of Mormon is true. He replied, "That's correct. And this book tells the story of your people and about the visit of that Great Spirit". The Indian could not read, but he accepted the Book of Mormon and held it closely to him.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It contains a record of the visit of Jesus Christ. It is said to contain a "fulness of the gospel" because it speaks of Christ and His Atonement more than any other book. I love these people. There is a history here and every once and a while I can't help but feel their ancestors directing me to those who are prepared. The church is true.
I love ya! Have a great week!