Dear Family, January 30, 2012
Okay, here it comes, I can't explain it all because I don't have time but here's the real short version
of the story. Okay, Tica and her friend, Tereza found the church in 2003 and Tereza was baptized and served a mission. Tica had doubts and was never baptized. The two of them have stayed close friends these past 10 years. Tica has been recieving the missionaries for the past 10 years but she has never felt that baptism was something that she needed. And I don't think bad of any missionaries that gave up on her (we did too, but were always prompted to go back, so we did as we were told). We taught her at least four times a week for the past 12 weeks. She would always tell us about some experience she had with prayer or the scriptures or a dream. We would say, "So, you got your answer, right??" She would always tell us she wasn't sure and then she would bring up doubts about things she had read on the internet and everytime we would say, " don't trust the internet, trust God; he'll let you know what's right!" We had mostly given up on her but the other day Elder Santos asked her to pray about baptism. We had been really hard on her that lesson (I felt kinda bad cause I almost made her cry from guilt, with some scriptures) and I think she was feeling kinda humbled (not because of our words but the things we read to her). Anyways, we came back the next day and asked if she had prayed. She said she had..."And?"...she said she'd give us an answer the next day. We said fine and we came back the next day and she told us about what happened. She said she prayed and felt inspired to read in the bible and she opened up to Chapter 49 of Isaiah. It's way better in Portuguese, but in essence it was God saying to Tica, "I've given you more answers than you need and I've done everything I can; it's useless to go on like this, just get baptized already!" So, she finally took that as her answer. TEN YEARS! She has been an investigator for ten years, and it was finally the right time...she was finally ready to follow Jesus Christ! Anyway, I'm so happy and so grateful that I was able to be a part of it. I'm so glad that God was able to use me to bless the lives of one of his Daughters. He definitely loves her a lot because he wouldn't let us give up on her. I can't tell you guys how happy I am for her. If I don't baptize another person on my mission I will still feel satisfied because she really means that much to me. Sorry about all the errors. I typed this real fast.
Also, Elder Oliviera Santos left which was really sad for me. I love that guy, and I may never see him again. He's in Fortaleza and goes home next transfer. My next companion will be Elder Padula, also a Brazilian. WHOOOHOOOO!!!!! It helps a ton to have Brazilians for companions. Also, I'm starting to get accepted by the people here. Irma Linda said I'm family now and she calls me son. And Neidi and Daiane call themselves, "minhas maes Brasilieras", my Brazilian mothers. It's funny cause they say they've fed me since before I could talk (which is true because when I got here I couldn't speak to them). So, that is super cool for me. I think I've almost completely left my American ways of doing things, and I'm adjusting to the culture really well.
Yeah well, this week was awesome and sad and happy, but I mean, I'm a missionary, I guess that's what it's all about.
Love you all!