Saturday, August 7, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Okay, this week has been interesting. The work is going along and I truly learned the power of a child´s faith. The young boy, Ricardo, got to come to church on Sunday with his parents and his cousin. It was great and his father said he could be baptized! He hasn´t told us when he'll allow it...we have faith, it´ll work out.

I have experienced a miracle. You all remember how Karol joined the church, and the next week her sister- Inara joined, but their cousin Julia didn´t because her mother wouldn´t give permission? had been about a month, and on Sunday we decided to talk to her mother again. We told the girls we were going to speak with Julia's mother again. We asked them to fast on Monday after lunch and told them that we would fast too. Monday morning, we had no idea what we were going to say to convince her to let Julia be baptised. We thought about the plan of salvation, about faith, the first discussion, but we had no idea which angle to take. So around four o'clock we took the bus to Toro and had a lesson with the girls on Scripture Study. We didn´t need to give them the lesson, they all have their scriptures marked and are working on the personal progress and Faith in God programs. After, we asked Julia to go get her mom and we said a prayer. When Julia and her mom came out, the mom´s face was very serious. Karol and Inara had hands clasped and eyes shut in prayer and Julia had her arms folded and was looking at her mom. At that moment, after singing a hymn, Sister Monterio knew exactly what to teach. We taught the first part of the first lesson, up to baptism of Jesus Christ. Julia had tears in her eyes. Sister Monterio asked Julia´s mom to allow Julia to follow the example of Jesus Christ, that this was the desire of her heart. I then spoke about how Julia knows that this is right. After, there was a long moment of silence. Julia looked at her mom, her mom looked at Julia, and her mom said..."this is what you want?" Julia nodded, and her mom said, "I´ll sign the paper." The look on those girls' faces were full of Joy, and of total happiness!! Sister Monterio and I felt like we were lighter than air but we had to remain calm. After her mom signed it, she looked at Julia and said, Ì´m not going to go to your baptism, and you know why.`` Julia nodded and said, `Mom, this is true. I know it.` The mom nodded and left and the girls gave each other huge huge hugs. Sister Monterio and I hugged them as well. It felt...well, the best I can describe it is after I put on a show and everything comes together in one perfect moment, only ten times better. This miracle was not because of us, it was because these three precious girls had perfect faith. Faith can move mountains. It moved one for us and now Julia will get baptised on Saturday. Yeah, I couldn´t stop smiling!

Sister Monterio is 98% sure that she is being transferred in two weeks and I´ll stay in Braganca. She says I´m ready and that I´m a great missionary. I´ve never worked harder than I have at learning this language and at the lessons, but I know that I´ll get to the spot I need to. It is going to be very very hard when she gets transferred, everyone loves her. We´re hoping that she gets transferred to Soccoho, where she´ll at least be in our same zone, and visit Bragança for District meetings. I´m terrified, because for the first few days I plan where we go and what we do. I hope I´m ready for a second companion. The Lord is with me every day. Sister Monterio has become a great friend and I love her.

MOM-when we visit Manaus, we need to take a boat and visit Sister Monterio's town. They have a tradition where they go boating at night and it´s all dark, but there are hundreds of fireflies and she says it looks like Christmas. ALSO-haha, there are poinsettias EVERYWHERE HERE!! I wish I could send you one for your Christmas. Only thing is, no one seems to know what they are called in Brasil.

I love you all!
Sister Shannon

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