Friday, September 3, 2010

Braganca Paulista

Well...this week was like all other weeks, walking in circles pretty much. We´ve been teaching two sisters, Louara and Linara, ages 15 and 11. Louara and Linara know that the church is true. They've prayed and want to be baptised. Isn´t is wonderful that children know the gospel and feel more strongly than adults? But as always...opposition in all this. Their stepdad hates us, so we visit when he´s not in the house, but last night when we got there, he hadn´t left for work. We were talking at the gate when Linara said, "run, he´s coming, go!" So, we ran to the park for 20 mins. Afterwards, Linara came out and talked to us. Sister Monterio says that there isn´t much that we can do, and if the Dad doesn't like us and the Mom doesn´t permitt Linara to get baptised. It´s really sad and I don´t know what to do. Prayer, paitence and faith.

As well, Sister Monterio is very tired. She´s been here for four transfers, and refers to Braganca as her Gethsemany. The area, not me...the hills day after day, she´s been sick and we haven´t had much luck in baptising. Yes, people will listen to us, but no one wants to get baptised. No one wants to pray to God. It´s not that hard, praying, I mean. What do these people have to loose by asking? No one here is married, which is difficult as well. I´m tired as well, but to me, no one wanting to listen to us is normal, but Sister Monterio has served in the Celestial Kingdom (her last area) and so this is very very hard for her. She´s frustrated and doesn´t know how to help the people here. So, I´m trying to keep her happy and to make her laugh. She told me a few days ago that when we get to heaven and are judged all we will have to say is that, ``I served in Bragança Paulista,`` and God will say, ``Enter.``

As well, we visited Ana last night. We watched a clip from Thomas S. Monson´s life, and after the movie, the power went out and Bella and Carol ran outside. It was just Sister Monterio, Gabbie, Ana and I. Ana said that she´s been reading in the scriptures and in the Principes of the Gospel book and says that she isn´t worthy to take the sacrament because she isn´t married to Jilson. She's worried she isn´t keeping all of the commandments. She wants to get married, and be baptised. The problem is that it is very very very difficult to get married in Braganca. She needs 263.36 Reais (123 dollars) to get married. This family doesn´t have enough money to always have light and water in their house. They have a tiny kitchen, a bathroom and two tiny rooms (think smaller than the size of our club house) and no money whatsoever. Sister Monterio and I have prayed and fasted for them. We´ve tried talking to the marriage office about a free wedding, we´ve asked the bishop for help (he said no, Stake rules and all that), and we´ve been waiting with faith, but nothing. We´re having a fast for them on Friday and we´ll go to the wedding office on Monday or Tuesday and ask again for a free wedding. Ana will be a strong member of the church, a leader. Last night she talked about the speakers in Sacrement meeting and what she would have said if asked to speak. As well, Bella gave a talk in primary about faith and miracles...she talked about Daniel and the Lions Den (and Carol held up my gospel art book with the picture of Daniel.) It was wonderful, the leaders said so as well.

The Gospel is true, even in the difficult areas. Remember it will all be okay in the end, and if it´s not okay then it´s not the end. I hope you´re all well.

Sister Stapley

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