This week was just great, as always! Last Saturday we visited a ton of people and were almost running to get to see everyone because we had less time as it was our Preparation Day. Come Sunday we got a lot of help from some members and we were going and getting people to come to church with us. We ended up having 8 people at church, we were really happy as some people who didn´t seem very likely to come ended up coming and really enjoying it! I am really grateful, Heavenly Father has really been blessing us, as He always does. On Sunday Josefina got confirmed a member of The Church and it was great to see how happy she was. Afterwards we had a baptismal service and André got baptized! He has a lot of faith and is a really good young man, he is really responsible and would like to serve a mission. Another recent convert young man of the other elders baptized him, it was a wonderful experience for the both of them.
This week we have been helping andre´s mom get ready for baptism, she is stopping smoking so we have really been trying to help her with that. She really wants to stop. Her other son, Luis Felipe, is going to be baptized tomorrow; we are excited about that. This week we had a good meeting with President and he told us that he wanted us to go on a split for a couple days with the elders who work in... ARISTON!! Haha it was pretty exciting news. I just love that area. So on Wednesday morning we arrived there and I was able to work with some pretty great elders and realyl work to help them do their best and be more eficient in everything. The ward there is incredible, truly whoever is baptized and is investigating recieves so much help and support from everyone. I was also able to see Bruno, one of my recent converts from there. He is super strong, he is a ward missionary and is also teaching in the Elder´s Quorum. He is preparing to go on his mission in October of this year, it was really great seeing him and seeing how much he has progressed in the gospel. He is only 20 but has a fire to help others learn about the things he has learned. I also found out that another convert of mine, Claudina, is really solid, but unfortunately I was unable to see her, but that´s ok! We worked really really hard for two days and I was able to work with one set of missionaries and then the following day I worked with another elder. On our first day we were going up this hill and one of the elders did a contact with a younger man who was walking with his son. We ended up getting his address and later that same day it started to pour and then hail on us. We noticed that we were right next to the street where that man lived and we ran there to see if he was home. He let us in out of the hail and we ended up teaching him and marking baptismal dates with him and his brother. His name is Daniel and he has a really deep questions about life and his purpose, he loved hearing about the Restoration and readily recieved what we taught.
It was great working in Ariston and seeing the ward again, I just loved it there. We worked really hard and we got back yesterday mornign and yesterday worked really hard in our area before doing another split with the elders who share the ward with us so that we could both do baptismal interviews. It has been a really good week. I just love this work, it is so wonderful to be a part of it! Have a great week everyone, open your mouths, and thanks for all of the prayers!
This is the picture I took with my recent convret from Ariston, Bruno!
Here is the picture of Josefina on the day of her baptism!! Our ward mission leader, Laurení baptized her!!
This week just flew on by, as usual it was very busy and very wonderful! We had a great day at church last week, Josefina and Rosangela came to church again and loved it! After the church meetings we were blessed to see Josefina enter into the waters of baptism. She looked really happy, I will send some pictures later. Her daughter was glad to watch, she is still struggling with feelings of indecision and doubt, but wants to be baptized so it was good for her to watch her mom´s baptism. I was so so grateful for Irmã Edite, who is the Relief Society President who had given the referral and helped in the entire process. Josefina is going to be confirmed at church tomorrow. Also we met this great family last week, Cleide, André, and Luis Felipe. Haha we actually met them because Luis Felipe was flying a kite with his friend on the street. Here it is super popular and all the young boys and young men do it. They get these kites SUPER hi up in the air and get into kite battles, they cut the strings of the other people´s kites with their own kite strings, it gets pretty intense! Well Luis Felipe was flying his kite and we stopped and starting talking to them about kites and how they are able to get them so hi so quickly, I think they liked the fact that two non Paulistas wearing funny clothes starting talking to them and took interest in what they were doing. We went and visited their fmaily nad it turns out that Cleide frequently went to church in Tucuruvi when she was a young girl but stopped going and never was baptized. This family is really great, we went and got them and they came to church on Sunday morning and really enjoyed it. This week we have been really working with them and André, who is 17, is going to be baptized tomorrow after the church meetings. He is a really responsible young man and works at the mall here in Tucuruvi. Cleide and her other son also are really liking the church and want to be baptized as well. André read the part in the Book of Mormon that we gave to him and afterwards prayed and said that he simply knows now that it is true, that he received his answer from God and that beacuse of that he needs to follow. He has a lot of faith.
This week we also were able to go on some visits with an older lady who was baptized 2 years ago and has rarely missed a church meeting since. Her name is Laurita nad she lives in a more humble area and ALWAYS invites her neighbors to come to church with her. She went around and introduced us to everyone, it was great, we were able to meet a lot of great families and some people that really are needing some help right now.
This week we also did a split with the zone leaders from Jaraguá. I went and worked with Elder Díaz, who is from Uruguay, it was great working with him and really trying to help his area. We had an interesting experience, it started to pour rain, literally it felt like the world was flooding! We were looking for this one apartment building address, we were stopped in front of a certain building trying to stay out of the rain. We decided to go looking and we found an unmarked building and thought it might be the right number. We knocked on the right door number and this lady welcomed us in ad we ended up teachign her and her family nad marking baptismal dates with all of them! They are a great family that is here in São Paulo and recently moved from a different state. Well it was great teaching them but it turned out to be the wrong building number and not hte family we were looking for. We went back with their directions adn that same building we had been standing in front of at the beginning was the right one! Haha so it was a little blessing that we didn´t see that from the beginning, if not we wouldn´t have found that wonderful family!
We are just working our tails off! Haha we are working a bunch in the office and really following up with the missionaries to see how their zones are doing and how we can improve as a mission. President Farnes felt inspired to help us make a goal as a mission and presented this goal to the leaders at the leadership council this last week. The goal was to mark 1000 baptismal dates this first week of the year 2015. This meant 10 dates for missionary companionship. We discussed it as a mission and everyone felt that it was possible even though in the past the record was a little more than 600. So we all promised to do everything possible to help every set of misisonaries mark 10 dates this week. It has been incredible to see the miracles that have been happening in these areas. I have been truly amazed as the mission has been working so hard to make this goal. The mission doesn´t know this yet but yesterday we broke the 1000 mark! As of yesterday we have set 1076 baptismal dates and we still are going to continue working today and tomorrow. It has truly been miraculous! We are really striving to help the missionaries follow up very well with these people and help these families and individuals work towards been baptized and then sealed as a family. I just love this work, we have truly been blessed this week as we made goals together and then went the extra mile and really prayed sincerely for help to make these goals. So woohoo, we are really excited right now as a mission!
Love you all, have a fantastic week and remember to open your mouths!