This week has been super interesting!
So first of all Antonia and Domingos are making us really sad right now. Domingos is a returned missionary; but he has been really inactive after his divorce with another woman who he helped baptize. Since then, both of them have been inactive and it hasn’t been till recently that he has been coming back to church. But he and Antonia are living together. They have separate houses; but she always stays with him. We have been trying to help them decide to either get married or live separately; so we can baptize her. We learned this week, that they are selling both of their houses and getting a new house together!!! We have Antonia marked for baptism this week; but we don’t think that they will change their minds before then. We tried having a lesson telling them how important living the commandments is but; Domingos has some really weird ideas about the atonement. He doesn’t want to repent and then make the same sin. We try helping him learn correct doctrine that he can’t delay the day of his repentance; but he doesn’t want to hear it from us. Antonia is a little lazy and has trouble getting motivated. We are running out of ways to help them. We have decided that we are going to move away from teaching her and focus our efforts on other investigators.
Next thing, we had a really powerful lesson with a man, named Floriano, in the park. We taught him the first lesson and we invited him to be baptized and he was like Of Coarse! 🙂 He is so elect and I have no doubt he will be a branch president someday:) We’re going to shoot for this weekend.
This was probably the best part of our week. We were preparing for our lesson with Antonia and Domingos. We were feeling a lot of anxiety and inadequacy to help them. We were in the chapel to print out a talk for them (something we rarely do). It was 6pm and a man approached us right when we walked out. He asked us if church was starting right then. He told us a man, named Marcus, told him church was at 6 on Saturday. We promptly told him no, church is at 10 am, on Sundays. We told him that we were missionaries and that we could talk with him. We taught him the first lesson. He told us that he has been thinking a lot lately that we don’t know when Christ will come and that he needs to be baptized as soon as possible. He told us that he made a promise to God that he would move to Portugal, find work have a better life and be Baptized in the true church of Christ. This man was literally sent to our doorstep, already completely prepared! God knew that we were feeling sad for our investigators; so he sent this man to us, I don’t know how; but I know that I will remember this for the rest of my life. The only thing is, a lot of the members know him, because he lives with one of our less actives. They say he smokes and drinks and he doesn’t have good friends. But I have no doubt, that through his faith that is already so evident and the atonement of Jesus Christ he will be ready for baptism. His name is Edmilson.
He came to church the next day. He came to gospel principles and participated the whole time. He is incredible and I am so, so excited for him and the life he can have in the gospel. We had a lesson with him later that day; which was super cool because during church our ward mission leader invited these 4 boys off the street to come to primary. They were playing in the park when we were going to have our lesson and came up to us and asked “can you teach us more about Jesus?” Our hearts just about broke and we said of course; so we taught about faith and prayer and they were so interested and wanted to try praying themselves. It was such a sweet and tender experience. The oldest boy is 8 and I have no doubt that he will be baptized. Edmilson was touched by this experience as well. We taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of Baptism. He decided to be baptized this week! I love the people here! There are so many people who are so prepared it’s insane. We will be working with Edmilson every day this week and next week you will be seeing some baptism pictures from me.
I have so much faith about the timing of the Lord! Sometimes things happen that are really frustrating like missing a train or having to walk for 45 min. from our train to our area every day. But time after time, the Lord puts people in our path who want to hear the word of the Lord. I never feel worried or anxious; because I know that every single thing that happens is for a reason.
This has probably been one of the most amazing weeks of my entire life. I always heard amazing mission stories from people, and I never thought that I would actually be living that someday. I am so grateful for this opportunity to see the hand of the Lord with my own eyes. My heart is always so full of love for these people and I know that I will be friends with them into the eternities. We still have heartbreaks. Antonia, Sara, Patricia, all of our less actives; but I have faith that someday their eyes will be opened and that they will have faith in Christ.
To answer some of the questions I haven’t answered yet.
The goats head wasn’t terrible, the brain had a really weird texture, same with the eyeball. Nothing tasted bad, but I freaked myself out when I ate the tongue; because it had the texture of a tongue. I was just like “What in the world! I am eating a tongue….. I have a tongue! I am eating a tongue with my tongue!” Ya, but other that, not bad. Maybe I’ll make it when I come home. 😉
The language can be pretty hard sometimes. But I never feel anxiety about it. Yesterday, I gave a talk in church about faith. The members loved it. Some of them cried a little. I can talk about gospel related things a lot better than normal conversation. There is a lot of times when I only understand 10% of a conversation. But it’s getting better, I never feel super frustrated about it.
Love Sister Runyan