I’m not going to lie. This has been one of the craziest weeks on my mission. We have been working so hard to find a family that we can help get baptized before the end of the transfer. This is Sister Schill’s last transfer, so we are trying to work as hard as we possibly can.
This week started out fantastically. Pedro was progressing again, he was getting ready to be baptized this last Saturday. We were seeing so many miracles as well. We found a lot of people with potential that we can teach. We were thanking Pai Celestial (Heavenly Father) for everything he had been doing for us. Things started to tense up later on in the week as we were helping Pedro quit smoking and we had a lot of meetings that were taking our time away from working. Sister Schill went into Porto for the day on Thursday while I worked in Gaia with Sister Smyth. This is her second transfer. She’s so spunky! I love her. The day ended well and we were grateful. But at this point we were feeling the pressure of getting people to come to church. If we are going to baptize a family by the end of the transfer, ideally this Sunday would be crucial to give them 2 opportunities to come to church before the baptism.
Friday, we had our zone meeting. It was very uplifting. We talked about the Atonement in missionary work. I have seen a video called The Atonement in Missionary work 3 or 4 times on my mission and it brings me to tears every time. It´s a combination of talks from Elder Eyring and Elder Holland that tell us how salvation is not cheap, and as token of the eternal sacrifices the Savior made for us, our journey cannot entirely be pain free. We can be lifted and strengthened by the atonement in every effort we make to serve him.
Right after the zone meeting, Pedro had his baptismal interview. Before the interview, he was excited and ready to be baptized. But because Pedro has some issues with anxiety, the interview process was really rigorous and long for him. He didn’t entirely feel comfortable. After, we asked him how he was feeling. He kind of shrugged everything off but we could tell he was a little troubled. That night he sent a text that said that he no longer wanted to be baptized. We tried calling to ask him why; but he just said to talk to him the next day. The next day was his baptism day and we had already gotten everything planned out. We were so sad and worried for him. That morning we tried talking to him but that night he had worked all night long and hadn’t slept. We know Pedro well enough, that we know when he’s tired, he’s not himself. He was freaking out about everything, so we told him to get some sleep and to talk to us later on. At that point we decided that we needed to cancel the baptism. We called everyone. It was the saddest thing in the world:( That night, he was feeling a little better. He came to the capela and we talked things over. He got a blessing and he told us that he still wants to be baptized he just doesn’t feel ready. We told him to pray about it and pick a date he feels comfortable with. This whole teaching process with him has been a struggle because of his personality. But he is an incredible person and we can see that he’s trying so hard in spite of the obstacles in his life. We can feel the love that Heavenly Father has for him. But at that point we may have been too frustrated with him in his shortcomings.
The Lord decided that we needed to develop more empathy for him. Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my mission but also one of the most memorable. First, NONE of our investigators came to church. We went out in the street to find someone who could come… No one. We were feeling a little depressed because of that and then the rest of the day we had rejection after rejection; each one more harsh than the last. And if that wasn’t enough we found a man in the road who was going to commit suicide that night! We tried calming him down, but he was drunk and he just kept telling us that no one cares about him. We didn’t know what to do, and he got away from us. We were feeling kind of shaken up about that and we didn’t know how to help him without any information. We were catching a bus to another part of our area. He was on the bus and he was causing a scene because he hadn’t bought a bus ticket. We tried talking to him and we got his information; but we just decided that we would tell the bus driver the situation. We told him that he was going to commit suicide and that he should call the police. As we were walking out the bus, the bus driver basically said that it doesn’t matter to him. We were feeling so shaken up about that; but we had to prepare for a lesson we were having with Xeca and Avelino. We stopped by the house and realized that we didn’t have our keys. I was about ready to sit on the ground and quit. We went to Xeca’s house explained everything and even though they were having rotten days too, they helped us look for the keys. We tried getting in the door using a card trick. Finally we gave up and decided to stay the night with some other sisters. For that night, we were homeless and it was really frustrating. But this morning we realized this experience helped us have more empathy for Pedro and to realize how hard it must be for him to have so many uncertainties in his life. We called a key place to open our door. It turns out it wasn’t locked and we had left the keys in the inside (Portuguese doors can’t be opened from the outside it’s really annoying). We paid the guy 35 euros for something we could have done ourselves; but I was soo greatful.
The Lord takes care of us and has a plan for all of us in how we can grow and help others grow as well. I’m so thankful for all the terrible things that happened. I needed those experiences; but in the moment it was still hard.
The Savior will always help us.
I love you all.