This week was a little slower than last week, but still fantastic.
First, we had a zone conference that was really good. Unfortunately, a missionary couple, the Dyals, lost a grandchild and flew home for the funeral. The Amorims left the conference early to be with them.
During the conference, we learned the importance of being well prepared when we teach lessons. I felt the impression that we need to think of creative object lessons to teach in each lesson. Obviously, the most important part of teaching is the spirit, but the spirit can only do its part if we do ours. This means real and serious preparation. We did this with Cecelia this week. We wanted to teach the 3rd lesson in a creative way. We put all the parts of the gospel, faith, repentance etc…. in envelopes and we had her open them as gifts. It was really powerful;especially for repentance. She felt the spirit very strong; especially because there are things she really needs to change in her life right now.
On Wednesday, we had a division. Sister Streadbeck and I stayed here with Sister Hanson. She is a wonderful missionary! I didn’t speak Portuguese nearly as well as she does, when I was in my third transfer.
One sad thing that happened this week was that we tried marking an appointment with Manuel, but his phone had been broken since the last time we went there. We had tried marking him for baptism, but we could tell that his parents weren’t happy about that. Well we called his dad to make the appointment and he said that Manuel didn’t want to continue; because he was confused. We knew that was a lie! Then he said that we couldn’t come over that week; because his wife was sick. But I heard her in the background, shouting to tell us that they don’t believe in these things. Manuel is 21! He can and should make his own decisions. Sister Streadbeck had a companion that had a lesson specifically for parents who won’t let their children be baptized. So we are planning to teach them this tonight. We have to be extremely bold and I’m really nervous. But it needs to be done. We as missionaries have a responsibility to call people to repentance, with love of course. It’s the one thing in missionary work that I feel the most uncomfortable.
Since we couldn’t get in contact with Manuel by phone, we stopped by his work to leave him a note. We didn’t have paper; so we asked this girl if she had a piece of paper she could give us. She was a little strange, but really sweet. So we invited her to church and we left…. She came to church and showed up in the third hour. During relief society, she was acting kind of weird and then she made a comment and the sister giving to the lesson casually pointed at her. This girl said very intensely, “please don’t point at me.” It was weird. After church, another sister came up to talk to her. This girl tells her that she has black inside of her and that she needs to get it out. This sister is one of the sweetest sisters in the ward! After church, we had lesson with her and she was saying some weird stuff like that she is 26 but she only has 1 year in this world. It was really weird!!! We’ll see what happens.
Yesterday, we had a ward council just about missionary work. This Bishop here is incredible! I felt the spirit so strong. This ward has had a recent lack of baptisms; so we are focusing on really getting the members involved. We have a goal as a ward for each family to invite 3 people into their homes to hear the gospel, with the intention that at least one of them will be baptized. We are so excited to start working more closely with these incredible members.
Today, we went to see the roman ruins. Normally, they’re closed, but the guy working there was so nice and he let us in for free and gave us a private tour. After that, he told us about other ruins that basically no one knows about. The city of Braga is actually sitting on top of a whole other roman city, Bracara Augusta. It was super neat to see things so old. But the funny thing is, people here don’t give it as much attention as it deserves; because old stuff is so common here. In the U.S., ancient civilizations are a lot less common.
Well anyways love you all!
Love Sister Runyan