Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sadly My Last Week :(

Well, it is sad that it is my last week but it is with the highest degree of Happiness that I make this post. This has been one of the best weeks in my entire mission. I am so thankful to the Lord for all he has done in my life and for the blessings he continues to pour out upon me. This week as part of my study I finished reading Doctrine and Convenants. In section five there was a scripture that cought my attention. D&C 5:35 "And if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day. Amen." In this last week I have seen this promise come to life and the Lord has lifted me up at the last day.
So to understand really the magnitude of the blessing this week ill have to explain a bit.
Here in the mission one of the worst thigns that can happen is the you go a transfer without baptizing. The goal set forth by the President is that no one zeros for a transfer. Generally about 5-10 duos go a transfer without baptizing per transfer. So it is a big deal and everyone in the entire mission makes that goal to never zero. So with other goals that was one of the goals I made early on in my mission.
This trasnfer things were going well we had worked hard to get a teaching pool and we had a group of four different families accumulating to about 15-20 people. They were all going well but as it happens they all slowly fell and we had to leave them because of the lack in progress. And we kept being forced to leave them till the point were we just had one family which consisted of two young adult girls who are sisters, Cida and Clau.
Two Sundays ago things made a turn for the worse we visited them Saturday night and everything was good to go but when we called them Sunday morning they said they decided to go to the beach and wouldnt go to Church. As Cida and Clau both got to the Bus Stop they both felt a horrible pain in their stomachs and were foced to go home. But we didnt know that they didnt go so we were upset at their choice to go to the beach and we believed that they wernt going to progress anymore. So this last week was a little different and at times difficult. I had thought that I wouldnt baptize anymore and that in other words that my mission was finished. I was brought my knees and a lot of praying to have help from the Lord. I got to the point were I had given up on baptizing. Through my prayers the Lord confirmed that or at least I thought he did. I felt that what had happened had happned and I just needed to work so I could at least finish my mission workign but baptizing was out of the picture.
So I had given up and decided that I just needed to face the sad reality that I would baptize but that I still neded to work. Come the next Saturday, this past Saturday, we marked an appointment to visit them. We had discussed what we would teach and we decided that we would just visit them and see if they were really interested in the church and following the Savior, basically asking them if we were just wasting our time with them in nicer words. They thought we were mad because they didnt go to church and purposly marked accepted the appointment just to tell us off. So everyone went with one purpose in mind to finish things.
But it was great, it has been a while since I have felt the spirit so strong. The Lord was there as we taught and he aided us to resolve what had happned. Helping them realize that the Lord did nt let them go to the Beach to teach them a lesson. The greatest blessing was that he gave us the words to mark their baptism and help them make a firm decision to follow the example of our savior.
After marking their baptism I was amazed literally, I could not believe it. I became so nervous that something would not work out. But we had atleast marked their baptism. Generally someone will go to Church three times before being baptized. Cida and Clau had been multiple times before getting to know us and then went five or more times with us. With all we taught and all of their visits we could not mark their baptism. They were afraid of being baptized and at some point falling away and receiving even a larger condemnation.
On Sunday things went great for Cida. She was super excited she told many of the other girls her age about her baptism and she was super excited. As for Clau her younger Sister we stil had to help her a lot. She accepted to be baptized on Saturday but she became unsure on Sunday. But once again the Lord blessed us and gave us the words she needed to hear.
Then as I said it is with the highest degree of Joy that I can tell you that monday morning, just after the sun rose we held the Baptism of Cida and Clau on the Beach not to far from here. It was a great baptismal service and I am so thankful to the Lord for all of the blessing he has given me in my life. He has truly lifted me up the the last day. I was down and even at times I felt almost not like a missionary, as President Beynon taught in our last zone conferance... What do we do in the Brazil Maceio Mission? We Baptize!
I am so thankful for the chance I had to serve my mission here in a land that has so many open to receive the Gospel. So many striving to find something that they cannot find. They have the thirst but do not know where to quench it. I love the Lord and I love Brazil and it´s people. I am sad to leave but I will never forget all I learned. I love the Lord and the Savior. He is my friend and I know he loves each and every one of us. I thank you all for all you have done to aid me along the way, for your prayers, love, and support. The work of the Lord is grand and the worth of souls is great. I cannot decribe in words what I am feeling but I look forward to these last few days that I have. But I am especially thankful for this great experience I have had this week. The Lord will truly lift us up at the last day and we must trust in that. Many times we want to know that he will do something or we want to see that it will work out. But Trust in the Lord! Trust that he will keep his promises do your part. I didnt think I would see or feel the happiness again to baptize but through fervent prayers and faithful commandment keeping the Lord has brought me up in the last days of my mission. I pray that the Lord may life me up once again in the last days and I pray that you may also.
I love you all and I will see you in a few days!