This week has been crazy full of miracles! Sister Richards and I decided to make this the best transfer of all time and we began with a goal to purify our lives by being as obedient as possible in ALL the little things and its been making a big difference. Fasting and prayer and literally giving our absolute best to the work is so worth it! I'm learning that giving 99.9% of myself isn't enough, the Lord requires 100% ALL the time. My testimony of repentance is growing, but not just this week, its been growing my whole mission. This week we had a neat training with all the missionaries around the world. We watched it broadcasted live in our church in Parnaíba with our district and all the speakers focused on the doctrine of Christ and parts of Preach My Gospel. It was great and I'm doing my best to always apply the doctrine of Christ. There is no limit on how much we can bear our testimonies of faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Good stuff. :)
The biggest miracle of the week is an amazing family we are teaching: Sara and Rafael and their cute 3 year old son Nicolas. We found them on Tuesday when our last appointment of the night fell through. We knocked on the door of the investigator we were going to visit and when nobody answered I looked and Sister Richards and asked "Okay, which door are we going to knock on next?" She said that she wanted to visit the house across the street so we went and rang the doorbell. A lady asked who it was and we replied cheerfully "Sisteres!" To our suprise she opened the door and without hesitating asked "Would you like to come in?" Um yes. Of course. We are missionaries! hahaha We went inside and started chatting with her, Sara. We found out that her sister is a member of the Church in another city and that Sara has not one but TWO copies of the Book of Mormon, one in Portuguese and one in Spanish because she was studying Spanish. We talked about the Family Proclamation and the Gospel blessing our families and left Alma 32 for her to read, marking a next visit for Thursday. We asked if her husband would be there too and she said "Probably, but he is never interested in these kinds of visits. It would take a miracle to make him stay." Well Sara, we believe in miracles! :) Thursday came and I felt prompted to take the Restoration DVD to watch with another investigator. When we went to visit Sara the thought popped into my mind to watch the Restoration with them and she was really excited about it. So we taught the first part of the Restoration and then watched the DVD. And guess who stayed for the WHOLE LESSON? Her husband, Rafael. He was super excited and they had lots of questions. After that we have been teaching them every day and they are a golden family! They read all of the chapters and pamflets (Literal quote from Sara "I read the chapter 4 times in Portuguese and once in Spanish to make sure I understood it all") They came to church yesterday and liked it, they even helped out in Primary! They have been telling us of the miracles that have been happening since our visits. The day we found Sara she had been praying desperately for God to send someone something anything and a bit later we knocked on their door. Sara said that Rafael never sits for visits and he is just as excited as she is, something that she calls a big miracle. Nicolas, who never stays in church lessons with the kids, loved primary and stayed the whole time. Soooo.... I'm quite excited to see the results with this great family. :)
Our other investigators are progressing very much too! Nicole is getting baptized this Saturday and she is very excited. Genesio (the man with one leg) came this week to church as well (bringing his cousin who is visiting from São Paulo) and has a baptismal date for February 6.
Church yesterday was a BIG miracle too. I broke my record for the most investigators in sacrament meeting (something that has always been hard for me) with nine investigators and the branch members were overjoyed that there were 63 people in sacrament meeting! This is the branch that never had more than 35 when I got here a few months ago. Truly the Lord is performing MIRACLES in Parnaíba. It is an incredible privilege to be working in this wonderful part of the vineyard.
Cute story of the week: yesterday we had lunch with Bia and José, our recent converts. Emanuele, Bia's 15 month old daughter, learned a new word (her 4th word): SISTER! :D It was super adorable to see her running around exclaiming "Sister! Sister!"
Funny story of the week: yesterday in sacrament meeting, President Santos gave a wonderful talk about becoming like Christ and relying in Him. He asked a rhetorical question without waiting for an answer "What would Christ do?" And someone (probably an investigator) exclaimed "O certo!" (The right thing!) :) It was quite funny.
Sister Richards and I also got to teach the youth Sunday School class very last minute and it was an awesome lesson about teaching by the Spirit. The youth in our branch are super great!
To finish up I want to share two awesome scriptures I found this morning while studying the New Testament (seriously, the Bible is super great). Romans 8:24-25 and Romans 8:37-39. Look them up, they are wonderful!
I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. For His infinite Atonement that enables us to change and become better each and every moment. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and loves His children!
Have an amazing week! Count the miracles you see!