This Saturday we had a baptism! Woohoo! Nicole, a great 13 year old young woman, has been progressing so much and was able to be baptized and confirmed this weekend! She is one of those perfect investigators that had every single lesson with members, had no problem with any of the commandments, went to church the past 4 Sundays (every week since we started teaching her) and was just waiting for water basically! Her mother is a less active member who we met while teaching her, so we are working with her too! The baptism was great, and three of our investigators (Sara, Rafael, and Genesio) were present and loved it. We had a BIG miracle with the baptism too: Heavenly Father definitely hears our prayers when we ask for things. The first miracle is smaller: Sister Richards and I were cleaning the font Saturday morning but the supply closet was locked and there are NEVER supplies left out. We desperately needed mops (well, Piaui mops - rodos, because they are like giant squeegees for floors) and I prayed saying "Heavenly Father, will you please send me a mop?" and then I felt to go look in the kitchen. And there were TWO lovely rodos sitting there! Yay! Now for the bigger miracle: We had invited the branch members whose phone number we had and hoped that we would have two priesthood holders to be the witnesses. Well the time came and the bretheren who had said they would be there either cancelled or didn't come... So it was 45 minutes after the designated starting time of the baptism and we were one Brother short... President Rocha and I were trying to call the brothers who said they would come but they werent answering when out of nowhere Irmão Brito shows up. I hadnt called him because he doesnt have a phone right now, so I was really suprised when he appeared in his white shirt and tie with his scriptures. I asked who had told him to come and he said "I just felt that I needed to come to the church so here I am. It was the Spirit that called me." I am so grateful for wonderful priesthood holders who are worthy and willing to respond to promptings from the Holy Ghost even when they might not make sense.
Now for the funny stories: this one comes from Sister Lockhart and Sister Benevides from Ramo 2. Their investigator told them why he decided to quit smoking: one day he was working on a project and realized that he had smoked a whole pack in one sitting. With that realization and the last cigarette in his hand, he threw it on the ground. A cockroach came out of nowhere and went near the lit cigarette, sniffed it and died. Literally, just died. He said to himself "If a COCKROACH dies just from the smoke, what am I doing inhaling this thing?!" Sooo... Dont smoke :)
Last week I wrote about how Manu, Bia's daughter learned how to say "Sister". This week we were reading in Moroni 6 with Bia and Jose and I was reading out loud when I read the word "Batismo" (baptism) and Manu exclaims "BA-TIS-MO!" It was super awesome, this little girl is the best!
Another funny story is this week we were getting ready and Sister Richards was eating an apple with her hair in two braids. I looked at her and exclaimed "Sister! You jumped out of the Gospel Principles manual!" There is a picture of a blond girl with two braids eating an apple that looked a lot like Sister Richards. We took a picture to prove it. :)
One last miracle and then I' m out of time: Yesterday we had lunch with Irmão Barbosa and Irmã Ivanez, a wonderful couple from our branch. Their son, Ze Filho, who isnt a member of the church, was living in Fortaleza but moved home this last week. We shared a message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as we were leaving we asked Ze Filho if he was coming to church. He said no that he didnt think so. We invited him to come and in response to his hesitant reply I said "See you at church! I have faith that you'll come!" And guess who showed up at church? Ze Filho! His parents were glowing, they were so happy to have their son in church with them. :)
The scripture I wanted to share is from my preparation for a lesson tonight about our attitudes and keeping the commandments. In the Book of Mormon, Laman and Lemuel are generally complaining and unhappy. Nephi, however, tries to look on the bright side and keep the commandments and as we learn in 1 Nephi 3:6, is blessed because of his reaction to lifes challenges. May we all be more like Nephi and endure our challenges with faith and trust in the Lord!
Have a great week!