This week has been so great! My new companion is Sister Alves, from Carapicuiba, São Paulo. She is a convert (member for 2 years) and the only member in her family and she is incredible! Her testimony is SO strong and she has no fear to teach and testify and invite everyone to come unto Christ. I'm 110% sure that this transfer will be full of miracles!
We got to Parnaíba on Wednesday early in the morning and wasted no time in getting to work.We had a few funny moments doing our best not to snooze in the lessons, but everything worked out and now we are ready for another awesome week.
Funny story: Remember the interesting lady who wears a pillowcase? Well we were at her house (teaching her less active son) and she had friend visiting from her church. We were sitting in the front room with this friend, Cristiane, sitting across from us and we couldd tell that she was dying to ask us a question. Finally she burst out: "What is the name of that book that you people read?"
and... I couldn't help it, I responded innocently "Oh, the Bible?"
"No no no," she replies, "The one with that one God you guys worship."
(Poker face by me)"Jesus Christ?" I respond.
"No no no no... That American dude... Ummm..."
At this point the interesting lady bursts into the room and arms extended and everything exclaims "JOHNNY SCHMIDT!"
"Ahh," I reply, You mean Joseph Smith and the Book of Momon. Well let us tell you a bit about them!" We then proceeded to teach about the Book of Mormon and it was amazing to see the transformation in everyone in the room. Cristiane totally changed and accepted the invitation to read a chapter. Her interesting friend actually said that she knew the Book of Mormon wasnt from the devil because she had read parts and it talked about Jesus. It was pretty neat, we aregoing to visit Cristiane tomorrow and see how the reading went. So that is the story about how we helped one more person realize that the Mormons are not a weird cult of the devil! Mission adventures!
A neat story comes from yesterday in sacrament meeting: since it was fast and testimony meeting, Genesio decided to bear his testimony! It was so special, he is such a great example. He told us this week that even if no one could give him aa ride to church and he couldnt get any other transportation then he would walk to church (one leg and all.) "Im not sure if I'll make it, but I will try!" He told us. Seriously, I love this man! :) The good thing is everyone loves him and there is never lack of members to pick him up.
Another miraculous experience comes from Sara and Rafael: we went to teach them and they basically told us that they had come to the conclusion that they didnt want to join the Church at this point. We listened to them and then bore our testimonies and in a miraculous change of direction we challenged them to fast with us. It was so perfect, and they asked me to pray to help us receive inspiration to choose a purpose of the fast. As I prayed, I felt a really strong prompting to ask for illumination (something I have never prayed for). I included the word "illumination" twice in the prayer and when we finishedd, Sara said she had felt that we needed to fast for Spiritual Illumination and guidance. Wow! They invited us for lunch the next day (sunday) where we helped Sara make the most awesome lunch of my mission: a perfect lasagna with Sister written in ketchup (Sara's surprise to us). The fast went well and we went by today to finish the fast with a prayer and Sara said that it had been really good, even though it was hard. They had studied in the scriptures about fasting as a family and I know tht Heavenly Father is going to answer our prayers. I love Sara and Rafael and Im excited to see them continue to progress!
Rafael (the other one, the one with the lots of friends that we teach outsie of his house) is doing awesome and he ACCEPTED A BAPTISMAL DATE! Woohoo! We are continuing to teach them all still outside of Rafael's house. They are lovoing the Book of Mormon and the lessons and Church and everything!
I know that the Gospel changes our lives and that God loves us and answers our prayers. I love serving in Parnaíba and bearing my testimony every moment of the day!
Have a great week!