I’m doing great!!! been thinkin bout Noah and yall a lot at home since he has been in the MTC and yall had to say goodbye!! I hope that yall are adjusting to him not being around!! He will be awesome!! I know that yall are all proud of him.
So my week was awesome!! Working hard and loving being here and serving the Lord. It’s such a blessing.
We found this awesome family this week. We found them by doing contacts in the street. I felt prompted to talk with this lady and she was super cool with us! After we explained who we are and what we do, she said "I’m catholic, but would love to have you visit me and my family sometime." Sold!!! Her name is Valdierene and her husband is Raimundo. They have two sons. One is 18 and lives in another part of Brasil playing professional soccer. He left home at age 14 to go live with the team at the club center and train in southern Brasil. I’ve learned that kids even as young as 8 years, leave their families to go live in other cities at the training center. They develop them from a young age. But we shared with them the message of the Restoration, it was super powerful. At the end, when I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon she was like "Now how much do I need to pay you?" ha. I was like no it’s for free. She was shocked, she said our lesson was so beautiful and would have been willing to buy it if she had to out of curiosity to know about it since she could see how strong our testimonies were about it. They want to learn more and marked another visit for this week. Raimundo was really cool with us and is a cool guy. We found many other new people this week who are interested and that we marked second visits with so hopefully they continue to work out. We have been marking a lot of baptism dates and having good turnouts at church with lots of investigators there!!
We have been teaching Antonio, Joelma, and their kids. When we taught them the first time I told them the "cake analogy" that I like to give. comparing the Book of Mormon to a delicious chocolate cake. I told Joelma that I had faith and believed that she made the best, most delicious chocolate cake in the world (besides my momma´s of course). And that her husband could tell me it was the best and many others could as well. But until I try it and experiment it myself, I will never know. I don’t have to eat all of the cake to know it is good and the most delicious that I have eaten. I just have to eat a part. Just take a bite, and I will know.
I compared how we don’t have to read all of the Book of Mormon or Bible to know if it is good. Just a part will do. I don’t have to eat all the cake to know if it's good, just a part will do. Later in the week, they invited us over for a BBQ for one of their kid’s birthdays. We did a bunch of contacts with the friends and family they had invited over. We had to leave a little early before they brought out the cake. It was funny, cause Joelma was like "Uh! I made a chocolate cake just for you, because of your example you told us, so you could see how good it was!" hahah. it was hilarious, but she said she would save some when we visit this week on Tuesday.
Raimundo and Ivaneide are still doing great, their family treats us so good and loves us. Always making dinner for us and bringing it to the apartment at night. Raimundo took us out for ice cream this past week and made us eat a ton!! We had a great experience with Raimundo yesterday. He went with us to do some visits. One of the visits we made was to his families house where his mom, stepdad, and cousins live. We started talkin with them and then it got into where the stepdad just wanted to argue with me about religion. Even though I want to just fire back with scriptures and knowledge to prove him wrong, I have learned that it doesn’t help to argue back, especially with someone who doesn’t even know what they are saying. Raimundo then started talking and it was incredible what happened. He read to them a part from the Book of Mormon and he started to cry and bore his testimony to his family. It was so powerful. He told them how much he loves them and how important they are to him. He continued to talk about his experiences with the Book and the church and told them how much he desired for them and pleaded for them just to read a part, for 1 minute and then pray and ask God. He pleaded with them to do it and that it would mean so much to him. The Spirit was so strong, seriously!! It was powerful and I know everyone felt it! I was so happy because I have seen so much progression in Raimundo from the first day I visited him, and now he is like family to us and bearing pure and strong testimony to his family cause it is so important to him!! It was incredible!!
Augusto is still doing great!! He is funny, gives us a headache sometimes but me and Fernandez love him! He really is a good kid that wants to do what is right. He is funny, when he told us he is crushin on an investigator his age who we have been bringing to church with her family as well. haha. ohh Augusto. Augusto´s step-dad and mom really love us. Last night we had a great experience with Augusto. We got there and he said he had something to tell me. I sat down and he made me promise that I wouldn’t be disappointed in him and be upset. He told me how he was at "recess" and the soccer ball went over the wall. So they climbed over the wall and then decided to just skip the rest of the day of school. When he told me this he almost had tears in his eyes and then told me how he has so much respect for me and never wants to disappoint me. Never wants me to see him as a failure and that I am like a Father to him.
I just put my arm around him (and tried to think of all the advice my dad gave me) and just told him how I love him and he will never do anything that will make me not love him and care bout him. Cause with Augusto, I have had to get onto him and be firm with him sometimes. At that moment I truly realized how much I meant to him and the impact I have made in his life. It will be so incredibly hard to say goodbye to him when I leave Itapoã. He is like family, and I’ve grown to love him so much and Fernandez has as well. At church yesterday, He asked me to be the one to ordain him to the priesthood and the office of Deacon. It was a great experience and I felt really honored to do that for him. Now he will be able to perform his duties as a deacon and continue to grow in the gospel. He wants to serve a mission now and help the rest of his family be baptised someday. It is inspiring to see his answers to the questions we give him in the Book of Mormon, and the duty to God booklet that he is working on. Hearing about the things he has had to say No to at school and turn down to keep the standards is incredible.
I’ve learned so much being here, especially from others. So grateful for the people we are teaching that have taught me so much!!
I hope yall have a great week and have a good school year!!
|Elder Fernandez celebrating 6 months on the mission!!|
|Burning a tie as per tradition to mark the first 6 months|
|Raimundo and Ivaneide take such good care of us!|
|Ice cream with Raimundo. He bought us each a sundae with 4 scoops and |
then he bought us each a cone with 2 scoops because he wanted us to eat
his favorite flavor!! He's awesome!!