Thursday, January 13, 2011

Esta semana maravilhosa!‏

Oi gente! Como vai? We have been getting out and about a little more which I am SO thankful for. Being a missionary and staying inside is really not that fun. It´s not like we have a TV to watch or facebook to use! I have this like cabin fever to just get out and WORK! We have decided though that having this ankle issue has some benefits. For example, even though its super annoying trying to organize rides everywhere from members when you don´t have any credits on your cell phone and the nearest phone booth is not at all near and the only people who drive are men and we can´t be alone in the car with men, *deep breath* does give us more of an opportunity lets say to invite the members into our lessons with us! Thus having, more lessons with members! Isn´t that great?! We really did have a super week though. Did I mention Clair in my e-mail last week? I can´t remember. She is a sweet old lady who lives alone and has been invited by her neighbor for months and months to go to church and always declined. Finally she went and loved it (of course) and now we are teaching her! We have had two incredibly super lessons with her. I am amazed how she just connects the dots and understands everything perfectly. After our first appointment with her she had already read 3 chapters of the Gospel Principles book, 20 chapters of the Book of Mormon, watched the Restoration film, stopped drinking coffee, and was thirsty for more. After we taught her the Plan of Salvation I was touched when she said something along the lines of "My whole life I knew there was something missing but I never knew what. I would fill it with what I thought was truth or thought would make me happy but now I know. It´s this." We invited her to be baptized and although she has a desire, she like all of our other investigators, wants to make sure she is ready and truly has an answer. We felt prompted to sing to her "His Image in Your Countenace" (in Portuguese obviously) and both she and the member we were with cried. The spirit was incredibly strong. She looked to us and said "This is the Holy Ghost isn´t it? It´s my answer." Pretty powerful moment for me and my companion. She went to a baptism for a little boy in the ward on Saturday and talked all about her baptism and how shes going to invite her whole family, etc. And basically I just love her!

I could go on forever talking about our golden investigators that amaze me. I seriously stand in awe of each of them as they progress on their own because THEY want to! They have a desire to follow our Savoir Jesus Christ and obey His commandments. It´s tough! There is nothing easy about it. One irmão in sacramament meeting yesterday for example said "We are definitely a people of sacrifice. Anyone who has truly repented will tell you its not easy, but was truly a difficult process." I read a talk yesterday about humility that said "Many other faiths have signs that say "Pare de sofrer!" or, "Stop suffering!" When really we know that for the Atonement to truly be applied and to have a true change of heart, its going to hurt, its going to take time, we ARE going to suffer, maybe just for the moment. But we have the Lords promise that "His Kindness shall not depart from Thee [us]" I think of Paulinho. I am so orgulhosa dele! (Proud of him) Today will be 10 days that he hasn´t smoked. 10 days!! It may sound insignificant to some, but after 12 years that is SUCH an accomplishment. I can see how hard it is, how much it hurts. And I want to do something to help him, I want to take the pain away. All I can do is encourage, pray, fast, and the rest is up to him. He is experiencing the Atonement and repentance process profoundly in his life right now. His courage and stamina truly stuns me. He goes to church come rain or come shine, reads the scriptures (he even downloaded the Book of Mormon onto his Mp3!), listens to church music and watches church films, etc. He is preparing himself to make the sacred covenant of baptism with His Father in Heaven. I am so happy for him. This mighty change will bless his life and the life of others forever, more than he can even comprehend right now. How grateful I am to know him and to feel like I am even an insignificant part of this process.

I know I could go on forever talking about each one of our amazing investigators. I don´t know why the Lord is blessing us so abundantly with such elect people. Truly I don´t feel like we´re doing much! They´re just ready! Whats amazing is that each one of these people live in VERY nice apartment complexes in our area which are extremely difficult for missionaries to enter and work. This really is a BIG deal! Just imagine the work that is going to flourish now! They are all already doing missionary work by inviting their friends and family to hear the lessons with us! I love the gospel and love being a missionary. There is no where else I would rather be, besides on the street instead of inside my house ;) Thanks for the words of support and constant prayers. I know I always say that but I do want each of you to know how grateful I am and how much it really does mean to me. I dont just say it to say it. We can feel the spirit and love from the memebrs from all over the world. Have a great week! Até mais gente!

-Sister Peck

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