Monday, August 8, 2011

"Just so you know, I´m atheist."‏

I love Eden. I love Sister Pedroso. I love everything about my mission right now, I´ve never been happier! Just like normal, at the end of every transfer we are impatiently waiting to hear if one of us is going to be leaving our area. I doubt it, because I only have one transfer left, so I´m pretty sure Sister Pedroso will be with me to the end of my mission, but of course anything is possible. I will be SO sad though if something drastic happens!!!! We´re praying that we stay together and that I stay in Eden!

Well we had a pretty good week! We have made quite a few changes both individually and as a companionship and we can truly see the Lord´s hand in the blessings we receive. We have been helping and teaching a lady named Lucimara for quite some time and this week she accepted to be baptized! Her baptism will be held on Saturday and I am so excited. She is a single parent of two darling boys and has really had a rough life but it is amazing to see the power of the Atonement work in her life and to have been able to see her conversion process. A while back we had visited her and she told us about two dreams she´d had. The first was that her two sons were dressed in shirt and ties and had black nametags; they had both become Elders and served missions! The other dream she was dressed in white and was preparing for her baptism. Me and my companion were there and I had said to her "Let´s go Lucimara! We´ll help you!" and she said "No Sisters, I´m ready, I´ll enter the water by myself." Something to that effect. ;) Anyway the spirit was really strong when she told us and it was just one more confirmation for her and for us that she is ready. It has been such a privilege to know her and to see her tremendous example for her family and friends.

On Saturday we were running around to make our appointments that kept falling in the hot sun, when we saw Luiz. He was sitting on the sidewalk reading a book and I felt like I should contact him, but I ignored the tender voice of the spirit and we kept walking. My amazing companion didn´t let us walk 5 more steps when she said, "Lets talk to that guy, I feel like we have to." Yep, that’s the spirit alright. So we started talking. He said that he was reading his
second book of the day. Sister Pedroso gave him one of the pamphlets and he said "Too bad it’s kind of small." We both looked at each other and she said "Well here let me give you a bigger one!" So we gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised to read. I invited him to come to church with us the next day and he said he´d love to but "Just so you guys know, I´m atheist. BUT I´m always willing to be proven wrong!." After a few seconds of awkward silence we said "Well great then we´ll pass by at 8:15 to get you!" My first thoughts were "He is an intellectual and won´t be easy to convert but thank heavens we have the spirit on our side!" He is the first person I have met of this faith on my mission! Seriously! Sunday morning there was Luiz on the sidewalk waiting for us with his Book of Mormon in one hand and a cigarette in the other! I was so pleased to see him ready to go! The first thing he said was "Can I wear my Nirvana shirt?" hahaha! Loved it. So basically he loved church. Of course he did. Who wouldn´t? It´s nothing like anything anyone ever expects. And it´s literally IMPOSSIBLE not to feel the spirit when you´re there. He kept making comments like "It´s so calm, but not annoyingly calm ya know?" "Wow we actually learn things." During gospel principles HE was the one asking questions. One recent convert was able to relate to him and answer his questions because he used to be Atheist too! (what are the odds?) It was neat. Since yesterday was fast and testimony meeting it´s always special. The only thing that "bothered" him, for lack of a better word, was how EVERY single person said "I KNOW that the church is true....I KNOW we have a living prophet, etc." He said "How can you have an absolute certainty about something? You have to be willing to change and have an open mind!" We were able to explain about what it means to have a testimony and how it really is impossible to deny when you´ve had a personal witness from the Holy Ghost. It was SO incredible to see his intellectual side struggling and battling with the spirit that was touching his heart! We are going to meet with him again this week and I can´t wait!

Our recent convert Jonanth bore his sweet testimony yesterday too! ahh there is just nothing better. It´s impossible to explain how I feel to see a recent convert publically bear their testimony and cry about the love they feel for the Savior and his Atonement and how he wants nothing more than to serve a mission to share this wonderful message with others! QUE ORGULHO!

Well that’s about it on my end! The Lord continues to bless our tiny branch here in Eden and I am grateful. I know he loves and protects his missionaries and I am grateful!! Thank you everyone and have a wonderful week! Bjos e abraços
-Sister Peck

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