(Sister Courtney Smith)
Well another week already flown by!!! I cant even tell you how fast the weeks are flying! This week has been kind of funny because our house is actually getting painted! Finally, it is kind of run down! So we've been having to do studies at the church!
I will first start out with our lesson with Ruí, Isabel, and Augusto! Ruí promised us that he would make us brownies with his bimby machine and so he greeted us at the door with some nice brownies! Then we sat down and they didn't even want to chat that much they really just wanted to hear our message! So we taught them the Plan of Salvation! WOW! I remember just sitting down and getting the chills!!!!! The spirit is so strong in that house! It was such a great feeling to teach that lesson with such love and testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ! That's why we call him our Savior or in Portuguese its Salvador. Eu sei que nosso Salvador vive! We bore power testimony with tears in our eyes and they were just so attentive the entire lesson! Isabel even started crying! :) I LOVE this family!!! I know that they will be baptised one day! We are moving slow with them but we are actually teaching them tonight so I will update next week about asking them to be baptised!! :)
We are really excited about them! We also taught Fatima about temples and she really liked it! One of our members who's going to Japan on his mission just went through the temple and when he bore testimony the spirit was there and she knew that it was very sincere!
Thanksgiving was a complete blast!!! We have a family in our ward who the dad is Portuguese and the mom is Polish! They told us last year they made the turkey and they didn't drain it or clean it so when they cut it to serve to the elders blood went all over their white shirts!!! :) Too funny! But she actually did a great job! We had turkey, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream!!! We walked home stuffed!!! They also were playing just dance as a family and we did a dance with them before we left to a meeting :) It was a really great thanksgiving!!! :) Another miracle we saw was we have a firm goal of contacting/inviting 50 people every day to either assist church with us or hear a message about the restoration. We were in a rut and then one day we were dedicated and we just talked to every one we saw! We were passing one guy and he almost got away but I decided to stop him, well I said Hi we are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ and he said Oh you are them! and we said yes we are with big smiles :) he said my wife always talks about how much she loves you! We said who is she and he said Virginia! She is one of our investigators we've been teaching for a while! We had been wanting to meet her husband for forever!!!!! But he literally works all week and is home for a half a day and is back on the road! But we met him!!! He is way nice and wants to talk to us next week! It may not seem to big but it showed us God puts people in our pathway when we are dedicated! :) My testimony has been growing a ton! Ive been doing a lot more in depth studies in the bible, omg we just had some crazy contacts with people who know the bible inside and out and wow I've just been getting so frustrated because a lot of people like to accept false doctrine! And sadly the bible wasn't translated perfectly and like we know a lot of plain and simple truths have been taken out! One day we had these long conversations with people accusing us that we don't follow the bible exactly, how we aren't allowed to pass out cards with Jesus on them, or even celebrate Christmas!! I got kind of frustrated and one morning I decided dedicating my time to how I could contact with the spirit so that those ready to accept the gospel would recognize we are servants of the Lord! The biggest and clearest response was just LOVE!!!!!!!! I just starting crying because I think we all know that deep down we just need to show love to others like Christ did. He was so selfless and just helped people! John 13:34 That's what he asks of us to do!!! Love Others!!! Challenge of the week: Be more conscious of how much love you are showing towards others!! :) Its a good self check! I know that all God wants us to do and the spirit will stay with us! After I did that even when we ran into people who wanted to pick fights we just showed the love and they ended up taking our convite and were happy :) Our example means more that we think!
Wow this week was so great!! I am literally so so grateful to be here in Imbituba! The highlight of the week for sure was the baptism of Jaira and Hugo, they are so very special and ready for baptism!! We were talking about the plan of salvation and Jaira said yeah the celestial kingdom I don't know about you but I am going there! Haha it was so sweet to witness their special day! We sang my favorite hymn at the end Joseph's first prayer and there was a line that stuck out to me! o eterno guirà os passos seus, translation the eternal god will guide your steps! Wow I felt the spirit hit me so hard that God really is guiding me in my life and I am really feeling his blessings!
Filipe is progressing and loves the gospel, he will be baptized this week, this area is blessed! I asked him Filipe why do you want to be baptized and he said, clearly because without baptism I wont enter in the celestial kingdom, then he said I need to go to church every Sunday because after I get the priesthood I will bless it and help the church, the church needs me, wow this kid is so ready and prepared for the gospel, he wants to serve a mission in the states and learn English!!
The sisters and ward here are great and the views are fantastic, honestly I have nothing else to say but that I am truly grateful!!:) I love this gospel I know with out a doubt in my mind it is true, this work is so real and i am apart of helping others come unto Christ!