Monday, March 21, 2016

Feeling all your prayers & Year mark!

(Sister Makelle Smith)
This week I have been feeling all your prayers and help!!! I have seen God act in the lives of the people here! We received 2 references from the site of the church of two people asking for a Book or Mormon! Wow what a miracle we will be teaching them this week! Julio is one of them and had so many questions he seems so interested about our religion! We also got a reference from an investigator of a woman from Argentina but lived in the U.S. for 18 years, Erika!! She has already met the elders and visited the Maryland temple! She said she wasn't ready then to be baptized but would love to learn more about the church now!!
Seriously this week was so amazing, we tried talking with everyone trying to find everyone ready and willing to listen to us! Our companionship is so strong and we both have the desire to be obedient and teach this gospel of our savior! I gave a talk in sacrament about how we can be disciples of Christ by not making rumors or gossip about the people in the ward and investigators! I felt so strong that the spirit touched someones heart!! I cant wait for this week, i am truly loving being a missionary, I feel like I am at the peak of my mission! I just want it to keep getting better!! I still have 5 months to take advantage!! I love my mission!!
(Sister Courtney Smith)
Well this week has been a continuation of the roller coaster from last week!!!! It has just been more ups and downs!!! Well our main focus this week was Paulo and Shano for their baptisms. First it started with the downs...
Shana was acting really weird because she changed her hair and she was embarrassed and didn't want to talk to us! But then when we got on the bus one day she was there too so we were able to pass by later that night and really talk with her! She said that she was still wanting to be baptized but that she was sad because her dad didn't want her to be baptized. He lives in Angola and doesn't really know us and isn't religious so when she tried explaining he didn't understand! Well we decided to fast that his heart would be softened and she had an appointment to talk with our President Amorim. Turns out the next day she called very anxiously saying she already tried talking to her dad again and he got really upset and told her she couldn't be apart of our church at all :( Wow what a heartbreak it was for us!!! So much drama. She was very confused, but shes only 17 turning 18 in June so in a couple of months we can start talking to her again! Our hearts were just torn into pieces because we gave it everything so that she could be baptized!
So that's the down part, but the up hill part was that Paulo was baptized!!!!!!!! I can´t even explain the sensation seeing this man have a change of heart! He is actually the same age as you DAD! hahaha so it was interesting watching a father figure changing and opening himself up! He literally did a 180 degree switch. He all of the sudden wanted to learn and was looking to become more like the savior. We taught about the law of chastity and he immediately started being a better father and husband to Bia and Maria and they are even a happy couple now. We taught them the law of tithing and now they are more organized and have a chart to help them spend their money better and be self sufficient! The gospel of Jesus Christ literally changes people!!! Our last night before the baptism we watching the bible video of Jesus and it was amazing how much of the spirit was with us I felt it in my fingertips! His face literally changed and he wept. He said he felt so empty like he had never felt before, he said it was a sensation totally new, we testified that it was the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ working in his life and that repentance is real and cleans us so we don't feel the weight of our sins. He was crying for a good 5 minutes, we had never ever seen that side of him before! We knew he was ready for baptism!
The Baptismal service was one of the best that I've been to! We combined with the sisters in Porto and had a bunch of people there! Their couple was married before and they asked me if I could do her hair an make up it was a blast! It was amazing we sung a primary song with Bia and Maria and Paulo cried the entire time! We were so happy that this family can now be sealed in the temple and be a forever family :) :) :) When he received the gift of the Holy Ghost it was sensational my eyes filled with tears because of the happiness that comes from helping someone else enter into the path of God!!!
I can believe it sometimes what I´m actually doing here! Well as well this week we were practicing in a choir because this Sunday we had a big Easter activity!!! We song about 9 songs and they were so pretty! We sang some of my favorites that have been a big help to me on my mission! I was able to see some friends from the Gaia 2 ward and it made me sooooo happy :) It was an amazing week filled with the love of Christ I know that God is with us and has his timing, we have to trust in it 100% and we know it will all work out!!! It was an amazing way to hit my year mark! I don´t feel like I'm really that old on the mission but here I am! I´m so thankful for the past year and I can easily say it was the best year of my life :) I love you guys! Have an amazing week!

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