June 11, 2013 by jennaljackson
I must say first off that this week felt pretty good. It really felt like I was doing missionary work this week. We had lots more lessons than usual that were actually lessons, as in set up with opening and closing prayers and doctrine taught, questions asked and answered, and commitments made.
The highlight of this week was definitely Marlene…..getting baptized! Hip hip!! She finally quit smoking this week when I up and told her it’s this day or nothing. She had been lowering the number of cigarettes for awhile, but in the end she finally went cold turkey! It was awesome. When I asked she said it was the first time she hadn’t had a cigarette in three years…and keep in mind this girl is barely 19. She’s also now keeping the law of chastity with her 31 year old boyfriend who has 2 kids. I know for sure that baptism is just the first of our work with her and we, along with the branch, will need to give a LOT of support to keep her firm. But when I look at the changes she’s already made in her life to get here I know that baptism was the right choice and that she truly has a desire to follow Christ. On the less bright side, I had a super old man take all my pictures so they’re terrible. Win some lose some.
Probably the most amazing thing that happened this week was that we had SEVEN investigators in church! It was honestly incredible. I’m over the moon when we have one, so the Lord definitely blessed us this week. Marlene came, as well as Jorge who was waiting by the door of the chapel when we arrived for church (he’s awesome). After the baptism he was so excited and said ‘next week that’s me!’ oh yeah we marked him for next week. We also had João there, a 24 year old who we’ve been working with this week. He has tons of faith in Christ but is a little skeptical to think that we have the one true church. When we gave him the BOM he read EVERYTHING in the beginning and came to us with questions about God confounding the Jaredites’ language. He thought it meant that god was confounded by it, which made him made that we said god could be confounded by something. I think we cleared it up, but let me tell you, that’s the first time I’ve had someone read TOO much in the Book of Mormon haha. Also….MANUEL CAME! Yayyyy! For the first time since 2008. We had a lesson with him this week in which he was trying to get us to stop talking about baptism and just come visit to talk about Christ but not make progress. So I bore testimony as strongly as I know in Portuguese and gave some faca with love. If you’ve seen the Restoration movie where the preacher says ‘be careful Joseph, your soul is in play’ let’s just say I ripped off that exact phrase. #dramatic but this is a guy who says he needs a sign from god that he should be baptized, then turns around and tells about two separate times where he was in the lowest points of his life and a set of elders knocked on his door. So I told him God had already given him signs enough, but if he wanted another one he should go to church on Sunday….and he DID and stayed for Marlene’s baptism too. He LOVES the Virgin Mary and so he was stoked to find a line about her in the Portuguese version of I believe in Christ. We’ll keep working on that.
Anyway, lots of blessings from the Lord this week in our missionary work. We were also blessed to find some new novos who have lots of potential. We met two 15 year old twins on our division and it took us until this week to find their address. They weren’t home but the dad was, and so he said we could come back and talk to their whole family together! FAMILY. Cross your fingers for us! But actually it helps more if you fold your arms nawmeen.
Speaking of which we had a good spiritual though from our zone leaders this week. They gave us some scripture about the Lamanites in a war, still don’t really think it relates TOO well but they wanted us to focus on recognizing and thanking the lord for everything that happens on our mission. We tried to do that and our prayers have changed a lot and I think this habit helped us be blessed in church this Sunday. Working hard to figure out how you can achieve blessings from the Lord really is key.
Other things that happened this week….we ran into a 75 year old Brazilian man who danced the Samba for us in the street and told us that after our missions he would pay for all three of us to go on holiday to Brazil together. No worries though because he told us he has no sexual intentions, just ‘friends of the heart’. Also he said he’d buy us a house in Portugal so that’s bomb. I’ll make sure to update you guys on that. Had a more veiled (punny) marriage proposal from one of our new investigators too, but we made it clear we’re headed back to the U.S. so we’ll just forget that ever happened and keep teaching bout the gospel. Learned this week that Vila Real is 70% male, which is probably why I feel so at home here LANAI YOU FEEL ME #lanaifstyle. But really how does that even happen to an entire city. Maybe one day I’ll ask Jared Diamond. Once again props to whoever got that joke (guns germs and steel).
Sorry for the TONSSSS of mission news about people you don’t really know, hopefully it’s marginally interesting. But it’s all I got for now. Except for my lower back spasm. Don’t know what’s going on there but it’s actually extremely painful lolsssss. Anyway, have a great week everyone and I love you all!