What an amazing week in Aldeota! First off, we welcomed in the new missionaries on Tuesday from the Missionary Training Center in São Paulo. There were 11 total, 6 Elders and 5 Sisters. This group was really great and it was fun to eat lunch at the Mission Home and get to know them a little better and then go through the training with them. The week has been busy in the Mission Office and I have been training Elder Zwick how to do everything as Executive Secretary. I also forgot to mention last week that Elder Zwick only has 6 weeks on his mission so I am finishing up doing the 12 week training program for new missionaries with him. It is a great program and I have enjoyed doing it again with him. Things are going well and he will do great here!
What was really great about this week was the work we were able to do outside the Mission Office. We had some awesome experiences visiting people and teaching people. Thursday, we went and visited some less active members in our ward with a member. We visited some people on the church records that are in our ward that the church has not had contact with in a long time. After visiting the addresses and either the person didn´t live there anymore or they weren´t home, we had one last name on the list, Flavio. We walked to the address and clapped our hands and yelled his name. After awhile he came to the window and we asked if he was a member of the church. He said he was but was baptized more than 30 years ago. We asked him if we could come in and share a message with him. He came down and let us in. We sat down at his table and he explained to us that he was baptized 32 years ago when he was in his teens and that this was the first visit he had ever received since then. He told us that this has been the hardest month of his life and he has been going through some major family difficulties. He informed us that he had been praying all day and asking his Heavenly Father to show him the way and to show him what to do. He was resting and he woke up to someone calling his name. It was us. He told us that he was pretty shocked when he looked out the window and saw us there after so much time of not having contact with the church. It was an amazing experience for us and we talked with him about how we didn´t know that he was going through a hard time but that his Heavenly Father knew and that we were there to show him the way. We had a great discussion about why we have to go through difficulties and how we can find strength in our faith in Jesus Christ during challenges. We read some parts from the Book of Mormon and had a great time helping him build his faith in his Savior. It really reminded me that this work really is the Lord´s work and that he will guide us to people that are in need of our help.
We also started teaching a new investigator, Luan. He stopped Elder Allen on the road here in Aldeota and asked to know more about the church. Elder Allen gave me his address and his phone number and we visited him on Friday. We arrived at his house, where he lives with his aunt and cousin, and he was very excited to have us there. He is 20 years old and he immediately started asking us questions and we started answering them. He had very, very good questions and it was clear right away that he had a thirst for the knowledge of the truth. He has a lot of knowledge of the Bible and we talked about the Book of Mormon with him and how we have both as testimonies of Jesus Christ. He was very excited and asked if he could have one. We of course gave him one and taught him about the Restoration. We returned the next morning with a member in our ward who was baptized about a year ago. They really got a long well and we had a great discussion about how we can come to know if the Book of Mormon is true. He said he had started reading and said he had plans to finish it this week. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Chirst: faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted. He is very excited about it all and he came to church yesterday. During testimony meeting he leaned over to me and asked if he could say something. I of course told him he could and after a while he leaned over again and said he would if I did, so of course I did. He explained how happy he was to be there and how awesome the things were that he had learned already. He also said he felt like family when he arrived at the church and he said he is excited to be part of this great group of people soon. We are super excited about him and we have plans to visit him every day this week, including today, and prepare him to be baptized on Sunday!
The work is moving forward full force here in Aldeota and I feel very blessed to be a part of it. I hope all continues to go well with each one of you. We are also getting more and more excited about Elder Anderson coming May 19th, which will be awesome. Have a great week!
Until next week.