This week we stopped by Larissa´s house to teach her, and like always there were a ton of people there. We sang a hymn and taught the Restoration to her sister and friend. They were pretty interested, but when we were about to teach about the First Vision, their other friend walks in. He is like 15 years old and super immature and starts like rattling off some Portuguese slang. When we got him to sit down, he was still being immature, but we were able to continue teaching. When I recited the first vision, it was crazy, there was complete silence and everyone was staring at me--like really paying attention. Then the moment I finished he was back to laughing/joking. After the lesson, Sister Salles was like, ``That ALWAYS happens right before you talk about Joseph Smith. Something always happens to distract people or draw away the Spirit,`` then she joked, ``the devil always sends his servants.`` That 15 year old definitely wasn´t a servant of the devil like literally, but it really was no coincidence that he came at that time. It is important for all of us to understand the reality that there will always be an opposition to truth.
We also went with a recent convert, Sandra, to invite her next door neighbor to visit the Church on Sunday. We knocked on the door together and it was so awkward. She was really unhappy and said she was Catholic and a bunch of other mean things. I was ready to leave, and Sister Salles finished an invitation to church. She was about to shut the door when for some reason I said, ``Do you have kids?`` She stopped and started talking about her kids and grandkids. At that point I knew she was crazy because she did like a 180 and invited us in. She talked and talked and we tried to teach her but it was like impossible so we decided to just leave her with a hymn and a prayer. We sang ``Nearer My God, To Thee`` and the Spirit was just undeniably there. After it was completely silent and the look in her eye, you could just tell that she felt the Spirit...But then she looked at us and said, ``Are you actresses?``...no...``of Global?``(some tv network) then she rattled off a whole list of news networks/tv programs that we could possibly be from. She asked us if we were journalist. again, no. We said, ``We are missionaries and representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called by a prophet of God to be here and talk to you about what we know to be true.`` She was unhappy again after that so we just left with a prayer. We went back once more with the member because the member had been friends with her for 20 plus years, but that visit wasn´t any better. However, my testimony was strengthened that 1) the promise in D&C 100:5 is true-- ``you(servants of God.us as missionaries) shall not be confounded before men.`` the Spirit testified to Damiona´s heart and she denied it. 2) in 1 Nephi 16:2 Nephi talks about how Laman and Lemuel reject the truth because they are guilty and it cuts them to the heart. Seriously, truth spoken and driven to a person´s heart by the Spirit is undeniable.
We also had a going-away conference/training with President Pinho this week. The whole mission was there, which is super rare. We got to watch Ephraim´s Rescue and the departing missionaries bore their testimonies. 3 of our 6 assistants are leaving, so I think we will go back to having only 2 assistants after this transfer. They also talked about the World Cup, and we will continue to do what we always do, missionary work. Each missionary will pray to find, teach, and then have a baptism every week, which really is possible. We also have another training this week on Thursday for just the sisters in the mission. Thursday is also the first day of the world cup, so who knows what will happen. I know that it will be crazy here though, no doubt. The streets are already painted and Brazilian flags are everywhere! I´ve never seen anything like it. I will try to send pictures but know that they don´t do it justice.
We also had stake conference, which was really good. I want to share some thoughts:
-Our mission never ends. It didn´t end for our Savior after the Atonement, after He was crucified or resurrected. He lives and leads this church. His mission is our mission and He is at our side.
-To the members who sacrifice a lot to feed the 6-10 missionaries in some of the wards in the stake: the Lord will recompense/repay you for all you give.
-The stake president had all the missionaries stand. Literally, the missionaries were like 1/3 of the audience and the room was full. There has to be at least 40 missionaries in this stake right now. The stake president said, ``Look for the missionaries in your ward. Do you know their names?...the names of their investigators?``
-Abish was a member missionary. She brought the whole world to the missionary. She had faith (Alma 19 verses 16-17,28-29)
Also some things that President Pinho said:
--Remember the desire of your parents. They want you to return home after your mission. They want you to come home healthy and happy. Imagine the desire of your heavenly parents, who have a love much greater than your earthly parents. Your calling is to help Heavenly Father´s children have the homecoming that you want after your mission.
--The members in your wards will either be Marys or Marthas. Some will love to feed you. Others will find and teach and baptize and retain with you.
--When you like soccer, you talk about soccer alot. When you like food, you talk about food alot. When you like baptisms alot, you talk about baptisms alot--that is why we talk about baptisms with everyone we can
So much more happened this week, but I don´t have much time. Know that the work is working and I´m so happy to be a part of it.
Eu amo voces bastante!
Zona Casa Grande!!!
|Sister Phillips! my companion in the Provo MTC|
|my zone/district in the MTC|
|these flags are painted on like every street|
this little guy isthe mascot. he is everywhere too....and these are just the streets. I will try to get pictures of the flags hanging in the streets. its crazy
|Foto da missão|
|sisters of the mission|