Saturday, June 21, 2014

Copa do Mundo Madness!!!!

It´s actually not tooo crazy here on a daily basis...we can´t leave our house when Brazil plays though. Today isn´t my p-day but I still get to email. Tomorrow when Brazil plays we have to stay inside so we don´t get much of a p-day today. Tudo bem. It has been fun to see how much people care about a sport though. Wow. On Thursday, Sao Paulo hosted the opener. Traffic was crazy that day and the day before. When the game started, we didn´t have to watch the game to know when Brazil made a goal because there were horns and sirens and fireworks everytime. It was insane. So loud! I´ve never heard streets this loud in my life. Our Brazilian companions were super trunkie, and Sister Stephens and I just chilled watching Ephraim´s Rescue. 

Other than that, we are still able to do a little work with at least the investigators that we already have and our recent converts. The 14 year-olds that we are teaching were supposed to get baptized this past Saturday but neither of them have gotten permission from their parents yet. It doesn´t help that they don´t have good relationships with them, which is a bummer.

 However, we helped the other sisters in our ward with their baptism this Saturday. Gleice had a baptism scheduled for like 4 o´clock, and Sister Stephens and I (2 Americans who don´t always completely understand what is going on) were sent to go pick her up and walk with her to the church. Well, that would have been easy, but when we got there we were like ``are you excited for your baptism?`` and she frowned. I was thinking ´oh no. this isn´t even my investigator. I barely know her. Sister Stephens barely speaks Portuguese. I have no idea what to do.` Then she told us that she didn´t feel entirely free because she doesn´t feel completely free of her addictions to cigarettes and alcohol. I didn´t know really anything about this situation, but I knew that she had already been interviewed and found worthy to be baptized, so we tried our best to just cheer her on. We bore our testimonies and that still wasn´t going anywhere. So I´m thinking ´now what do I do. everyone is waiting at the chapel and I need to get her there somehow.` When Gleice went inside her house, Sister Stephens and I said a prayer and then within like a minute, Sister Costa and Salles showed up. I was so relieved. We had a mini-lesson and discussion with Gleice then knelt in prayer on her kitchen floor. There were tears as we assured her of her decision. We encouraged her to forgive herself and promised her that she would have more power to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes after her baptism and be receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. After that Sister Costa and Salles left again to pick up some things from the store, leaving Sister Stephens and I with Gleice again. Gleice continued to doubt being baptized that day. We then tried so hard to cheer her on. Then another tender mercy. Her friend offered to drive us to the church. Yes! Very rare to get rides to places because not many people have cars. When we got to the church, Gleice wanted to talk to bishop first. She did and decided to get baptized. It was a beautiful baptismal service. She was so happy. After that day, she was so much happier than I have ever seen her. There is visible peace and a light that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism for the remission of sins has a power to cleanse and then the gift of the Holy Ghost sanitifies and helps us to make the right choices. Her example was a powerful witness to me of faith and forgiveness. When she finally felt worthy, she changed. 
From this experience with Gleice, I was reminded by a quote by Elder Holland in his recent talk ``The Cost--and Blessings--of Discipleship``: 

 In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship).  

Something that changed me this week was receiving an English Ensign/Liahona of General Conference! Whoop! I especially enjoyed this counsel from President Eyring:

 In the evening you will get on your knees and thank God for the blessings of the day. You will thank Him for parents, for teachers, and for great examples to follow. You will describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day. That will take more than a few minutes and more than a little thought. It will surprise you and change you.
As you pray for forgiveness, you will find yourself forgiving others. As you thank God for His kindness, you will think of others, by name, who need your kindness. Again, that experience will surprise you every day, and over time it will change you.
That changed me and my prayers this week. I believe that everything can be traced back to your prayers. 

Hope everyone has an exciting week. Watch the World Cup for me ;) 
Love you!
--Sister Sadie Bledsoe

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