So this week was great. We have a baptisms this Saturday for Carol. A 16 year girl we found clapping doors. She is super cute and has a quite strong conviction about what we are teaching her. And she goes to chruch by herself. You know investigators are golden when they come to church without you having to drag them by their heels to church. We are teaching her and a bunch of her neighborhood friends. A few of them have potential, but most of them, give their excuses and whatever. But carol always answers with a firm yes, and she listens way super intensely. I love teaching elect investigators. They listen, understand, and do! It is almost way too easy. That is when you know they are elect, because everything seems way too easy. I wish their were more people like that in this world, that listen, learn, and then do.
This week we are starting to work more with the members more because are branch is really pretty weak. We are starting to do trainings for the members to teach them what it means to be a member and how to speak in chruch, how to do a family night, how to to do ward counsel, how to conduct a meeting, and how to integrate the new members. The people we have been baptizing and that were baptized before I came are becoming less active and so we have felt like we are almost wasting time bringing people to the chruch if they wont stay. So we are trying to fix that problem. The members need to learn how to do things themselves, instead of relying on the sisters to do everything for them. So this week and this transfer is the focus. I hope everything goes well.
Spiritual thought of the week. There are a lot of times when I compare myself to other missionaries and get down on myself because I don't teach as well as they do - and I have been praying and thinking about this a lot and I opened up the BOM one night and read 3 Ne 18:24 about letting your light so shine to the world. And I realized that each one of us has a unique light that is different compared to everyone else, but it still illuminates. It still does the exact same function be it a candle, flashlight, match, light bulb whatever. they all have the same function but are very different. I was also thinking about the apostles and comparing some of them. For example elder Holland and Elder Anderson are sooo different,they teach different, speak different, and are just super different. But when I read their talks I still learn and am motivated spiritually by these men that are so different. And it is the same with each one of us. We each have our own spiritual gifts and talents different to everyone else. All that really matters is how you use those gifts and talents to the best of your ability. reminds of this little song "I´ve got a little light in me. I´m gonna let it shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin
e..." so Find your light and let it shine.
But now for the story you have all been waiting for in reference to my subject line. We had our first experience with an evil spirit. Just a quick background of the churches in Brazil, it is super natural to walk down a street in Brazil and pass 5 or 6 churches with people moaning, jumping, screaming, writhing around on the floor and speaking in languages. That is just how church is. And the pastors come around and whack everyone on the head and cast out the evil spirits. It is super intense and really quite entertaining to watch.
So we were contacting a reference from the other sisters, and we went to the house but he wasn't there. But his mom and dad were, so we asked if we could leave a quick message. So we sat down and were talking about them and their lives and getting to know them, and all seemed hunky dory. I explained that we start our messages with prayers and asked if I could give the opening prayer. So I started and the woman, starts moaning, and groaning, and beating her forehead, and her arms. I looked up during at first thinking that something was really wrong and that she was having a seizure or something. I finished the prayer real quick and then we all just sat and watched her. It was me and Sis C and one of our recent converts David. And this woman was screaming, moaning, and shaking, her head and her body and writhing all around, she would stop for a little bit and then start again. And I was trying soooo hard not to laugh. And then she screwed up her face all wrinkling and gave me the most evilest scowl I have ever seen. Her head was all twisted weird and her body too. So Imagine this, she has this horrible looking face with the evilest looking eyes staring right at me, but her head is a little twisted to the side and her body was all twisted and her hands were twisted and tense like claws and they were stretched out straight at me, and she stopped and just sat there and stared at me and then she started swaying and moving closer to me. That is when I got scared. I thought - this is it, she is going to kill me.
But she started writhing around again, and eventually stopped after about 3 or 4 minutes of this bogus. Her husband explained that she this happened to her every time someone came to the house to say a prayer. But they usually cast out the evil spirit. But we just sat there until it passed. We gave the lesson and left. David the recent convert was talking to us after how he was tempted to stand up and use his newly ordained priesthood and cast out the devil in the typical Brazilian manner. (whacking them on the forehead). So it was a great teaching opportunity after with him and we explained a little more about priesthood and how to use the priesthood authority etc. Haha, the stories of the mission... We are going back this week to teach them again. We will see what else they have got in store for us.
Sure love you all sooo much and thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and emails.