Things are looking up! I went through the last transfer with what seemed like not even a speck of success. No one was accepting our message, I was really down on myself, the language barrier was hard, and the like. This transfer is already going better. The Lord gave us a present on Sunday. We were at church, and there was a lady there whom I had never seen before. Her name is Lurdes. Turns out she hasn't been active for some time, but decided to come back to church. She brought her nine year old grandson with her. After sacrament meeting, Lurdes approached us and said, "Marco (her grandson) wants to be baptized. Will you teach him?" My jaw literally dropped. We went and taught him yesterday, and turns out he has been reading the Book of Mormon and is in Mosiah already. He is nine years old! While I was teaching, I asked the question. "Do you know what kinds of things Jesus did when he was on the earth?" I expected to receive a nine-year-old response like, "He helped people." No, this kid started with the birth of Jesus and told me all about His life up until His Resurrection. He will be baptized inbetween General Conference sessions.
We will also have two more baptisms this month. Sueli is an older woman who lives alone. We have been teaching her ever since I arrived in the field. She is a woman of great faith, and has a solid understanding of the Bible. She has been coming to church with us every week, but was having a hard time accepted the concept of the Priesthood Authority.....which means she hadn't received a testimony of The Restoration yet. Well, this Sunday...guess what the lesson was about in Relief Society? The Priesthood. And guess what the lesson was about in Gospel Principles? The Priesthood. Let's just say....this was a huge blessing. Sueli will be baptized this Saturday.
There is a family here in the ward that has become my second family......my Brazilian family. The Toebe's. Irmão Juares, Irmã Liege, and their NINE children. At times I feel like I am in a whole different world.....but in their home......I feel at home. They have been a really big blessing to me as I have been adjusting to the mission. I will tell you more about them when I have more time!
If I could offer any advice to you all.....it would be this.......keep the commandments. I have truly gained a testimony of just how much they protect us and make us happy. Drugs and immorality are HUGE here..........and it is so so so sad. Disobeying these sacred commandments ruins lives and tears families apart. God wants us to be happy, and he has provided a way for us to be so. Follow him and keep his commandments, and he has promised to bless you!
I love you all! I know the Savior lives and his church is upon the earth today! I will write more next week as I will hopefully have more time!
Sister Autumn Barnes