I am doing well! I have realized that a mission is always hard, but it is so nice to have a good companion to help you get through all of it. I am really liking a Sister Marques. She is beautiful, talkative, and cheerful! She also knows English. She is the only Brazilian sister in our mission that speaks english fluently. Guess how she learned it? She never took a formal class or anything. TV, movies, and music. She knows all the slang.....which is really awesome.
So I am pretty sure that Sister Marques and I were visited by an angel or one of the Three Nephites. We were walking the other day (something we do quite often in fact) when we were stopped by a man. He started talking about how he learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a few years back. We talked a little bit, and set up an appointment with him. We went to his house for the appointment a few days later, and we saw him look through the window to see who was at the gate, and turn around. He didn't answer the door. I thought, "That is it. I will not come back if he doesn't want to talk to us." But, a few days later, I had the impression that we should try going to his house again. We arrived at his house, and he let us teach him. A few days later we go to his house and he tells us that he has some friends that live nearby that he wanted us to meet. We didn't have very much time, but we decided to go to his friends' house anyway. We got to the house and it was full of people. We started talking to all the people, and come to find out, half of the people there were members of the church that live in a different town. The couple that live in the house have already been to church with these friends. They were interested to hear about the details of church here in Montenegro....what time church starts, where it is, etc. We also found out that they aren't legally married yet, but they are just waiting for a birth certificate to make everything legal! A couple that wants to be married out of their own free will! That is a bit rare here in Brasil! Anyway, they are a really special family, they have friends who are members of the church, they will soon be legally married, they wanted to know about church............so they are super prepared! I will keep you updated on them. The miracle of this story.....we went to the house of the man that stopped us on the street and introduced us to this family like two days after this happened. His house is completely empty!
This week I went to the baptism of a boy I taught when I was in the trio. He technically lives in the other area, but I got permission from President Wright to go to his baptism because I taught him while I was covering both areas in the trio. His name is Jonathon and he is 22 years old. He loves Americans because he is learning English right now. The baptism was awesome, and he even bore his testimony in church the other day!
Sister Marques and I are teaching SOOOO much right now! We are working super hard, walking a lot, sweating up the wazoo, talking with everyone. I know we will begin to see the fruits of our labors.
Another cool thing that happened........I have been holding on to this one investigator named Malena. I have been teaching her for almost three months, and in these three months, she hadn't been to church once. It is definitely a no-no to spend precious time teaching people that aren't progressing when you could be out finding people that will progress. I have held on to her this long because I love her so much and I didn't want to give up on her. But, I really felt like I needed to drop her and move on. So, I went to her house and told her that I couldn't keep teaching her because she wasn't keeping her commitments. I was shocked by what happened next. She started crying. A lot. She got up to go to the bathroom to get tissue, so I gave her a hug. I told her that I loved her, and she said, "I WILL go to church this week. There is nothing that will keep me from going." Guess who arrived at church 20 minutes early yesterday. Malena. I was so so happy! I think she liked it, so we'll see what happens now!
I know that God is a God of miracles! He is always waiting with miracles reserved for those who are willing to first exercise a little faith!
I love you all!
Sister Aut Barnes