AH SUCH GREAT EMAILS THIS WEEK! Time is seriously my biggest enemy. I don’t even have time to write in my journal! I try to play catch up but it’s so hard.
YESTERDAY WAS AMAZING! WE HAD FOUR BAPTISMS! This work is so inspired and the Lord has so many people prepared for this Gospel and I´m blessed enough to be the one here with them holding their hand. It was such a miracle. We have been working with this mother and her daughter since I arrived in Porto, named Olivia and Rosinda. Every week we would invite them to follow Christ’s example and be baptized. Olivia would say the same thing "não filha, não filha". They go to church every week with us and institute. Last Sunday Olivia FINALLY said yes. Her daughter was a little more hesitant. She finally prayed out loud with us for the first time in almost four months on Saturday night, asking Heaven Father if she should get baptized. It was one of those moments that fill your heart with so much joy. My favorite part of being a missionary is kneeling with an investigator hearing them pray out loud for the first time. I cry every time. These people are earnestly seeking the truth and are sincerely asking our Father in Heaven for an answer. So the next morning at church she ran up to us and told us she received an answer and wanted to get baptized with her mom that afternoon. Ah I love being a missionary.
Another miracle this week. We have been teaching this family who is from Mali, Africa for about three weeks now. They are the most humble people I have ever met. They just want to be happy and be together for eternity. The mom Miriam we met at church three weeks ago. A recent convert neighbor brought her to church. We began stopping by every afternoon to teach her and her two sons, Abdulaye (28) and Mohamed (20). Mohamed is Islam and was very against changing religions. He always listened but refused to pray with us and accept Christ as his Savior. But last week when we came over the first thing he said was "Sisters, I have good news. I prayed and I know the Church is true and I want to get baptized. It won’t be easy but it’s what God told me; along with my mom and brother.” On Thursday we went over to teach them and we were talking a little bit about being missionaries and why we leave our friends families and lives behind for 18-24 months. I was saying to him that we are here because we know the Gospel is true, we love our Savior and we’re here to find people like you and invite you to come unto Christ. I was saying that it’s not easy. It’s very hard but it is all worth it for the tender mercies and the little moments like him telling me that he had good news and wanted to be baptized. I went on to say that my mission is changing me and the people here. He stopped me and said "no, you are changing ME" and I of course we both started crying. This is why I’m here to see the Lord change these people. His mom and brother had both attended church once so they could be baptized on Sunday, but their father lives in France and they couldn’t get a hold of him to get his permission. Since he’s Muslim we needed to get consent. So only Abdulaye was baptized after church with Olivia and Rosinda. We went to dinner at a member’s house with people from the ward and the zone leaders called us and said that given the situation, President said she could be baptized without consent from her husband. We went back to the chapel, re- filled with font and had another baptism :) Mohamed will be baptized this next Sunday.
I’m so grateful for this Gospel and miracles in my life. I know I was sent here for a purpose. It requires a lot of hard work, including my first two splits this week which was so intimidating teaching without Irmã Young with me, but the Lord puts the exact words in your mouth that the people need to hear. I’m so grateful for this Church and all of the tender mercies. You are all tender mercies in my life. I pray for you every day and I can always feel your prayers. Thank you all for everything. Congrats to everyone who graduated; Brandon, Sheree, Court! And all the engaged and preggos! I love you guys :)