Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 54

Fruit of Joy
Week 54—Aug. 1, 2016

This week was really good (: I can´t express to you all how much I see the Lords hand in our work.)  When we are being obedient, serving with all our heart, might, mind, and strength....Heavenly Father is just so incredible!  If I didn’t have him here with me....I don’t know, well I wouldn’t be here lets just say.

 Okay so some awesome news for you all.  Fabiana and Rafael were baptized on Saturday!  I am so happy for them and wish I could have been there, but you know that’s okay, I was there in spirit.  Yesterday at church there was a speaker from the other ward in Universitario where I served in Dec.  He´s giving a talk and says `` I don’t know if any of you have met Maura, Joao, or Estephany in my ward in Universitario but they have been baptized for 7 months and will be sealed in the temple this December.  My companion looked at me and just grinned because she knows Maura is my mom and that me and Sister Matos taught them and they were baptized and then I started crying!  Its something special when the people you teach get baptized, but when they continue strong and progress enough to be ready to enter the temple.... its like a cherry on top. AHHHHH!!!  I am so excited for them!
 Okay, so this ward here in Novo Mundo is AMAZING. The members are AMAZING.  We bring the investigator to church and I don’t even need to introduce them or ask a member if the investigator can sit by them in sacrament meeting.  The members literally take them, welcome them, sit next to them, and start teaching them about the Book of Mormon.  I’m like, Wow!  This is how all wards should be! This ward is huge and the members are truly all missionaries.  It just makes me so HAPPY.  Okay, so Jose Carlos was at church last week and we visited him and set a date for him to be baptized!  Then he introduced us to his sister and her 3 kids, 2 within the age of baptism!  We have been working with them and they will be baptized!!

So I got the wonderful opportunity to do a split with one of the sisters this week in Universitario.  To help her, give her advice, and to see how things are going.  So I’m working with her when we pass by Alessandra´s street and some other recent converts.  I asked her if she´s visited them and she’s says no, I couldn’t find their street on the map.  I’m like, sister, let me show you where they live.  Okay, so I don’t know if you remember Alessandra, Sister Matos and I taught her and she was baptized in November.  I heard that she has stopped going to church because she´s 11 and her mom doesn’t want her to walk alone or something.  I also heard she had moved but it wasn’t a for sure thing.  So we get to her house and I’m like, if she still lives here, and if she´s home right now, I’m going to cry.... it’s been 7 months and I adore this girl!  This kid opens the door and I ask if Alessandra is home and he is like ya, one minute....I looked at sister, and I’m like AHHHHHH!!!!  Alessandra walks to the door and sees me and we both start hugging and was a super tender moment for us both.  I was like, girl, why haven’t you been going to church?  How are you?  What’s going on?  We talked and caught up.  It was so special.  I told her she needs to keep reading the Book of Mormon and that Sister Rangel would pass by her home now and help her.  We called a member to pick her up on Sunday for church.  I don’t know yet if she went on Sunday, but I sure hope so. (((:

So after we went on splits, I get with my companion and she is like sister!  The elders in the office were at physical therapy and met this really cool lady!  They gave her reference to us because she lives in our area.  The Elders already gave her the Book of Mormon!  I was like, yes, lets visit her!  She lives an hour and 20 minutes away on foot, but hey!!  Gotta visit those references! (I forgot that word in English haha)  So we finally get there and she starts to tell us about her life.  She said, I am married, I have 3 kids, I have a house (a pretty big one if you ask me, it was nice)  She told us, “I work in the health care field, I have every reason to be happy, but I’ve always felt something was missing.  I thought I was depressed so I started smoking and drinking.  Then I felt worse and I have been praying for God to show me the way.  At work the other day I saw the Elders and I felt like I needed to talk to them.  So I did, and I felt this empty feeling starting to be filled.”  Sister and I started crying, we were like, yeah, we have a message that will help you with every problem you have and with the emptiness you have been feeling.  Then she goes on to say, “I had a dream about this fruit....fruit not of this world, it was different.  I ate the fruit and I felt so much joy I can’t explain to you how good it was!”  I was like, um lets read 1 Nephi 8, there was a prophet that had a dream about fruit too....WE ARE PLANNING HER BAPTISM FOR 27 of August!!  You guys, she is an elect!!

Okay so Thursday night we had family night with Jose Carlos and Fatima and her kids at a members house.  We stopped at a store to buy some cake and we were walking out, its was night time, and I’m putting the rest of my money away when I have this feeling “help sister with the cakes” and I’m like okay, let me just put my money away....and then bam!  Sister Ramona just about falls, but twists her ankle!! She did the exact same thing last transfer with her companion and now it happened again...the same ankle!  Poor thing!  So we spent the next day in the hospital taking x-rays and so yet again, another weekend in our house.  She couldn’t walk for 2 days, but now its a lot better.

God lives, this is His church, I know it and I know you can know if it’s true if you read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God!! 

com muito amor, 
Sister Smith

Look who got baptized last week... Rafael, Fabiana, and Rafaella!!!!!! The happiness I'm feeling right now is beyond anything I can describe! I joked with them and told them they needed to paste me into their baptism picture because I wouldn't be able to be there...YEP, they did it hahahah!! I am so happy, in a year they said they want to visit the US and be sealed in the temple and have me there!! I'm like my DREAM COME TRUE!!!!  

Remember Jose Carlos I told you about? I talked to him one night and he came to church the next day! Yeah!  Now we are teaching his sister Fatima and her 2 daughters that are ages 10 and 8 (they are tiny, they don't look it) and her cute little boy, Edwardo, who is 5...I am in love with them! They will be baptized next week!! 

I love this pillow case my extended family gave me before I left on my mission.

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