Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My first transfers were today.  It is expected that for the first 2 or 3 transfers you will stay with your trainer, learning the language, learning how to teach, and just accustomating to missionary work.  So, my trainer and I were quite sure that nothing would happen in our apartment for this transfer, especially since this is her very last transfer before she goes home.  We were so certain of this that we had even planned out what we wanted to do for our next 6 P-Days in her final transfer.  Imagine our surprise when the Elders called us last night and told us that Sister Araújo was being transferred to Mossoró and I was being transferred to Guarabira!  It is strange to just pack up and leave all our investigators and especially Orlanda.  Sister Araújo and I hadn't officially said goodbye to anyone because we figured that we would be staying...what a strange feeling to realize how much I had grown to care about these people in such a short time and now I will probably never see them again, but I guess this sort of thing happens a lot on the mission.  It just made me realize the importance of not waiting until 'tomorrow' to do what you can do 'today'.

Natal was a wonderful city to begin my mission.  The ward was warm and welcoming.  The days were hot, windy, and rainy; and the açaí was cheap!  The rainy days were some of my favorite because we always got the best responses from people when we would knock/clap at their houses.  *Picture this*  Two sister missionaries standing in the rain in front of a house, skirts soaked, wind blowing.  Person pokes their head out the window, 'Quem é?'  Missionaries respond, 'Somos missionárias, podemos entrar e fazer um oração com sua família?'  Person looks at us for a moment and then makes this remarkable statement, 'It's raining."  No, you don't say! -- And we're standing out in it!  hahahah!  Good times in Natal. As we made contacts with numerous people everyday, it was incredible to see how the Lord provided countless opportunities for His children to accept the Gospel.  Everyone we spoke to either already had a Book of Mormon, lived near a chapel, had family or friends that were members, had already had the missionaries in their home, or had heard about the Church in someway.  What was sad, was that even with so many contacts with the Gospel these people still couldn't recognize the need for it in their lives.  We entered the home of one family whose son was a member of the Church, served a mission in São Paulo, and had married a returned missionary in the temple.  This family had also had the missionaries in their home every Wednesday for quite some time in the past.  We taught them a brief lesson and invited them to come to church this Sunday, but sadly they rejected the offer once more.  The Lord never gives up on us.  He is constantly working in our lives, standing at our door knocking -- but do we take the time to recognize His influence in our life; do we take the time to answer the door?  Another man who we came into contact could recognize the Lord's hand in his life.  Sister Araújo and I first made a contact with his grandson.  When we returned to teach the grandson, we ended up teaching his son.  Then, when we returned to follow up with his son we found him, Iran!  We spoke with him for a short while and invited him to come to church with us on Sunday.  He came and loved it!  He said that he felt much lighter and happier after attending our church.  We immediately began teaching him and invited him to be baptized the following Sunday!  Just like Orlanda, he immediately became enthralled with the Book of Mormon.  Everything we taught him made sense to him and he easily accepted the commitments we extended.  After one lesson he made the comment, 'you came here to teach my son and grandson, but I was really the one who needed to hear your message."  It was incredible to watch as the Gospel light filled Iran's soul and began to bring a joy and peace into his life that he hadn't had for a long time.  The Gospel is true!  The Gospel has the power to change your life, but you have to choose to let it.  I testify that the Lord is working in our lives everyday.  He is guiding us and blessing us; let us not be blind and deaf to His influence in our life, but rather let us open the door wide for His power and mercy that will bring us a peace and happiness we never imagined was possible!

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