Transfers were this week, and as we figured, Sister East and I will be staying in Sousa! Since we have a senior couple in our area and our zone leaders, we all met up at an ice cream shop to eat ice cream while we waited for the call from the Assistents! It was way better than just going back to our apartment, planning for our day (without knowing what's going to happen), and then anxiously waiting for the phone to ring.
This week, I had a nice surprise! One of the young woman in Guarabira traveled to Sousa to visit Sister East and I (Sister East also served in Guarabira)!! Monday and Tuesday Rayssa, our visitor from Guarabira, came with Sister East and I for most of the day to make contacts and teach investigators! Rayssa will be turning 18 in January and is preparing to serve a mission, so it was perfect for her and of course we loved the company! One contact that we made with her was super neat. We began talking to a woman and during the course of our conversation she told us that her husband had found a Book of Mormon on the bus he drives. After no one came back to reclaim the book, he and his wife began to read it. Now, whenever he travels, he always takes the Book of Mormon with him to read! Until we talked with this woman, she had never made the connection that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the Book of Mormon! I hope I will be able to see the ending to this awesome story!
Two weeks ago, we received a referrel of a man who is about 59 and lives alone in a one room house with only a hammock, a night stand, a handheld radio, and his bike. His mother, sister, and daughter all live nearby, so I think he goes to their homes to eat and only sleeps in his one room house. Anyway, we stopped by his house two weeks ago and invited him to church. (Pres. Hall has told that we can recognize investigators with potential by those who come to church. So, a lot of times our contacts are invitations to come to church and an explanation of the importance of the church and the blessings that we can receive). Well, the following Sunday he showed up at church, on his bike, without anyone going to get him or reminding him! Sister East and I marked a baptismal date with him and began teaching him. The poor guy talks so fast and mumbly, though, that neither of us can understand him that well and he only understands about 50-60 percent of what we say. Thankfully, the member who introduced us to him is always willing to help us teach. Most of our lessons were taught twice; we would teach a concept and then the member would repeat what we had taught. This dear man, Vicente, doesn't know how to read, and just like an innocent little child he understands things on a very simple level. When we asked him if he believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet he replied, 'Sim'. We then asked, 'Porque você acredita?' and he responded, 'por que ele foi' (because he was!) On Sunday, the day of his baptism, Vicente didn't show up at 3:00 like we had told him. Of course Sister East and I started to worry a bit, but after about 20 minutes, Vicente walked into the church building, hair cut, wearing a fancy pair of sandals, and using a nice collared shirt! He was so dang adorable I just wanted to give him a hug!! The baptism went smootly besides the fact that he had to be baptized 3 times because some body part kept popping out of the water (pobrezinho)...but he survived and was super happy afterwards! Sister East and I sang 'How Great Thou Art' in english for the special musical number. Later in the week, we visited Vicente. He was still way excited about his baptism, and had apparently told some members that if he had known how wonderful the Church was before, he would have been baptized a lot sooner! Vicente told us that some people in his neighborhood had made some rude comments to him about being baptized, but he told us that he doesn't pay them any mind because he is happy now that he has been baptized and even more happy that he will remain firm in the Church! Everything we taught him Sister East and I would say, 'And how long do you need to keep this commandment...etc?' and with every question he would respond, 'até o fim!' (until the end!) I can't describe how much I love Vicente! His understanding of the Gospel is simple, but it is enough. He believes that it is true, and he recognizes the joy that it brings into his life! I love to see how the Gospel fills people's lives with happiness. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It has the power to change lives; we just need to apply its principles into our lives!