Saturday, July 13, 2013

Côcegas e Oraçoes

My companion has discovered that I am very ticklish on the stomach, but I explained to her that we will be spending every minute of everyday together for 6-12 weeks, so she had better choose wisely her actions.  Consequently, she promised not to tickle me, but that didn't stop her from using other methods.  One of our investigators lives with his mother who is 89 years old.  This dear woman is the tiniest, most fragile person that I have seen in my life, but still has good health and energy.  While we were talking to her, she felt the need to hold my right hand.  My companion saw the perfect opportunity to make the comment that I liked it when people touched my stomach.  I tried to explain quickly to the woman that my companion was joking, and that it wouldn't be a good idea to touch my stomach, but the poor thing was hard of hearing and went ahead.  When a person is ticklish, they're ticklish, and there is nothing you can do about it...let's just say that when the little old woman touched my stomach it was a good thing she was holding onto my hand because my sudden reaction almost knocked her on the ground!  The old woman looked at me and in all seriousness said, "Você tem côcegas mesmo na barriga!  O que você vai fazer quando um rapaz tocar sua barriga?!"  Eu respondi, "não deixar!!"  rsrsrs!  Mas foi engraçado!  

This week, my testimony and understanding of prayer has been strengthened.  As I pondered about various prayers that I have given, and the different answers that I have received, I began to recognize that the prayers that were answered were the prayers that I truly had tried to seek the will of the Lord, and aline my desires and requests with the blessings that He was already willing to give me.  So, this week, I made a goal to stop praying for general things, and to make more specific requests that focused on seeking the Lord's will and not my own.  All this week, we have been preparing a man named Pedro to be baptized on Saturday.  From the first day that we met him to this week, it has been incredible to watch how his countenance has changed and how his excitement and desire to be baptized has grown.  The first part of the week, everything went well.  He had managed to go from smoking 40 cigaretts a day to only one, and his wife who is firm in another church was begining to open up more and seem more supportive.  Yet, Friday morning, the day of his baptismal interview, I knew from experience that our day woudn't be floating on a cloud.  As we finished our companionship study, my companion and I knelt to pray.  Instead of simply praying that everything would go smoothly for the interview and that Pedro would pass, I prayed that we would be blessed with the spirit to know what to say to Pedro or to his wife to resolve whatever possible problem that could arise to inhibit Pedro's baptism.  At 5:45, we showed up at Pedro's house to take him to the church for his interview at 6:00.  When we arrived, his daughter was playing outside with her friends.  She looked at us and said, "My father called and said that he is working right now, and that he won't get home until 9:00 pm."  My heart sunk.  Of all the possible problems that could have arroused, I hadn't imagined this one. Pedro was super excited for his baptism, and I couldn't imagine that he would let anything interfere with it.  My companion and I stood in silence looking at Pedro's daughter, neither one of us knowing what to do, and neither one of us wanting to believe that Pedro truly wasn't home at that moment to come with us to his baptismal interview.  After asking a few more questions, we simply turned around and starting walking away with that heavy dread in our hearts that we wouldn't have a baptism tomorrow.  When we had gone about 50 meters, I had the sudden thought, "Go back and talk with Pedro's wife."  I stopped in my tracks, looked at my companion and said, "Let's go back and talk to Pedro's wife, maybe she can tell us if he is truly working right now and when he'll come home."  We immediately returned to Pedro's home, and knocked on the door.  Pedro's wife let us in, and we asked her if she knew when Pedro would arrive from work.  We talked for a bit, and then all of a sudden she said, "Can I ask you two a question?"  She then expressed to us some concerns and doubts that she had, and we were able to answer her questions and put her mind at peace.  She then shared with us that ever since we had began to visit Pedro, she had seen an immense change in him.  She told us that she wanted to support his baptism because he had never had this desire to be baptized before.  When I mentioned to her that we would probably need to move the baptism to Sunday because Pedro would miss his interveiw, she replied with a lot of emotion, "No!  Pedro is excited and ready to be baptized tomorrow, and we shouldn't postpone what we can do today until tomorrow!"  My companion and I were pleasantly surprised at the support that Pedro's wife showed.  As we were finishing our conversation, miracle of miracles, Pedro walked through the door!!  After a quick shower and a fast pace walk to the Church, Pedro passed his interveiw to be baptized on Saturday!!  As my companion and I walked home Friday night, we conversed about the day's events.  If we hadn't listened to the spirit to go back and talk with Pedro's wife, we wouldn't have answered her questions and strenthened her confidence and trust in us, and most importantly, we wouldn't have been in Pedro's home when he returned home from work much earlier than we had been advised.  I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  As I read in the Liahona this month, prayer is not a business negotio with God to try and convince Him to give us something that we believe is best for us.  Prayer is to understand our Father's will, and then to change our desires and hearts to follow His will and become more like Him.

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