One last photo of a pretty Brazilian bug. Jealous?
Baptism! Elder de Jesus, Ragny (Wanderlei's daughter), Wanderlei, Fernanda (niece) and Marlene (and me)
Staring death in the eyes (missionary death, of course).
So here I am, week 103. The last week as a full time missionary. Strange, to say the least. But it’s not over yet!
There is a cool member family in our ward. The father, Wanderlei, used to be a Vice Pastor of a common church here, and they are really involved in missionary work. We have been teaching some of his extended family for quite some time. However, the parents were not divorced from their previous marriages, and live far from the chapel. However, their 12 year old daughter (Fernanda) became interested and went to church. And she has been to church 4 times. We were trying to get her baptized, but the parents were kinda reluctant because of the commitment to go to church every week and some other stuff. Fernanda was excited to get baptized, but then lost her enthusiasm and stopped going to church for a few weeks. Thursday morning we had an idea. We went to Wanderlei’s house and invited them to invite her to family home evening at their house. The following day (with our intention to baptize her on Sunday), they agreed and she went to their home for FHE. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and laid 5 pamphlets on the floor signifying faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We had everyone stand up and said, all those who have faith, take a step forward. Each one moved forward. Those who have repented, take another step forward. Who has been baptized? Go forward, and so on. The whole family and us made it to the end representing the kingdom of God – with the exception of Fernanda. We said, “Hey Fernanda, what happened?” Anyway the activity kinda made it sink into her head the importance of baptism. We asked her if she had a desire to be baptized, and she said “Yes.” Then we invited her to be baptized on Sunday. She stayed in silence, looking at the ground, for like 2 minutes. Finally she said, “I don’t know if my mom is going to let me go to church.” We said, “But if she lets you, would you be baptized on Sunday?” And she said, “Yes.”
The next day we planned to talk to the mom, but no one was sure if she would be home. We were on our way there, when I decided to stop and pray. I asked that everything would go well; that we would find the mom at home and that she would be supportive. Almost immediately, as I ended the prayer, Wanderlei called me telling us that the mom was at home waiting for us, and was going to be supportive. We got there and she was really chill about it all. She signed the form, and all went well.
After the baptism on Sunday, a bird flying overhead pooped on my arm. Nice.
Rauling and Elaine got sick, but they are excited to get baptized this Sunday. She even came to church in a dress, which was a first.
In other news: I go home next week.
Bird droppings adorn my arm. I'm definitely feelin' the love.