Saturday, June 7, 2014

It gets cold in Brazil?! (June 2)

Hello, familia!

I don't know if I've become a wuss since coming to Brazil, but holy cow it's flippin' cold here! I'm literally going to have to go buy a winter jacket! Who knew!

Cake Sister Pennington made for Sister A. Silva
Anyways, highlights of the week....

- Vera - I wrote about her last week that she came to church and LOVED it! She's just eating up the gospel - reading the Book of Mormon, the Gospel Principles book she got in church, the pamphlets we left for here, and even more than that, she's talking about what she's learning with her family! She's so excited about learning more about the gospel! And, we brought the president of the relief society with us, and she is awesome! Just to explain a little bit about how awesome the president of the relief society is, she served a mission and she "only" had 2 baptisms. But guess what? One of the people she baptized is now the area president of Brazil, Elder Costa. She and her husband served as mission president. She gets missionary work. She's awesome. Anyways, Vera obviously just loved her to pieces, and they talk a lot during the week. It's awesome.

Sister Pennington and her companion Sister A. Silva
 - Carlos - We found Carlos last week knocking doors. We went back this week, and he is so prepared! We were teaching the restoration of the gospel to him, and we were teaching about prophets, and he stopped it and asked us, "If God always called prophets, then why don't we have prophets today? That doesn't make sense." We then had the privilege of telling him that we do have a prophet today who received revelation directly from God to lead this church. When we got done teaching him, he was very excited to read the Book of Mormon, and come to church. He's awesome!

- João Batista - HE FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH! We've been doing everything we can to help him quit smoking, and make changes in his life, but he wasn't progressing - so we explained very clearly to him, that if he doesn't decide to start making changes in his life and acting, there's nothing more we can do to help him. He came to church on Sunday and absolutely loved it! It was great!
Can you guess which side is Sister Pennington's ;)
 - Cremilda and Luis Claudio - I wrote about this family a few weeks ago - that they were an inactive couple with 3 boys who aren't members that we miraculously found at the bus stop. We were about to give up on them, because we've been trying to meet with them, and it seemed like they were avoiding us, and not really wanting to come back to church. BUT, we decided to try them one last time, and we found just the mom, Cremilda, at home, and she said the she wanted to come back to church, and that she would be at church. They'd promised this before, so our faith in them was unfortunately a little weak. But guess, what?! THEY CAME TO CHURCH! After being inactive for over 10 years, they finally came back, and they loved it! The ward got so excited! Everyone was so welcoming to them, and they absolutely loved it!

It was fast and testimony meeting yesterday, and a young woman, Fiorella, who's only 14 years old bore one of the most powerful testimonies I've ever heard. She talked about how she had a friend who recently lost her father, and how she was sharing the gospel with this friend. Fiorella talked with her friend about the eternal nature of families and that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can be sealed to our families forever. Fiorella bore testimony about missionary work, and how good she felt when she shared the gospel.

In a simple testimony, Fiorella really summed up the purpose of missionary work, and the blessings associated with it. We're here to help families be together forever. There's a definition of "missionary" that you've probably already heard; "someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with theirs for eternity".

This is why I'm here, and hope that I can be of service to the people I teach.

Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sister Pennington

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