Monday, July 28, 2014

milagre da semana (July 7)

Hello, everyone!

So this week was full of crazy things. First of all, Brazil played Colombia in the world cup on the 4th of July and won, so for the next 2 hours, there were horns, fireworks and things of that nature. So it was pretty much the same thing as the 4th of July in the states :)

We promised an investigator last week that if she went to church with us, we would go to church with her, and she went. So we visited the 7th day Adventist church (on Saturday morning, naturally) and it was interesting. She took us back to her house and made us lunch, so it was pretty cool. She works in a bakery, and she had cake to give us, so that was pretty cool too :)

But the biggest most exciting MILAGRE of the week....

We've been teaching Senhora Vera for sooooo long! I found her with sister Gonzalez in April, taught her with Sister A. Silva and am still teaching her with sister Vega. She's had several baptismal dates that didn't work out because her daughter got a perforation in her intestine and then a ruptured cyst, and had to have a serious surgery, and she was in the ICU for a week, but finally got out and went home. This was about a month ago. And since then, Vera's been looking after her daughter, helping her because her daughter really can't do anything on her own right now. So we've been at kind of a stand still with her. We already taught her everything, and she already had a testimony and a desire to be baptized, but wasn't able. We had no idea what to do, and in a last effort attempt to help her, we arranged to visit her with the bishop. We agonized for a week over what to teach her with the bishop (who hadn't ever gone out teaching with us before, but agreed to go for the first time) and for the very first time on my mission I had absolutely no idea what to teach. Wednesday arrived, (the day of our appointment) and we still had no idea what to do. We met up with the bishop right before the meeting, and explained the situation to him. And he said, "well, we'll just go in and talk to her, and let the spirit do the rest". It was one of the best lessons I've been a part of on my mission. Sister Vega and I hardly said anything, and Bishop pretty much taught the first 3 lessons in under and hour, invited Vera to be baptized, and then gave a priesthood blessing to Vera's daughter. And then Bishop baptized Vera on Saturday. It was so cool to see the Bishop's excitement for missionary work, and for Vera! The baptism was so special, so sweet. Vera was crying the whole time because she was so elated. After the baptism, she grabbed my hand crying, and stopped just long enough to tell me, "Thank you, Sister, for talking to me that day when I was going to re-pot my plant. Thank you for giving me this opportunity". I've learned so much from Irma Vera and teaching her, I can't even begin to list all of the lessons I've learned from her. But, I think the most important lessons I've learned are 1. talk to everyone and 2. patience and faith. I met Vera at the end of April one morning when she was walking in the street carrying a pot of flowers. We stopped to talk to her, got her address, and started teaching her. And then after 3 months of praying, thinking working, and doing everything we could she was finally baptized. She is such a special woman, and is going to be a faithful and dedicated member of the church. It's been such a blessing working with her.

Sister Vega, Bishop, Irma Vera, Sister Pennington
Yesterday during fast and testimony meeting, Bishop bore his testimony about the experience he had helping us help Vera, and he bore his testimony about the importance of missionary work, and invited the members to help. We've been working for the past 3 transfers to gain the confidence of the Bishop, and with a lot of hard work and the help of the spirit, I think we're finally getting there.

I know that God lives, and that He really is a God of miracles. He is aware of each one of us, and He is anxiously engaged in our lives, and works along side of us to build His kingdom here on the earth. I love this gospel, and am so blessed to be a part of it!

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

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