This week I witnessed a miracle when I saw a man, who once smoked 500 stones of crack in one night, enter the waters of baptism and get baptized in the same manner that Christ was baptized. Sandro was so excited to be baptized on Wednesday. He arrived to his baptism one hour early and the church was locked and no one was there. He invited all of the members of his family, who he has avoided for a while, seeing that they do a lot of drugs, a temptation he had to overcome for his baptism.
After Sister Acosta and my failed attempt at making a cake for him, we bought two cakes (Sister Acosta made the icing) and two Fantas for him. Elder Abab (our new district leader from Argentina who will return home after this transfer) interviewed Sandro again before the baptism and later told us that during the interview Sandro gave a powerful testimony of The Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith. It was amazing watching this man make this drastic change in his life. I almost could not recognize him. When Presidente Sarmento, our branch president, welcomed Sandro into the branch and talked with him about coming to church every Sunday, Sandro said enthusiastically and without hesitation, "Eu vou!" ("I will!")
This week, my testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost grew immensely. My companion and I are two regular young women, who speak with people about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But we are also representatives of Christ who the Lord has chosen and I know that He is working through us to touch the hearts of others and impress upon their minds that the things we teach them are true. I personally did not feel that we did anything great while teaching our investigator, but the change we saw in him illustrated to us that great things changed in his heart.
Sister Acosta and I love Sandro so much and are going to do our best to help him "perseverar ate o fim" (endure to the end). He was confirmed a member of the Church yesterday, received the Gift of the Holy Ghost as well as the Aaronic Priesthood, and will receive his first calling next week. :)
P.S. I am officially forgetting Chinese. Every single time I try to speak Chinese Portuguese comes out of my mouth. I can't even think in Chinese any more without thinking in Portuguese. The other day, the Elders asked me how to say soy sauce in Chinese and, even though I have wonderful aunts who sell the best soy sauce in the world, I seriously could not remember. They were kind of disappointed. I have noticed that the words I am forgetting most in Chinese are simple words like, "who", "what" "when", "where", "why", "yes", "no", "maybe", etc. I have no idea how I am going to survive when I return to China. I guess I'll probably be speaking in Portuguese to everyone and expecting them to understand me.
Sister Dyer and Sister Acosta with baked goods in hand
View of Sousa from apartment window - It's beautiful (just ignore the rio de cocó)
Sister Missionárias: Sempre Feliz!
Plan of Salvation Activity (we were in charge of the spirit world,Resurrection, and Judgment. Like my drawings?)
Feliz Aniversário Juliene! 3 anos!
(anyone want to try Guaraná soda?)
(anyone want to try Guaraná soda?)
Our wonderful Elderes who never use sunscreen.(they are often called brancinhos or galegos because they are white?)
A Princesa e o Sapo ( Sister Acosta is deathly afraid of frogs. I have had to save her from them many a time.)
Ox in the mire (or something like that)
Distrito Batisousa (Sister Johnson, Sister Acosta, Sister Dyer, Sister de Paula, Elder Bowman, Elder Silski, Elder Sabin,Elder Diniz)
Victor's Miracle Baptism
Adeus Sister Johnson! Return with honor! (Sister Acosta, Sister Johnson, Sister de Paula, Sister Dyer)