One of our investigators was baptized yesterday! We had Ward Council on Thursday and when I mentioned that he had a baptismal date for this Sunday, it seemed like everyone in the room (well, mostly the woman. I've learned that women here can be really opinionated) started saying things like, "You're going to have to be careful with him, Bishop!", "He uses drugs!", "He's not ready to be baptized!"
This made me really sad, but Sister Lopes and I continued checking up on him daily and on Saturday he had his baptismal interview. He passed in the blink of an eye. Saturday night, I called Bishop to ask him if he would baptize our investigator. I was even sadder when the Bishop responded by saying, "Are you sure he's ready?" "He has more problems than just drinking." "Don't you think he needs more time to prepare? This change was too fast."
I responded by saying that our investigator had already been interviewed and had passed and was deemed ready by someone who has the Priesthood authority. I told Bishop that I was a bit sad that so many people in our ward were doubting and not supporting our investigator. I told him that I felt that if everyone doubted him and did not support him, then of course he would not be able to continue to be firm in the Church.
I told him that we were also a bit worried about him but would do all we could to help him endure to the end after his baptism. I told him that it was true that this man had made a big change in his life really quickly. It had come as a surprise to me as well, but as the scriptures say, with faith come the miracles. I asked Bishop if he thought we should tell the man that he couldn't be baptized after he was already interviewed and told he could be. Bishop then responded no and finally agreed to baptize him.
During Church yesterday, I noticed that bishop seemed to have changed after seeing our investigator, who was really excited and was reading The Book of Mormon during Sacrament Meeting. He actually seemed kind of excited about the man’s baptism and was constantly talking with him. After the baptism, we went to Bishop's house for lunch. Bishop then told us that after the baptism, when he and the investigator were changing in the bathroom, both of them felt the Spirit really strongly. Our investigator actually started crying and told Bishop that he had felt it was time to make some changes in his life.
This week was difficult with trunky transfers. Sister Francis left for Natal Tuesday and for the U.S on Thursday. On Friday morning our phone alarm went off and when I went over to turn the alarm off, it said "Sister Francis chegou em casa!" ("Sister Francis has arrived home!"). I guess Sister Francis just wanted to have an influence in our area just that much more before she enters the “Spirit World”.
Both Sister Lopes and I were sick Thursday and Friday after eating some bad food at our investigator’s house (it figures). I think Sister Lopes threw up over 20 times Friday night. I didn't actually vomit but just felt really nauseous, but we went to the hospital on Saturday morning (I have lost track of how many times I have visited the hospital here in Mossoró) and afterwards were just able to manage to lie (don't think I spelled that right) in bed all day feeling really weak, but we felt better Sunday and were able to make it to Church. I think that the Adversary knows that we are a powerful companionship and he will stop at nothing to stop us – but bring it on! because this last month of my mission is going to be awesome!
Interesting Occurrences (is that a word?):
1. During Sister Francis and my last week here, we were knocking on doors when we ran into an old lady who was half deaf. Sister Francis and I started talking to her in elevated voices and then Sister Francis asked, "Você é Católica?" ("Are you Catholic?"). The woman responded by asking, "Se eu sou doida?"("You're asking if I'm crazy?"). "Não!" Sister Francis responded really quickly. "Você é Católica?" Sister Francis tried again. "Oh. Sim." The woman responded laughing.
2. I tried to pay a taxi driver R 2 the other day when he asked for R 25. In my defense, I thought I was giving him R 100, seeing that the notes for R 2 and R 100 are both blue.