Sister Lopes and I went to visit our 20 year-old investigator, A., Tuesday to see how she was feeling about her baptism and when we got there she told us she didn't feel like getting baptized right now (anytime soon). We spoke with her about her feelings, and I just tried my best to listen attentively so that I could understand what was stopping her from being baptized and do my best to tell her what the Spirit would have me say so that she could overcome this little pebble of "desanimaçâo".
We ended up having an hour and a half long liçâo da fé (lesson of faith - the term given to lessons where we figure out and clear up all of our investigator's doubts and help them understand that they already have testimonies and need to be baptized). During the lesson, we each took a match. Sister Lopes told A. to imagine that there had been an accident and we each only had one more hour to live. In the time it took for the match to go out (or burn our fingers), we had to tell each other what we would do in that one hour.
Sister Lopes said that she would spend time with her family, drink Coke (she loves Coke), and eat a cheeseburger with bacon (she also loves those); I told A. that I would say a prayer and write a bunch of cards to family ("até mais!"), friends, neighbors, etc. (sharing the Gospel while saving the time spent driving); and A. told us that all she would do would be repent of all of her sins and ask God for forgiveness.
I then opened up to Alma 34:32-34, which we read together. Sister Lopes and I explained that NOW was the time to prepare to meet God, because none of us know when we will die and we can't wait until death to repent. I spoke to her about how we have to be on the Lord's side, because if we're not, we're on the adversary's and there are no fence sitters, because Satan owns the fence.
I don't know why, but I suddenly thought it would somehow help Ananda if we sang a hymn. When I opened up my hymnbook I opened to the hymn "Quem Segue Ao Senhor? ("Who's On The Lord's Side, Who?") Sister Lopes and I sang for her and then explained each verse.
Somehow, after doing this, A. suddenly got really excited about baptism. She told us that she would be baptized the next day. I asked her if I could call the Elders to tell them the good news (Elder Findling and Elder Amaral had gone with us last week to teach her and told her that they wanted an invitation to her baptism).
I called the Elders up and told them that there was someone who wanted to talk with them. I put A. on the phone and she, smiling, told Elder Findling, "Eu vou ser batizado amanha!" ("I am going to be baptized tomorrow!"). The baptism ended up being great, and A.’s cousin, R., is preparing to be baptized this week. Pray for her!
Yesterday, we went to visit our investigator D. She still hasn't gone to church because of her 11 year-old son, who has autism and gets nervous in public places with many people, but she has gained a really strong testimony of the restoration of the gospel, The Book of Mormon, living day prophets, and the Priesthood authority and is preparing to get legally married to her husband so that she can be baptized.
Last time we went to visit her, she told us that she was a bit stressed because her son did not want to go to school and whenever she took him there he started crying. When she said this, it made me think of how every year before the school year started, Dad would always give me a priesthood blessing. Without thinking, I told her that if she wanted, we could ask a Brother in the Church with the true Priesthood power to come and give her son a blessing.
Yesterday, a brother in the church went with us to her house. The brother explained the priesthood and priesthood blessings to her, and gave her son a blessing. I was surprised that her son was so calm during the blessing. He was smiling and giving the brother and I hugs and kisses the whole time.
Our investigator then received a blessing to help her stop drinking coffee. The church member brother explained that these blessings would work according to her faith, and she immediately told us that she had faith that the blessings had already worked.
After the blessings, we spoke with her a bit about temples and how she can be sealed together with her family for eternity. I had brought a book with pictures of temples in it, and she loved looking at all of the photos.
As we spoke about her testimony and conversion story, about temples and the priesthood authority of God, and about how families can be together forever, she suddenly stopped us and said, "There are so many horrible rumors and you and the church. So many people judge you. You need more propaganda! Nobody knows about these wonderful things!"
We just smiled and invited her to be a member missionary. Although I won't be here when she is baptized, I made her promise to send me photos and told her that I hope to be there when she is sealed with her family for eternity in the temple. (If not, I will definitely need photos as well!)
P.S. I think I have another small stomach bug, but tudo bem!
Sister Lopes, investigator, and Sister Dyer in front of church prior to baptism of investigator
Sister Dyer standing in the shade talking with other missionaries