Wow, this week was another week to remember! Of all the baptisms I have witnessed on my mission, I think this week's was one of the most special ones all around. João was baptized!!! :) We have been teaching him for the last few weeks, but we weren't the first ones- His wife, Irmã Dalva, is the stake relief society president and he has sat through many a missionary discussion for the last 12 years. He joked with us when we gave him a Book of Mormon that he already has a library of them! In the few weeks that we've been teaching him, it appeared that we were getting nowhere and that he would never accept- but we kept teaching and prayed/fasted in faith that he would come around. We felt inspired by the Lord to do so. One day we even gave him a picture of the São Paulo temple and told him, "João, when you decide that you want an eternal family we want you to write the date of your sealing one year from your baptism...which will be the 20th of Setember." I dont think he thought we were really serious at first, but we were- that's what the Lord told us was the date. He continued to be what we call in portuguese "mole," but we persisted. Well you can imagine our surprise last Monday when we received a phone call from Irmã Dalva telling us that we better come quick and that they had some good news for us...Sister Kuster and I immediately started crying in amazement and literally ran to their house. There, he told us that he would be baptized this Saturday (2 days ago)- and he was! João was baptized Saturday and confirmed yesterday a member of the church of Jesus Christ! Like I said, it was one of the most special and spiritual baptisms of my whole mission. João was literally glowing, but I think who was glowing even more was Irmã Dalva. She shared with us how in her patriarchal blessing it says that she would one day be sealed to her spouse for time and all eternity- that promise is being fulfilled right before our eyes! The day they broke the news to us, João wrote down the date of their sealing a year from now. THIS is what missionary work is all about! It's not just about baptizing lots of people- its about eternal families! Baptism is just a step towards the temple. No one can go to the temple without first being baptized. When you look at it this way, you really realize how big of a responsibility we have as members and full-time missionaries to do our part! And I testify that there is NO greater joy than being a missionary. This is the best work and most important work there is. O melhor!
I pray that we will always be responsive to the Lord's heedings to save souls. There are many, and He will make the way known to us as we ask Him in faith and then move forward.
Boa semana! Amo vocês!