Sister Kuster and I made the principle goal of our transfer to baptize every week. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, Sister Kuster as well- but as President says, you have to walk before you run, then run and then fly. Well when Sister Kuster and I started serving together we were pretty much running in both of our missions already, and we were ready to continue doing so with the desire to make it to flying. The "run" was longer and more challenging than expected, but it happened in the Lord's time and now we're flying. We started "flying" (baptizing weekly) last transfer. I don't say that to mean we are the bomb dot com, but to acknowledge that the Lord's hand really and truly is in this work, His work! Having a baptism every week is the Lord's will, and I testify that He truly provides the way when we do our part. And what exactly is our part? Before my mission I just thought "our part" meant to do everything we can physically, through our works; and honestly a lot of missionaries think that way. But I have learned that "our part" includes not just works, but first FAITH. And along with faith, a mind and heart surrendered completely to Him. Our goal/vision/desire, whatever it may be, must be accompanied with the required mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts, not just physical, to be blessed with the powers of heaven. And I believe that there doesn't exist one truly worthy goal that is possible to accomplish without divine help from heaven. We can do lots of good things on our own- but as for the truly great things accomplished, with certainty the Lord's Hand reached where we couldn't have ever reached on our own. I can't fully express my firmest belief in this one principle: With the help of the Lord and angels of God that manifest through our FAITH, miracles happen as a result- in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve. I LOVE THE LORD, and I testify that He is always ready to reach where we can't.. but how can He do that if we are not already reaching all that we can, having the faith, IN HIM, that He will be there? It's all about faith. I love the story of Peter. Some may think it was because of a lack of faith that he started to fall into the water-- but can you imagine how much faith he had to even leave the boat?? Peter had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Christ did reach out to him. Looking back reflecting on the beginning of my mission, I see how shortsighted I was in thinking that all I had to do was be obedient and work hard and the Lord will take care of the rest- that is so false. Just work, and even work and exact obedience isn't going to do it- we must have faith that those works will even mean anything. If you can't tell, I think the biggest thing I have learned on my mission is what it really means to have faith in Jesus Christ.
So the miracle! Sorry to have gone on and on before. We had 2 people that possibly could be baptized this week, and both fell through by Saturday. Saturday afternoon we had no one to baptize...then we went to our last appointment, with Geraldo. Geraldo is the Sandra's husband (Sandra is a member, and also Irmã Dalva's sister! Dalva is the wife of João the other miracle baptism if you remember) Well we had just taught him one time before, we taught the restoration. He accepted to hear the message and it went good, but he didnt seem all that interested. He has been a faithful member of another church for over 15 years and appeared very closed off to any thought of leaving it. Well that all changed when we taught him about the plan of salvation and temples and eternal families on Saturday night. The spirit testified to him of the truthfulness of what we taught, and he said it like this- I have never heard anything like this before, and I know it is true. All of it. (He was crying as he said this) Now that I know of these things, I would be guilty before God if I am not baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ." At that point, everyone present was crying and we felt the spirit like never before. We then, as representatives of the Savior, felt to and invited him to be baptized the next day. Yesterday, Sunday, Geraldo was baptized!
The Lord hears our prayers, He knows our faith and will work according to that faith, I know it!!!
Tchau for now