Monday, July 31, 2017

Our Joy is Profound

Happy Irmas
This week was SO WONDERFUL!! After p-day last week, everything we had marked fell through (again) and we went home to do weekly planning. We were both rather discouraged and not very excited for the week to come, and I think that fear humbled us. We knelt down and sincerely asked the Lord for guidance. We then began the most spiritual planning session I have had on my whole mission.

As we went through all the forms from the Area Book, organizing how we would get through them all that week, the Spirit said to PUT THE PILE AWAY. We both felt very strongly that was not how the Lord wanted us to use our time this week. We then began to step by step, make a totally different plan of how we would work with the members and which previous investigators we would keep trying to find. Can I just say how different this week was than the week before? We found 11 NEW INVESTIGATORS. We saw miracles within this family, which is basically the branch.

Our days passed painlessly, we felt joy, we found people who wanted to live the gospel. On Friday, we were doing contacts and found a lady named Fernanda. She said "Is there something different about your church?" You can imagine our excitement when she asked, and we said, "Why yes, there is!" We started talking about how our families can be eternal, and it really hit her. I have always been shocked that on my mission, people don't seem to care that much when we talk about the eternal and divine nature of the family, but Fernanda did!

She invited us in, and we taught the Plan of Salvation. We taught her about the spirit world and how the spirits who didn't want to or have an opportunity to accept the gospel will receive that opportunity. She was beyond thrilled, and said that her church teaches that her father can't go to heaven because he was never baptized. But, she had always believed a loving God would not do that. The entire lesson, I felt like she was some MTC teacher in disguise because the things she would say were just too good to be true. She is so elect! We marked to teach her the Restoration the next day. She loved it just as much.

She said she stayed up until the early morning thinking about the things we said. She called her Mom and told her all about what we had taught her, and now her Mom wants to meet with us, too!! WE ARE SO HAPPY!! She is incredible! She has 3 little boys who also ask incredible questions. The 9-year old asked, "What happens when a child goes to the spirit world but didn't do the 5 things?" (which are faith, repentance, baptism, gift of Holy Ghost, and endure to the end). His little 3-year old brother asked, "If God loves us, why does He let people be bad?" They all raise their hands to ask questions through the whole lesson.

Anyways, every single night this week has an appointment, we are SOOOO HAPPY!!! Fun fact, we actually live closer to Rio de Janeiro than the city of Sao Paulo.

I am SO grateful Sister Malan is my companion. Things are still kind of hard in the area, but it is a tender mercy from the Lord to finish my mission here. If I had finished my mission in Poá, I would have continued to have crazy success and have so many people that love me and that I love and have every single day packed with appointments, so easy and enjoyable. Here, we sweat for our bread, we suffer; therefore, our joy is even more profound when we see the fruits.  

This is the "Mountain Giant," the people who live here say he will wake up after the Second Coming!! Can you see his profile??
Mountain Giant

Love to all,
Sister Ludlam

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