Monday, February 10, 2014

So first off. This week was crazy yet amazing. Ha. It was crazy because getting this baptism of Joaquim to happen was stressful and almost didn't happen! So He passed the interview and he was so excited. And everything was planned for sundayright after church. They got dressed in white and were ready to take pictures. And I felt like I needed to go and check the baptism font. So when I went to go check it, as soon as I opened the curtain and looked in, I panicked!!! There was no water!!!! Someone had unplugged it during church! I went straight to Sister Kunz who was just outside the door and told her what I had just seen. She came in and looked for herself. The news spread like wild-fire. We all just couldn't believe what had happened. The members had already started making almoço for after the baptism (Cause Adão wanted it- he wanted Joaquim's baptism to be exactly like his. haha. He was upset when we told him an Elder was not going to baptize him- but the Elders don't even know him and we wanted a member. And Edson was there every step of the way. Our members are soooo amazing!) So we changed the baptism for at night at 8. When the time was close we called Adão to make sure he would come with Joaquim. But Adão showed up along. Without him. When we asked him where Joaquim was, he didn't know. (Adão is basically family to Joaquim) We called his phone time and time again. But he never has his phone on him. Adão finally went to go see if he was home. But when he got there, No one was home.... We were so sad!! We literally could not do anything except for wait, and pray. And our members were just so fabulous during this whole time. They came back for the baptism. And they waited so patiently. We told them the latest we would wait would be until 9. Cause we have to be in the house by 9:30. We had 15 minutes till 9 and we were just sad.... Though I still felt really hopeful for some reason. Ha. So I wasn't super sad. But with only 15 minutes left, Benvindo, our member, came up to us and said that we should sing hymns to help us feel more happy and to feel the spirit as we waited. Inspired!! So we did just that. And it helped me a ton! I was so much happier. Then when Sister Kunz said it was nine, I said we should sing just one more song. And I had the thought that he would be here by the time we finished this last song. Or just that something would happen. So after we sang the last song, we called Adão, and.... guess what!? He was with him on his way to the church!!! Oh we were so happy. We went back into the room to tell the good news! There were smiles all around. So when he got here, they quickly dressed and we quickly took pictures. We had to cute down the program though because it was already9:30... So we did go past our curfew at 10... But we talked to the zone leaders. But oh it was just the best miracle! Joaquim was baptized! And afterwards he was just so happy. He came up to me and said, "I am a new man" with the biggest smile on his face. I love this work so much. God is a God of miracles. And we couldn't ask for better more supportive members. They were so supportive and patient throughout the whole thing. So I am full of gratitude. For Heavenly Father, and his help and guidance every step of the way in helping this baptism take place, and as well as for our members. In staying, and always having so much love and support for all of our investigators and recent converts. We are so blessed here in Benfica! So Sister Duran is now at home too! It is so weird to think about these Sisters that are home! It just doesn't click well with me. It just isn't possible. They were just here with their name tags on, and thinking of them home, and not wearing skirts everyday with their name tags is just the weirdest thought to me. I will probably cry the day I have to take it off... Not in front of anyone though. Haha. Man, I can't th ink about that. Ah! I can't believe my half way mark is this week! It just can't happen. I feel like I just got here! I just have so much more to learn and to do! And holy cow!!!!! How is it possible that Steffy. My little Steffy is in the MTC wearing a missionary tag over her heart! Ah! Though I am so happy for her! Well, I love you all. Sorry, my baptism story took to long to tell. And I still wasn't able to tell everything! But I got the important things. I love you all so much! Please stay safe! Until next week! :)
Love Always,
Sister Stokes
p.s. Maybe now that steffy is on a mission she will understand and I will hear from her more. Haha. I can hope. :)

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