Monday, June 2, 2014

This past week has been a little sad... Two of our marked investigators fell.... Kinita and Diomantino. Kinita didn't make it to church because she started getting a bunch of headaches and she didn't feel well. She said she will be going to the hospital this week. So we will be praying for her. Though we aren't too discouraged because we know she will still be baptized. Just that the date will be pushed back. Diomantino got a new job. And this job doesn't leave him a lot of time or days off on sundays..... We talked to him about talking to his boss to see if he can get sundays off. So we will try to get both of them ready for baptism as quickly as we can. :) João is marked for the 21st of June. He didn't make it to church, but he still has two sundays to make it to church both times. :) All three of them are amazing and I have no doubt that they will all be baptized. Just getting them ready for baptism and teaching them everything with the time they have is more complicated now... But thats ok! The Lord will prepare a way. Ha. So we have this family. Manuela and Nuno (the nephew), and Carlos (neighbor inactive). They haven't been keeping any invite we have been giving. They keep forgetting to read in the Book of Mormon, and they have a hard time praying with us. Though they say they pray alone. But irmã had a good/funny idea. We made contracts with them. :) It is a contract between them and Heavenly Father to better the relationship that they have with Him through prayer and reading. Then at the bottom we had them sign it! We are excited! Hopefully they will be better about reading and realize that reading and praying are critically important, and that without them we can't have a true relationship with our Father in Heaven. We met a women named Fernanda! She is amazing! She said one of her friends already is talking to her about our church and gave her a pamphlet. In the end she told us that we were sent from God as she had tears in her eyes. Then I just gave her a big hug. And she just held me. It was the most precious thing! I loved her so much instantly! We will be seeing her again on saturday. (big work schedule) We are excited! Ah. We met with a member and she basically told us her whole love story. :) Irmã Chaves. It was so cute because back then, (here in Portugal) they didn't even take each other by the hand before marriage. And the man she loved was a poor man who didn't have parents. And that was something that was a big deal back then. But she didn't care because he had already stolen her heart. It was just the cutest story! She is about 75 years old? I am not sure. She is older. She was converted and baptized about 40 years ago. Her husband to this day is not a member. But she knows he will accept the gospel one day. Even if it is after this life. :) Anyways, I have so much more to say, but I don't have time and my fingers hurt. Haha. I love you all so much! Stay safe! Oh! Do you have fun plans for the summer!? Love you!
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes

This was what I wanted to say that week when I didn't send an email cause I thought I had already sent it but I didn't... Then last week I forgot to send it. oops... :) So three weeks ago!

This past sunday we didn't have a single investigator in church... But we did see a miracle. One of our members, Emalídio, is a dedicated member mesmo. He always goes to church and our activities. His entire family are members. Though, they are all inactive except for him. We have talked with his mom several times before- because if she goes, the rest of the family will go. So when we visited with her this last time, we really focused on the sacrament, and on the blessings that she wasn't receiving because she hasn't been taking the sacrament or giving that time to the Lord. She is currently in a rough situation when it comes to finances. Our bishop is helping their family out. (through the church-financially) She is very open about her situation, and told us everything, and how hard it is to not have money sufficient enough to simply place food on the table for her family without additional help. And the fact that the church is supporting them so much is hard on her as well. But she said if it wasn't for that help, her whole family would be out on the streets. So as we talked to her about the sacrament, we applied the blessings to her personally. As a result, she realized that she hasn't been giving time to the Lord, and that she is missing out on many blessings that she currently desperately needs. So...This past sunday, she made it to church! We stopped by their house again sundaynight. Teresa (the mom), wasn´t home. But Jessica (Emalídio´s sister) was. So we talked with her. She said that next sunday, she will make it to church with her mom!!! We are soooo excited! Shortly, Emalídio will have his whole family in church with him! This is a huge blessing. For it has been years since they have all gone to church as a family. Sorry, this is already so long! But that was our biggest miracle this week. Which is an amazing one! We are excited to see Emalídio with his whole family together this next sunday in church! 

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