Monday, June 23, 2014

This week was so good! Helena, our recent convert went with us on a division! :) Though all our appointments fell.... But she was excited to do so! Ha. And also, she has changed so much! Since her baptism. There truly is a light that shines from those who have received the gospel, and live according to its teachings. She is sooooo much happier! She used to be just so sad all the time. She would cry because of the death of her husband. But now she is always smiling. Also, she used to be one of those people the Book of Mormon talks about. Only the Bible and nothing else. Even after her baptism, she struggled with the concept, and said that the people who wrote the BOM read the Bible, and then wrote it in the BOM. Ha. But she has come to LOVE the Book of Mormon! She has been studying only from the BOM for the past few days! It is amazing! The Book of Mormon truly has a spiritual power when our investigators and recent converts truly read its pages with an open heart. We can know for sure when someone isn't reading the Book of Mormon because we won't see that change in their eyes, or in their heart. And they won't gain a testimony of the book. Also! We have a 15 yr old investigator, Paloma. She is super cute. She is also talking with the TJ´s. Though, she said she is learning a lot more with us than with them she said. We have taught her the first two lessons, and SHE IS MARKED FOR THE 6TH. In our last lesson, she asked lots of questions! And it was the first time anyone had ever asked, "Então, porque Deus colocou aquele ávore lá no jardim?" "So, why did God put that tree there in the garden?" Ah! She made the connection that it was all a part of the plan! All by herself. We hadn't explained anything yet! At the end. We knelt in prayer, and asked her to pray, and ask God if everything we have taught her is true. Me and Irmã each ended up saying a prayer before she would say one. But she prayed! (A really big deal for her- in front of us)  And she said she felt good. She said "Eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira. Não sei como explicar como eu sei, mas eu sei que é." "I know that this church is true. I don't know how to explain how I know, but I know that it is." !!!!! We were soooo happy! In our district meeting last week. Elder Knight, (DL) told the story about when Joseph Fielding Smith went to England, and how he jumped out of the boat and when he landed on solid ground said (Something along the lines of) " I am the first missionary with the restored gospel!!!" And Elder Knight could barely tell the story! The spirit was so strong, and it  was just the cutest thing. It made us all excited to go out and preach the gospel with the excitement that Joseph Fielding Smith had! We also had divisions this past week. I got to go to Setúbal! It was fun. :) It is weird being in an area that isn't your own. But I liked it! Though I feel like all the areas in this zone look the same. Ha. We also had lunch at Helena´s! We ate grilled fish.... With the head, skin, and all.... I didn't eat the head. Yes, I chopped that off. And I peeled most of the skin off. But it was very fishy tasting. Ha. I wasn't a big fan. I ate mostly the potatoes. :) Bruno was also there. Our recent investigator who we are also teaching english. That is how we met him. Helena talked with him and told him we could teach him english. He was interested! So one day, when we were at Helena´s. She asked if she could go and get him. We said sure. She went out the door, then quickly peaked back in and said "Oh! And don't forget to talk about the gospel with him as well!" Hahahaha. It was super cute. Then she left and we watched her walk down the street in her sun dress and hat. :) We love her to pieces. So... Irmã has recently been telling me many times that I am a "lady." And she tells everyone else as well. Then she goes on to explain how. She then mimic´s  some of the things I have done that only "ladies" do. I was so embarrassed! Ah! José was baptized! I talked about him a long time ago! I found him on a division with our sister training leaders! He was the one with the perfect question. That already went to many different church's and basically didn't know which one was true. And then we told him that there was someone with this same exact question. In the end we invited him to church and he came! And it was fast sunday. So everyone was baring testimonies, and he got up and bore testimony!!!!!! It was the most precious thing! And he said he would like to be affiliated with us in his testimony. He was the perfect investigator and I just loved him right from the beginning in the road. Though we had to pass him over to the Elders because he didn't live in our area.... But he was baptized yesterday and I can't tell you how happy it made me!!!! I called him the Friday before (3 days before) to invite him to our activity as I always do. And he told me he would be baptized on sunday! And then went on to say how it will always be because of me that he found the church and how grateful he was. Oh it made me sooooo happy! I wasn't ever able to teach him, but I always felt that he was partly ours. :) And we always saw him in our english classes and friday activities. :) (Almost every week) Anyways, I am just loving the mission! Life is so good. And the Lord is just so good! I am one of the most spoiled missionaries in the whole world! I hope you all all doing well! I love you all sooo much! Stay safe! Till next week!
Love always,
Sister Amanda Stokes :)

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