Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This week was good and very sad. We marked Sebastião, He was sooo excited! He went from saying he won't go to church or do anything. To reading the Book of Mormon, saying he would go to church, and accepted to follow the example of Christ with tears in his eyes, to telling us not to pass by again. Apparently his brother told him that if he continues to study this religion, he will basically no longer be a part of his brother's life... And Sebastião, he is in a wheel chair because he lost his foot. And his brother is the one that helps him with everything... But it is sad and out of no where because Sebastiaõ told us that his brother isn't very religious. They are catholic, but they don't practice. It broke our hearts! Though he told us he would keep reading the BOM. We have been praying that the brother´s heart will soften and let him make his own decisions. Sebastiaõ even said that he knows everything we taught him is true. That makes me even sadder... For he is putting the fear of man above the fear of God (or in other words, the love of men, above the love of God) ... We will keep seeing how he is by phone calls. But he said very strictly not to pass by...So needless to say, he was unmarked for baptism... And Bruno, he is also no longer is marked for baptism... He gave us his word (again) that he would go to church. And we had to talk a while with him about putting God first. For he had a birthday party of one of his friends that he wanted to go to instead of church. But he had already told us he would go to church before he talked to his friend about going to his party. But sunday arrived, and he never walked through the doors... It is so sad, because there truly is only so much that we can do... And it makes me so sad to see that Heavenly Father gives all His children many many chances to accept Him, and put Him first in their lives; but many times we don't.... That must make Him so sad. Not angry with us, but sad. And making Our Father sad because of our personal choices is much worse than making him angry. I just wish everyone would recognize that this life is so short. And that if we don't use our time wisely and make good choices, the day will come where we won't have more sundays. We won't have a tomorrow. And we will look back and ask ourselves... "Why did I not choose to act when I knew I needed to." Anyways, with Bruno, we will try again with one of our members. He lives super long, and we have to walk, so it is hard to get members to go with us. But We think that is what is lacking. If not, we will have to drop him... It is so hard when we try to do everything in our power to help our investigators, but in the end, they have to make an effort. If not, nothing will avail... We also have Paloma! We re-marked her for the 13th. She didn't make it to church due to a miss-communication in giving her a ride. We had talked to her dad about driving her to the church and we would meet here there out front. But he remembered what we had said the week before. That we would arrange a ride and for her to wait in front of the hospital for animals. We were so sad when we found out that was why she didn't make it... But she will make it next week! This sunday was still a miracle! It has been so long since we have had investigators in church! It was making us truly depressed because we were trying so hard... And this sunday, we had a family! (4 sisters) And Patrícia has the most potential. She LOVED church! She said that our "misa" was beautiful. And she wanted to stay for the next class (They had planned to leave after because they are in the choir in the catholic church) But they all stayed. And she LOVED the gospel principles class. She said that she learned so much. And here they actually TEACH. She asked if the topic changes every week. When we said yes, she was awe struck. haha. She said we learn so much! And that in the Catholic church it is boring and nothing special. ha. She told us that she will come next week too. And that she wants her mom to see that this is what she truly wants.:) It was so sad... When we taught her about authority, she made the connection that no other church has the priesthood- because it was lost- then turned to us and said sadly... "Então nossos pastores não tem esse autoridade?"  "So our pastor´s don't have this authority?" She truly is amazing and super cute! She asks the perfect questions, and she feels the spirit really well. :) We are being so blessed! Yet at the same time We are seeing difficulties. I feel like satan has been truly fighting against us. So many problems came up out of no where with many I felt would for sure be baptized.... There are so many already that should have already been baptized that haven't been. It makes me so sad.... But I am so happy for those who have been able to make it to the waters of baptism! I love you all so much! Never forget just how blessed we are to have the restored gospel in our lives! I have never realized so strongly just how huge a blessing that is! Stay safe and have a great week!
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes

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