Monday, October 13, 2014

So this week has been so good! I am loving it so much here in Braga with Sister Stewart! We are having so much success and getting to know and love so many people! As of now we have three marked for baptism! And one that is thinking about it. ha. But he basically already is a member. He goes to church every sunday, the members absolutely adore him, and he calls the church, his church. ha. He will be baptized. :) And many more whom we will find! We are pumped! So Joaquim. He is down to smoking just 4! He is getting there! For today we told him no more than 3! We are so excited, and he is excited! He said he has tried for so long to stop smoking and he hasn't been able to do it. And now that the tobacco is tasting real nasty to him! We are so happy! He will be baptized this saturday if it all goes smoothly. And it will. I have full faith in him! He will do great things in the church. He lived in Florida for 30+ years. Though he was born here. His parents moved to the US. Then later he moved back here. But he likes speaking in english better. So i get to teach in english! And yeah. It is weird and a little hard to do... But I can't even tell you how incredible he is and how much he is changing! And even he says it! He is so much happier now! And all because a friend invited him to church. And this friend isn't even a member of the church! We are talking to him too! And he is our recent one marked for baptism. His name is Felipe. He too has to stop smoking. But he is ready and willing to stop. We talked to Joaquim about how with the time difference in their baptism dates, he would be able to baptize his friend. Oh you should have seen how happy that made him! It gave him an even stronger desire and urge to do everything he has to to be ready for his baptism date! That gospel is incredible and I don't even know how I was so lucky and blessed to be able to see all of the wonder things I get to as a missionary. The Lord truly loves His children and wants to help us to become better. We taught an investigator (one of our marked for batpism) Antonio, in the home of Margarida (R/C) and it was amazing! She bore a powerful testimony, and talked so good about us, and thanked us so many times for all we do. For her and for others. And Antonio did the same thing! It was such a sweet touching moment to see that we can truly make a difference in the lives of others. In the church and out. Whether we realize we are or not. Oh! I forgot to say. When we marked Antonio, we were talking to him about baptism, and how it is done and why it isn't right when babies are baptized. (he was baptized as a baby) He felt the spirit strong, and you could see it in his eyes, as soon as I stopped talking, the next thing he said was " What do I have to do to be baptized?" It was incredible!! We hadn't even gotten to marking him, and he asked the question. I left that lesson so amazed and happy! Anyways. I just want you all to know that I know that this gospel is true. And how grateful I am for all of you and your testimonies and examples. Thank you mom and dad for raising our family in the gospel and making it possible for us to serve missions. So far we have all served missions that have been able to! That is amazing! I never realized that before! Thank you for all you do for our family. I love you so much. All of you. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes :)

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