Dear reader, I am so glad that you have decided to read my letter today. I hope to help you feel better about yourself and the world as a whole. anyway...
We had a great week! As usual. There are always those tough days and rough moments that you just have to tell yourself, " I can do this, whew, lets go!" you wipe the sweat off your brow (which we are doing a lot more lately, because the humidity is rising and its getting hotter than ever), put your trust in the Lord and NEVER stop. I sure do love missionary work.
Wow, you sure do run a lot, all you crazy runners. I keep trying to tell myself that I like running but I'm just not that good at convincing myself. And keep it up with all that Chinese. Who knows, you might get called to serve speaking Chinese!!
On Tuesday we had our Zone Conference with both the zones in Luanda. Presidente Merrill talked a lot about effective study and effective teaching skills. It lasted several hours. It was good to get all (well most) of the missionaries back together. I saw Elder Wilhelm, my trainer, who is already home, for the last time!!! holy smokes I'm getting old!! The Conference was a spiritual boost much need. This time we did not have to give any part of the training.
I really do like working with Elder Whitaker. We have so much fun. The other day we were walking and he said, "Ya know, preaching the gospel is only fun when it works." We had a good laugh and went on. You know those cards that when you open them a nice little tune rings out. Ok, so we had an old one in our house of Charlie Brown, (it plays a 15 second Charlie brown jingle) I took it out of the card and placed it ever so carefully on the hinge of our apartment door. So every time we leave or come home we get a dose of Charlie Brown! We also like to experiment with food. When we cook it goes something like this, "What do you want your food to taste like? I don't know... whatever...hmmm, how about this (holding up a sauce, spice, meat, or something) Ok sounds good.... What else?? Ummm, how about this? DO IT." And then as we throw it all together somehow it always turns out not half shabby. Don't ask me how... I don't know.
Paulo is still a little crazy and asks us questions every 5 seconds. Its very hard to teach him anything. But we were a lot more direct the last time we went over, and it helped out a lot. I believe he will come along. He just has such a different background than most people we teach. The Spirit is touching his heart, and with time he will heed to His promptings.
Saturday, we had the baptisms, They all happened but with a bit of difficulty. They were scheduled for 14. We got there a bit early to make sure it was all in order. As the time went by we called Irma Amelia, and Irma Marinet and Marcia to see where they were. Irma Amelia said she was on her way, Irma Marinets fone was turned off, and Marcia didn't have a fone. 14 rolls around...nobody...ummmmm.... Then out of the blue Marinet and her 3 children arrive. We quickly get them the right set of baptismal clothes and they go an change. 14:15.... still waiting on Amelia and Marcia...14:30, The meeting has already started and Elder Whitaker and I are waiting outside in our white clothes for the others. Finally they walk in the doors at the same time. Whew, We ran them over to the bathrooms, they changed, and we made it into the meeting just in time to hear the last little bit of the last talk. We had sat for less than 10 min and off we went to the font. I baptized Ines(13), Elder Whitaker Baptized Nocas (14) and Alex (9), Presidente Armada baptized Amelia(30s), and Irmao Natanel baptized Marica(14). Alex almost didn't make it in the water, it was up to his chin. He is a pretty short kid but when he got in the font he had to stand on his tiptoes to breathe. In the end it all worked out. Its the Lords work and it cant be stopped!
On Sunday they were all confirmed. Amelia, Inez, Alex, and Marcia all asked if I would Confirm them and I gladly did. It amazes me how the spirit works and how powerful it is when given. I was a little bit nervous though. When the time came to sustain the new members their names were called and they didn't stand up. (during the last confirmation they all left, Nocas, Ines, Alex and Marcia, to buy some hard candies for their little brother who was crying) So Elder Whitaker and I dashed out of the chapel to try and usher them in. but they were long gone. The didn't get back until the middle of the Sacrament during the water. So 4 of our recent converts were confirmed, sustained and only took half of the sacrament. Boy I sure was stressed out. I love baptisms but they stress me out sometimes.
I know that the Savior lives, I know that he loves us so very much. I know that Heavenly Father is our Eternal Father. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith! I love you all so very much. Don't forget that I pray for all of you as well!!