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[mom note: Pictures that Megan sent after last Monday's post were added to last weeks letter]
This week passed by so fast I can't believe that it is already Monday again. It was crazy busy. We had to follow up and continue teaching and helping our recent-converts from last week. They've got a lot of energy haha. But we made little calenders for them to pray and read the scriptures every day and it's so sweet how before we even ask they tell us that they marked all the boxes the day before. I love them.
The sad thing is that in the neighborhood where they and another of our recent-converts live there has been a lot of things said about the church and us. Things are 100% untrue and ridiculous. Some examples: we don't believe in God or Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith is our God, that we don't believe in the Bible, that the missionaries (us) are super kind and outgoing and nice so that we can trick people into being baptized, and my personal favorite: that we have a "mormon fire" where we kill people that we don't like or that are different from us. I wouldn't believe that people actually would say these kinds of things about another church if I wasn't seeing for myself how it's affecting our recent-converts. The parents of one of them were getting really worried and weren't going to let him go to church anymore, but we went over there and talked and explained what was the truth. And most importantly we invited them to pray and ask God. He will not lie to us like others will. I'm nervous for all the bad influences that are affecting our recent converts but we're working hard and praying for them. And I'm grateful for all that we heard this week because it strengthened my testimony that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I have absolutely no doubt about that. [mom note: Here's a quick rundown of our beliefs as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they're called the Articles of Faith (13 statements that summarize our fundamental beliefs) You will see that we do believe in God and the Bible. Unfortunately there is no statement addressing "mormon fire". I'm going to assume our friends and family, that are not of our faith, recognize that as an untruth and are not fearful for their life but will continue to be comfortable attending beach bonfires and backyard barbecues with us. We're a pretty safe bunch haha]
Last week I mention José Luiz's dad, Solon. . . GREAT NEWS! Solon and Dariana are going to get married! We went to the cartório (forgot the word in English) and marked their wedding for August 29! [mom note: I think she is talking about the registrars office] I'm so excited and happy for them! We're going to get planning so that they can have a beautiful ceremony in the church and we're hoping that Sister Trage stays one more transfer so that she can be here to see it. I'm so excited for them!
Yesterday we had 2 baptisms! It was an extremely stressful day but it all worked out in the end and I am so happy for them!
Natalia :: She's a recent-convert's friend and went to a church activity with her and then started going to church and we started teaching her! Her dad was taught by missionaries a while back (like a long while back) but still has his Book of Mormon! We're working to teach him and his wife too! But Natalia has such strong faith for a 12 year old girl. We left a chapter in the Book of Mormon for her to read and when we went back the next day she had written a synopsis of the chapter (what she understood, applying it). She's great!
Emily :: Another friend of a different recent-convert. I love referrals! She is an absolute sweetheart. Honestly she's an angel. She's so calm and quiet and sweet, and as she has gone to church and prayed she said that she has felt so happy. Her parents were hesitant to let her get baptized, but she told them how she felt, explained about the Book of Mormon to them, and explained why it was important to her and on Sunday morning they told us that they had decided to let her be baptized. She was so happy and even more so after her baptism.
We were in a lesson with a man who earlier in the week had told one of our investigators that we bury people alive in the church (points for creativity), but the next day he listened to a part of our lesson with this investigator and said he was sorry and that he had been wrong and he recognized that we were servants of God. But we went back to teach him and it was evening-time. Which is dinner-time for the mosquitoes. I have never felt so many bugs biting me at one time. I was trying to be subtle but I spent the entire lesson rubbing the side of my chaco up and down my leg or hitting myself with the lesson pamphlets haha. And then this man starts going on about how he reads the Bible and starts talking about what he read in Genesis but he was calling it "geneos." Sister Trage and I were dying. And he kept "quoting" the Bible, aka saying whatever he wanted in biblical language and calling it scripture. And the Bible says, "And thou shalt enter into thine neighbors house and he shall give thee 6 dollars. Therefore thou shalt eat ice cream." hahaha (but in spite of it all it was a good lesson! He went to church yesterday woo hoo!)
Well that's it. I'm going to take advantage of pday today and rest like I've never rested before. I'm exhausted but so happy. I love the mission.
Love you guys!