What it is, my many friends and relations?!
Another week in Brazil has flown by with large amounts of excitement, hard work, some difficulties, and many miracles. This week I was striving to be more bold and open, and I believe it went quite well. We have several possible baptisms this week and I believe that we´ll see a large amount of success this last two weeks of the transfer because of our hard work this past week.
1) Steamrolled- So the week started off with a bang as we visited a young man named Pablo who we´d met near the beginning of my time here in Pedro Leopoldo, and who has crossed our path various times recently. He is a staunch evangelical and seems to be set on converting us. We arrived at his house last Monday, and he immediately sat us down, set on preaching to us. I wasn´t saying much as he said some lovely, doctrinally empty phrases about the love of God, 'cast the evil spirits out of us,' and then sat down to ask us how we felt. I opened my mouth to answer but he stopped me, set his hand on my shoulder, told me to take off my glasses, had my comp close his eyes, and-staring very hard at me-asked me what I felt. I said I didn´t want to offend him, but that I felt that he didn´t have authority to say or do any of these things. He was a little stunned, and retreated to his computer while we began to teach the first lesson to his mom. The lessons split, however, as Pablo (who didn´t seem to like Elder Wilson very much and was still focused on me) began to talk to me while Elder Wilson talked to the far more receptive mom. As we began to converse, however, it quickly became clear to Pablo that he´d picked the wrong missionary to try to convert. He attempted to show me anti-Mormon videos in English but I shut the computer off and began to talk. And this fiery evangelical got steamrolled. He did everything possible to try to change the subject, but I overran everything he said, countered every single one of his points, and got him to promise to read in the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it´s true. We left the house with him feeling a little overwhelmed and with me raring to go.
We returned Saturday to see if he had read but, surprise surprise, the only thing he´d read were anti-Mormon articles online that he then was eager to share with us, as a new tactic to try to convert us. We absolutely ignored him, taught the first lesson, bore powerful witness, and then left. His attacks were some of the most pathetic attacks on Mormonism I´ve ever heard, but it made me sad to see them scare the mom out of interest. We left the house with Pablo legitimately angry-not because of anything we said, but because of the poison that anti-Mormon crap always puts in the hearts of people. He actually told me that he preached against our church because it was of the devil, and that now that I knew the truth and wasn´t changing, I was going to hell. This is the sad and frightening power Satan has on the hearts of men. I am so thankful to have the true church and gospel in my life.
2) Adorable Old People, Cont.- So we have continued to visit that old couple from last week, and they always manage to lift my spirits. They are reading the Book of Mormon nightly, and the husband, José, clearly has a great desire to learn and grow. Well, actually, the wife can´t read, so they sit up in bed in the evening while he reads to her and explains what he thinks it means. Very touching. He has even said to us that he already considers himself to be a member of our church. His wife, Maria, came to church without him Sunday, because sadly he was sick. She caught a bus at eight in the morning alone just to come to church, and told us she absolutely planned to return weekly. And with her husband in the future! Their examples of faith and desire to show it are magnificent.
3) A Request for Prayers- This week one of our investigators made the decision to be baptized. She shared an amazing story about her experience reading the Book of Mormon, receiving personal answers to prayers, feeling the Holy Ghost, and deciding to take a step of faith and be baptized. All was ready to happen on Saturday, but we still hadn´t received the mom´s signature (our investigator is only 16). The mom flatly stated that she would never sign, that she was absolutley against the baptism of her daughter, and that she would have to wait until she was 18 and could make her own decision. We are striving to help her, but can´t do too much without just making her more angry. Please, I would very much appreciate your prayers in her behalf. Our investigator´s name is Emanuele. I have seen so many miracles as we´ve taught her, I know that the Lord is helping her, and some extra prayers certainly couldn´t hurt!
So that´s that, I´ve got to sign off now. I love you all and hope you´re all well. Do good, keep to the course, and choose the right! I do know that I´m doing the right thing and working as hard as I possibly can to serve the Lord. This is all true.
Elder Alex Burt