What it is, all of my many soul brothers and sisters?!
Another week has passed here in the Amazon, and my native companion and I are getting along well. My Portuguese is better, my English is more bad, but I´m very happy and working hard! This week was amazing, ending in a triumphant Sunday that I will mention later. Stay tuned!
1) Born Again- So I guess right off the bat I´ll mention one of the reasons Sunday was great. We had a baptism! His name is Virgínio Paulo. He´s 40 years old, the son of a member, and has quite the story. We taught him throughout the week all of the lessons and he accepted with childlike faith.
Paulo was hit by a semi-truck on the road one year ago, and spent three months in a coma. When he recovered, it was like he was 'born again'. He had to learn to talk, to walk, to do everything again. Because of the accident, he still has a slight disability. He communicates just fine now, and understands perfectly, but is unable to remember everything and, overall, is childlike in his joy and his acceptance of the gospel.
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to baptize him. And he had the opportunity to be born again...again. He loves the church, and truly loves my companion and I. It has been a good week, getting to teach him.
2) Miracle Sunday- But that wasn´t the only reason Sunday was amazing. Well, it was the main reason, but even more happened to brighten my day. Throughout the week, a majority of our investigators, aside from Paulo, had fallen through or said they couldn´t come to church. We went to get one of them before church, but they didn´t answer the door. We arrived in the church as the meeting started...and found six investigators there waiting for us! New people, old investigators, random people Elder Wilson and I talked to once on the street...many surprises and much joy. The mother of the fierce Evangelical I mentioned in a past letter came and really loved it, there was a new investigator who has accepted baptism for next Sunday...throughout the church meetings I was frantically talking to everyone possible, torn in five directions while simultaneously preparing a baptism. Awesome day to be a missionary in Pedro Leopoldo.
3) 9-104- A short story about a person Elder Alves and I met during the week. She claimed to be 104 years old, was still completely lucid...and had two packs of cigarettes in hand. She said she´d been smoking since she stole a pack from her dad at age nine and didn´t plan on stopping before death. Holy ancient. I would like to make a point that I am not supporting smoking: it is a well-known fact that it is harmful to our health and random exceptions like this should not change anyone´s conviction to follow the Word of Wisdom and your own intelligence.
So that´s that for the week, folks. Look forward to next week and stories entitled: Cheaper By the Dozen, A Baptismal Story and How I Converted a City. I´m ready for it!
Stay strong, keep to the faith, love your neighbor, never give up, and always remember: this church is true!
Elder Alex Burt