Another week come and gone in Ipatinga. We were bold. We were inspired. I testified. I invited. I ate pizza. So, all in all, a pretty average week. Let me tell you about some people.
1) Long Story- We are working with an investigator named Altamir. He is probably the person who I was meant to find here in Ipatinga, and when he's baptized I'll feel content. I first made contact with him my first week in Ipatinga, visiting the house of an old investigator of the missionaries before me. I was still lost in the area, and a recent convert took us there. In the house, we found the investigator's brother: Altamir. I got his address, and we taught a quick lesson. I didn't return for a while because that particular investigator didn't show much interest. I did pass by one day to pick up the Book of Mormon if she wasn't reading it (we were running low), but she said that her brother had taken it and had already read it all. That doesn't happen. From that moment on began the hunt to find Altamir. He was never at home. Finally, a week ago, we were passing near his house and I said "Let's try Altamir again." And we found him! Since that day he has accepted everything, loves the church, takes notes while we teach the lessons, and is begging for a copy of Doctrine and Covenants. His baptism is marked for next week.
2) Nephi of Old- Another awesome investigator we're working with is a 17-year-old named Robson. He received us well during the first lesson, and accepted baptism easily. Nothing was super different about the lesson, and we marked for the next day after the Brazil game. We arrived, and he informed us he had read until chapter 15. I was confused--I tried to think what part I could possibly have marked that was close to a "15". But he explained that he had read from the beginning until chapter 15 of First Nephi--he told us the whole story of Nephi and his brothers and the importance of obedience. Again, this just doesn't happen in Brazil. He's also excited for his baptism.
3) On the Mend- The last investigator I wanted to talk about is Leonardo, a contact I made on the street. He's had a rough life. We taught him, and he showed a profound desire to change his life. In fact, he already has been changing, and informed us that he was about to start searching for a religion when we arrived at his door. He stopped smoking and drinking twenty days ago, moved to Ipatinga, and was unsure of the next step to take. In the closing prayer, he sincerely thanked God for sending us to his house, as he had been planning on trying to find someone to help, but instead we had found him.
The people all around us are our brothers and sisters. Many of them are lost. Many are searching for the truth. And all are children of God. I feel the heavy responsibility of one chosen before the foundation of the world to search out and comfort the broken hearted, to bring my siblings to the truth. We all have that duty. The Lord is willing to help. How I love Him.
I love you all. Fight the good fight.