Another absolutely amazing week. There was a baptism, which always makes for happiness and joy. Two of my favorite things. Baptism would be a third.
1) On the Road Again- In a flashback to days gone by, I once again hit the road on a trip with my beloved mission president, President Fortunato. He passed through Ipatinga on Thursday and we spent the day with him as he went from city to city, interviewing the missionaries in our zone. You can't help but learn a lot while spending time with such a spiritual giant. We talked about the power of prayer, and the authority we have as literal representatives of Jesus Christ.
At one point (and this was the biggest motive for our company on the trip) we left President in Governador Valadares while the branch president from the city took us to a nearby town called Frei Inocência. We were to investigate the potential in the town to open the church there. Unfortunately, we didn't have much time, but we visited a few houses, checked it out, and got a feel for the place. Not sure what the verdict will be, but we expressed our opinions and President puts a lot of trust in us.
2) Trust- Speaking of trust, I learned a lot about trust this week with our investigator (turned recent convert), Peterson. The week began without surety as to his thoughts on baptism. He was unsure, as the first time we'd visited him was two weeks ago. We visited him daily to teach and uplift him, and the changes were visible. However, he was considering leaving the city for work on Monday, and didn't want to baptize and then disappear from the church. On Wednesday we left him with the invitation to pray about baptism, and returned on Friday (after our road trip). Following President's advice, I made a specific promise. After a moment, Peterson accepted baptism for the next day. He informed us that he had denied the job offer because he had a commitment now with the church.
Something hit me more than it had in the past with this baptism. How much trust he was putting into two young men, foreigners, who he knew for two weeks, and was making considerable life changes because of the things we taught him. This message we bring changes lives. I know that it has nothing to do with me: it is the simple yet marvellous fact that Christ suffered for all sins, organized a church, and that church exists today. And people change the direction of their lives completely because of that simple fact. I am where I am today because of that fact. I cannot escape it. I wouldn't even if I could.
I love you all. Keep to the faith, press forward, and love your neighbor. Do good work, and remember: You are a child of God.