This week was full of surprises and blessings. My comp was transferred. My new companion isn't new at all--I spent four months with the guy in Ipatinga. Yes, in answer to his prayers, Elder Newman will have the privilege of metaphorically killing me.
1) Real Intent- This week we had a baptism! The spirit was strong as Edna showed her desire to follow Jesus Christ, being baptized on Saturday into his church. Her conversion process was very cool, she is someone I'll always remember and who holds a dear place in my heart. We found her knocking doors, and in the first lesson she expressed a very true desire to know the truth, but worried that our teaching her would only confuse her all the more.
But then she opened up and began to earnestly seek the truth, asking us honest questions, and pleading with us to pray and fast for her to know what to do. She was an active participant in another religion, but felt that something was missing. She went to General Conference and stayed for three sessions and to watch a baptism. She read everything we gave her and continued praying for an answer. I will certainly remember the day we arrived and she told us of the feelings she had after reading the Book of Mormon and praying about Joseph Smith. She told us she knew it was true. I don't know that I've taught or baptized someone on my mission who searched and acted so purely upon a desire to know and follow the truth and Christ, and not for anyone or anything else.
2) 15 Hours By Plane- Before the condemning pointed fingers and cries of "trunky!" come flying at me due to this story's title, let me explain. This week we taught an entertaining lesson to an older couple who, to begin with, were very skeptical of our presence. The husband is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's, but it's still in the early stages and we had a good conversation. The "lesson" was frequently interrupted by the husband's questions: How far away is your house in the U.S, how did we learn Portuguese, how long are our working hours, do we believe in worshiping Mary, can we date, are there people at the church for his son to marry, etc. At the end, my companion had to use the bathroom and we excused ourselves down the hall. I was just around the corner, they were speaking loudly and not noticing that I could hear everything they said. The wife began to say how wonderful and polite we were, and aren't you glad we let them in when you didn't want to hear them in the first place?
The husband responded simply: "Did you hear what he said?"
"It's 15 hours away by plane!" And that is all he got out of our lesson. Thanks for reminding me, sir.
I've got to run, my time is coming to an end. In every sense of the phrase. I'm working hard, don't worry. I'm giving every last breath that I have to this cause. Keep praying for me. I love you all. I love the Lord.