I hope you're all doing well this week. This was the most tiring week of my whole mission, but probably the most worth-it, too! Sister Pereira and I worked like no other, and we had two baptisms yesterday! Leonardo and Alessandra were so super prepared!
Leonardo, only 31 years old, was a Father (in the Catholic Church) for ten years, who literally worked in the Vatican with the Pope. But he saw a lot of things there that he didn't agree with, so he left everything he knew and believed in, abandoned God, and started work as a baker. One day, he exited the bus and saw a huge church and said to himself, "I'm gonna enter this church." Well this church was actually the temple here in Curitiba. So he entered the gate, took one look at his street clothes and the beautiful temple and decided he wasn't worthy to enter. But a kind brother beckoned him over, and he entered! He gave his address and phone number to the temple workers, and we got the referral.
I've never seen someone so willing to make changes to follow the teachings of the gospel. He quit drinking coffee and wine without thinking twice, he didn't question a single thing we taught, he broke up with his girlfriend who didn't want him to get baptized, and he moved in with members of the church to avoid temptations presented in his previous home. He is so humble and close to Heavenly Father, and I have no doubt he´ll do great things in the church. Everyone was so excited for his baptism, the whole chapel was filled, and President Fernandes and his family were all present! The Spirit was so strong, and my heart was just happy. It was the best feeling in the world.
Bishop Oliveira baptized them. Best day ever!! :)
Now, Alessandra. She has lots of family who are members, including her mom who was just baptized 3 months ago. She´s very religious, too and searched for the truth everywhere. She finally decided to investigate the church, so we taught the Restoration. She was very hesitant, and like I said last week, she avoided us for a whole week after the first lesson. But the Spirit touched her and she let us back in. Last Sunday, she accepted a baptismal date, but by Wednesday the doubts had crept in and she changed her mind. We came back Thursday, and everything was different. All her doubts flew away, she was calm and acceptant, she told us she had prayed and cried hard and that Heavenly Father showed her very strongly that she should be baptized this weekend.
President Fernandes came to see the baptism of Alessandra and Leonardo
We talked with the elders, they called President, we got the okay, taught her all the commandments Friday night and Saturday morning, she passed the interview Saturday, we taught everything else Saturday night, and she was baptized yesterday! Never in my mission have I taught the lessons so quickly. It was amazing to see her change so much. She went from stubborn to submissive, totally accepting Heavenly Father´s will. She and Sister Pereira and I are super close. We laugh together, cry together... We´re basically sisters and we've only known each other for two weeks! It's experiences like these that strengthen my testimony in the Plan of Salvation cuz there´s no doubt in my mind we all met before this life, that Sister Pereira and I promised we would teach Alessandra and that she would be baptized.
Fábio's baptism (She wrote about this last week)
This Church is so true. There´s no way I could ever doubt it. I love you all and pray that you´re doing well. Write soon and have a great week!