Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 73

This week was an amazingly successful week.  It was one of the busiest
weeks that I have had so far in my mission. We literally were
constantly running from one lesson to the next so that we could teach
all the people that we had plans with.  We had to do divisions with
the members so that we could be in 2 places at once to be able to get
all that we needed to done done.  Every single day for almost the
entire week we were with people that we were able to set up baptismal
dates with and we should be having a good number of baptisms in the
next couple weeks.  I have tons of stories that I would love to tell
you all but I defiantly will not have enough time to get them all to
you right now.

We have been working a lot with Edson.  A guy that has about 22 years
and showed up in church the first week that I got here in Cacém. He
has been progressing a lot lately but for several reasons he is scared
to make the commitment of baptism and he has some rough home
situations that he wanted to clear up before he took that step.  So
once we finished teaching all of the commandments and he had
completely accepted all of them really willingly, we sat down in a
lesson where we were determined to get him to finally accept a date to
be baptized.  It ended up being a really intense lesson that took
about 2 hours of teaching him and explaining to him all that there is
to know as to why he should be baptized and how he is already ready,
being that he knows he wants to be baptized and says that he does not
have any doubt in his mind that the Book of Mormon is inspired of God.
It was really intense and we really gave it our all and he finally
accepted to be baptized on the 31st this month.  It will be the day
after his 23rd birthday. It was really cool to feel the relief in the
room and the Holy Ghost fill up the Chapel (because that is where we
have taught him all of the lessons) confirming to us all that this was
the right thing to do and that everything will go well.  I could
really see the difference in his semblance and in his stress levels
when he finally accepted.  Once he got passed that point everything
changed.  He now is talking about being a missionary, where it is that
he would like to serve, he has been helping us plan the baptism, and
he has even been out and taught some of our other investigators with
us.  I can really see the peace that we can bring into our lives when
we decide to follow our Savior.  He went from struggling along and not
having that much growth to drastic changes because he finally decided
to get out of the way and put his life in the Lord's hands.

We have seen lots of sucess working with inviting people to be
baptized immediatly so that they can know what is our vision with them
and what we are really doing here.  This was a big reason I think for
all of the sucess that we are seeing right now.  We did our best to
teach this principle in the zone meeting that we had this week,
hopefully they learned some things.  I felt that it was a really good
meeting and It was definatly a new challenge to put one of those
meetings together where you have to run it together instead of by
yourself.  But Elder Nogueira and I are getting along really well and
he is really willing to be flexible so that is perfect being that I am
a little stubborn still.  haha

We have been working with Alexandre a bit as well and he really wants
to be baptized now but he still needs to be married.  He came in and
explained really humbly what they cause of his divorce was for the
bishop and us along with the bishop when he first was getting to know
the church, which was a financial thing that he did not tell his wife
about before doing and has put them in a big mess because he lent
money to a friend. It was really cool to see him really humble himself
before the Lord and do what he can to make the wrongs right.
Hopefully we will be able to help Guilhermina accept his repentance
and see that he has really changed so that they can become married
again.  It was a wake up call to me that we really need to be careful
with all the decisions that we make in marriage and that we really
need to communicate well always. I know that it will all work out in
the end.  But it is always better if we can avoid making these giant
messes in the first place.

Our other big success story is with the Silva family.  On Monday we
were walking around lost, trying to find the apartment of one
investigator that we wanted to pass by but we were not finding it.  So
we began talking about how were knew that we were getting confused
because the Lord had a different elect in mind that he wanted us to
find in that moment.  So we kept going but really attent to our
surroundings.  We say a lady (Auda) hanging up some laundry in a big,
beat down house in the middle of a bunch of apartment buildings with a
little kid running around her in the yard.  So we walked over to the
fence and said hello and she lit up immediately and told us that some
of here boys had seen us walk by a few minutes ago and had wanted to
talk to us.  A 13 year old kid came to the window and started talking
to me in English (Elder Nogueira does not speak any english).  We
invited ourselves in and got to know the most prepared family that I
have every met.  They have 4 boys in the house right now with 8 kids
in total. Rogerio (17), Pedro (15 who is in Spain studying), Sergio
(13), Helder (10), and David (3). They are so cool and right from the
get go they have been super interested.  We told them why we are here
(which is to get people ready for baptism so that they can receive the
blessings that God has for them) and then we committed them to get
baptized on the 24th of this month.  Since then we have been teaching
them all every single day, they absolutely love us and have accepted
all of the major commandments. There has been some difficulties that
we have had to really fight to get past, for example the dad is a
Jehovah's witness, but not really if we are honest.  And we have
already basically converted him as well just talking twice, he
literally thanked us for teaching his family because he said that he
has tried in the past and they never wanted to do anything with
church.   He also tried to put off the baptismal date a bit but the
kids are not having any of that and are more then willing to show
their dad that they are ready for the 24th.  Unfortunately they are
not married so the mom will not be able to get baptized yet this next
weekend but we are going to work with her on that.  All the members
were amazed with the kids and loved them at church. I was in Sunday
school with them and Rogerio was blowing away all the other youth.  He
is really amazing and they are already going to go to Seminary and
Rogerio already started practicing with the stake youth Choir.  This
week will be fun to get to do the last preperations with them so that
they will be ready for this week. I am so grateful for the blessing of
having found this family and I hope that we can continue to have the
spirit guide us to these people  that the Lord has prepared for us
here in Cacém.

Love Elder Hobson

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