I don´t think I have ever had a week on the mission where I was so tired at the end. This week we had a ton of people who were possibilities for being baptized, so we really worked hard to make our appointments on time and really teach and clear their doubts or worries. It gets really hard to be punctual when you are always waiting for a bus or depending on your own two legs to get anywhere.
We met a boy named Gabriel last week while knocking on some doors. He is 14 years-old and really doesn´t like to leave the house and make friends. He has always been the type of person who never liked religion because they all said the same things and they just made him confused. We asked if he´d been baptized and he said no. We began to teach him and by the end of the first visit, he was wanting to be baptized. Now comes for the coolest thing that I have yet to see from one of my investigators. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and challenged him to read it everyday before his baptism. Well, to make a long story short, he was baptized yesterday and in a week and a half he is already halfway through the book of Mosiah! He reads extremely fast, but he understands EVERYTHING! We asked him to quickly review everything that he´d learned and he almost quoted word-for-word what happens in 1 and 2 Nephi. There is even a part in 2 Nephi where Joseph (Joseph from Egypt, the one from the Technicolor Dreamcoat) is quoted in 2 Nephi Chapter 3. Joseph prophesies that there will be another prophet raised in our last days before the coming of the Lord. He gives the smallest little hints that this new prophet would be Joseph Smith, but never says it clearly; you really have to be studying to catch it. Well, one night Gabriel was telling us something that he learned and he said that he learned that the prophet Joseph of Egypt foresaw Joseph Smith as the prophet of the Restoration! I sat there at the edge of the table with my mouth wide open, almost drueling. I asked him how he found that out and he just said, "I don´t know... I just read it and understood that it was Joseph Smith." This truly was one of the strongest manifestations of the Spirit giving revelation to someone that I have ever seen. Just as when Christ asked the Apostles whom they thought He was. Peter stood up and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Peter did not know this for sure until that moment when the Spirit revealed it to him. This is what the Church of Jesus Christ is founded upon... Revelation! The Spirit really does teach us. We just need to be worthy enough to listen and Gabriel has really been an example to me. He will be an OUTSTANDING missionary.
When we got to Sunday, almost all of the other people who could have been baptized fell through. Satan really entered into their minds and affected their decisions. There is a parable that Jesus teaches called the Sower. He talks about three cases of planting seeds. The first is when the sower sows a seed upon the stony surface. At first glance, the seed is excited to hear the word and willing to follow the example of Christ by being baptized, but soon after the first excitement it doesn´t have the means to create good roots in its rocky soil, so it withers away. The second case is that the seed is planted in a patch of thorns. The seed catches and begins to grow, but all of the sudden there are weeds and thorns that come up and choke the plant from progressing. These thorns could be addictions, neighbors, pastors from other churches who just their tithing money, etc... The other case is when you plant the seed and it takes root, grows, and spreads! A person hears the word, takes it in, and shares it with all his or her friends. There are so many people whom we are teaching who exemplify this parable that Christ taught. We had three other people to baptize yesterday, but addictions and plain old bad soil came inbetween the people and their opportunity to be baptized and forgiven of all sin. It´s sad, but we just have to keep working and finding more people in the good, fertile soil.
This was a rough week, but we still found and baptized this Gabriel and I know that he was one of God´s elect children. The Lord is helping us so much in this hard world. I love this work and I am very happy. Very happy because I know that I have a family here on earth who loves me and always wants the best for me. I see so many parents who could care less for their children here and they are bad examples for their kids. I have been extremley blessed and I know that the only way that I can repay my Heavenly Father for these blessings is by being obedient and bringing more of His children back home. I love you all and I know that the scriptures are true. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ is once again here on the earth and we have a prophet of God who loves us dearly. I hope you all have a great week and that the Spirit of the Lord stays with you. Tchau! Eu os amo muito!