Once again, I am really sorry that I didn´t get around to sending an e-mail last week. We got stuck in the office arranging the transfers and I was really worried about how a few missionaries were going to make it to their new areas and I just couldn´t get myself to the computer to write a good letter to you guys. So I hope that this week´s letter makes up for the lack of last week´s.
We have actually been training a new misisonary these past two weeks. His name is Elder Amorim and he is a Brazilian from the north zone of São Paulo, but he isn´t your ordinary Brazilian. His first day he told us that he wasn´t going to stay with us for very long because his actual mission was Toronto, Canada. He is just here waiting for his visa, but he has lived almost half of his life in the United States, including two years of studying at BYU. He speaks English better than I do! He doesn´t like to tell people but his family are pioneers in the Church down here in Brazil. His grandpa was the first Brazilian general authority and his dad was also the mission president in Lisboa, Portugal when they were the highest baptizing mission in Europe. So basically he´s a stud! But he is such a humble and good guy, and a tremendous missionary. Everyday, when we are working together, he always acts super happy and energetic and talks with everyone on the street about the Gospel. He came on the mission pre-trained practically. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with him, but fortunately for him, and unfortunately for me, he got his visa this week and he will be heading for Toronto this Wednesday. He is going to be a great missionary there and I am excited for him.
This Elder Amorim helped me out big time this week. Just this Saturday, we went out working and trying to visit all the people we found this week to take to Church on Sunday morning. Earlier this week we had met a woman with her kids walking up this giant staircase. We stopped her and started explaining to her about the Church and she told us that she really wanted to find a good Church for her family to go to. She was married legally, didn´t have a determined religion and really liked our message, so I thought "golden investigator!" Well, we passed by the next day and she said that she couldn´t make it to the ward activity because it was raining. The next day we passed by again to invite her to the other activity that night as well, but it was still raining so she didn´t come. Then, on Saturday, we passed by once again. I knocked on her door and she answered. I asked her how she was doing and she answered me very shortly, "I´m really busy and you are really annoying!" I felt like I had just witnessed a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde thing because it most definately wasn´t the woman whom I had talked with just a few days before. I asked her was still interested in visiting the Church and she answered me saying, "No! I told you that I would go and you still kept coming by and you are annoying. Go away!" She slammed the door and I walked away. I was a little shocked and I tried to joke around saying, "Well, that could have been worse." But I won´t lie, it hurt a lot, and it affected my Spirit a lot. I went the whole day thinking about that woman and how I felt like I had blown it with her and her family. I kept thinking that it was all my fault and that they wouldn´t be baptized because of me. Elder Amorim kept trying to cheer me up because he could tell that something was wrong. I just kept praying in my heart that Heavenly Father would help me snap out of this trance that I was in. We went the entire day without getting into one single house until our very last appointment at 8:30 at night. It was a family whom we have been teaching for two weeks and finally had a free weekend to go to Church this week. We sat down and started teaching about the Restoration of the Gospel. We had already talked with them about baptism and they didn´t really understand the whole concept of needing the priesthood to baptize someone. Elder Amorim was teaching with such a great Spirit that I ended up catching it as well. There was a huge party right outside their house and they were playing this really loud music, but it didn´t even matter because EVERYONE was paying attention. When we got to the part about Joseph Smith´s first vision, the whole family started to cry. Every single one of them committed to be baptized on the 18th of this month after coming to Church today. I looked at Elder Amorim after that visit and he just kind of smiled and looked at me. I know that my simple prayer had been answered and my Heavenly Father really took care of me when I needed of comfort most.
I know that God lives and I know that Jesus Christ really did die for me and everyone else in this world. I know that he loves me like a real SON. When I am sad, He really does take care of me. When I am happy, He really does rejoice with me. When I am teaching the Truth, He is there with me at my side. I know, because I feel Him. There are so many things that I still need to learn and improve, but as long as I have a loving Heavenly Father by my side, I will never be afraid. In this Church, there is no such thing as fear. I love my family and I am so grateful that I came on a mission. This experience is changing my life. There was a talk at conference by a Brother Richardson, I believe, where he says that his mission was the two years FOR his life, and not OF his life. I agree. I love this Gospel and I wouldn´t switch places with anyone right now.