July 9, 2014
Oi querida família!!!
Então [so], again, I have almost no time at all :( But SOOO much to tell about this week! miracles, challenges, huge tests of faith, and the saddest game of futebol in the history of mankind hahaha.
I probably won’t talk much about that last part. What a shame.
But quickly, update about Irismar and her husband, Francisco! Irismar -- reminder, is the lady who had a dream about Joseph Smith! – isn’t married legally so this has been our challenge and talking to the husband who is deathly shy. haha. But wow, this week he finally went to church with her and it was amazing!!! It was fast and testimony meeting and he was kind of antsy because I think he doesn’t like a lot of people. But in the classes he was really paying attention and really focused on what was happening and the principles being taught. Wow. We found out that every night when Irismar is reading The Book of Mormon, she is reading out loud for him and explaining things and what not. I think he doesn’t know how to read so he really has to pay attention and he does! He’s so shy but he really is understanding and changing. It’s soooooooo a miraculous. wow.
But the challenge now is the marriage. It takes soooo much time!!!! 15 days at the least. But they have to pay like 300 reals and wait for his papers from the other state where he was born and all of that. It’s a tough one... but we’re praying HARD.
We are also praying for Thais. the girlfriend of Felipe, our recent convert. Wow...so she’s 16 and so we need her parents’ consent. But wow, her parents are very, veryyyy concerned about her and won't let her get baptized. This is the one where we talked to them before and they said yeah, if she decided to, we’ll let her. But now that she’s actually wanting to, they won’t allow it because she’s too young to understand what she wants. and they think it’s just because of Felipe. which is very understandable but I know it’s not the case. We were talking to her about it and she bore testimony without knowing it and wow, she has the strongest testimony I’ve seen in a non-member. She wakes up every morning and gets ready to a CD of children's primary songs that a member gave her. She fasted with us for her parents and during the fast, she forget but she had 2 birthday parties -- birthday parties here are insanely huge with the bestssssttttt food in the world and she kept fasting. She said when it was reallyyyy hard, the smell is the hardest part, she went to her room and read scriptures and felt lifted and strengthened -- keep in mind that she’s 16.... wow. And one week, She and Felipe were fighting and she was super upset with him and so Felipe came to church with his sister and Thais took a taxi so that she could still come to church without a ride from Felipe haha. Stubborn girl, but she truly showed us she comes not for Felipe. She is completely converted, but her father, especially, is so worried about his daughter. We came by just to get to know them and talk to them about what Thais was learning just so they could see that its nothing bad or secretive. And the first thing he says is no, she can’t be baptized in your church. We were like.......okay. first of all, hi! :) but we talked after and what not. My goodness. Thais is sooooo strong. She deals with sooo much in her family. I never would have guessed. I believe in miracles and we’re fasting again this weekend and praying constantly that their hearts and minds will be softened so that Thais can finally have this blessing of baptism and the Holy Ghost. It’s a tough one. but faith is strong.
I am soooo incredibly grateful for all of your prayers and support! as well as the members here. It has been a reallyyyy stressful transfer with this area and a trainee and the language and investigators not progressing. I feel like we’re just starting over here and it’s been tough, but I am so grateful for this ward. We have a member, Laura, who is 16, as well, but she is older than me and already a better missionary. haha. She gave US a lesson after lunch one day and it was exactly what I needed. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to grow from these experiences and I know without a doubt that the Atonment is real! … that it carries me when nothing else can. that when I’m walking with no more strength, my legs keep going because Christ promised to fill in the rest when I’ve done all I can.
Thank you sooo much for your prayers and support. I looooove you all soo much!
p.s. I can print emails now so I will be printing and ready and responded next week!!
Love you tons!!!!
hugs and kisses to everyone! (and Rustyyyyyy :) )
ate a proxima semana! beijos! [Until next week! *kisses*]
Have fun at camp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<3
Sister Lauren Yoshimoto