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Monday, May 23, 2016

A vida

This week was awesome! We're starting to see lots of miracles in our area, finally!

Last week of the transfer! Crazy how it passes so fast! Elder Vasconcelos and I have been growing more united in our teaching and friendship, and I really really really really hope I get to stay here in Jardim Odete with him at least one more transfer. 

Things have been clicking. We made an extra effort to work with the members, and immediately we got a bunch of references and people to accompany to our lessons, help us resolve our investigators' problems, give us food, etc. It's amazing! Even though we have a crazy life and complicated schedule, the Lord is blessing us by not letting my head explode in stress like I want it to sometimes. 

One of the couple's we've been working with is finally going to get married! Then the nonmember wife can get baptized! But it will be in the next transfer.... (one reason I want to stay)

One day we had planned to visit a member's friend super far away and then a bunch of things happened that ended in that appointment falling through and slaughtering our alternative plans.... As we walked down the street, wondering what we were gonna do, a woman stopped us and asked if we taught people about Jesus, and of course we said yes. She then told us "I want to start. How much do you guys charge?" After picking our jaws up off of the ground, we said we'd love to teach her and that we don't receive anything, our service is voluntary. She loved the Restoration and was excited for us to come back. We're excited to go back.

Yesterday, we probably had the best miracle of all, however. Our plans for the afternoon ALL fell through, so we went to visit Carla and Eduardo. We'd planned in comp study to read 1 Nephi 3-4 about when Nephi has to get the plates from Laban, and goes in faith to follow the Lord's commandments It was amazing when at the end, she said that that story and our words were exactly for her. She told us that not 5 seconds before we knocked that she'd prayed asking for direct guidance from God on what she needed for her life. Then we walked in (it wasn't a planned visit, so they weren't expecting us) and read those chapters about Nephi's fearless example and how by trusting in the Lord and forgetting his own will, he was able to succeed and bless all of his posterity and the entire future of the world. I was amazed, almost stunned actually, as she explained the exact doctrine from those chapters we felt they'd needed to learn, and then make the application by saying "I know now from God that we really need to get married so we can be baptized and get all the blessings He has for us.... it's not my will, but His that's important." We didn't do anything special, it was totally the hand of God that manipulated our day so that we'd arrive there in that precise moment, and it was the Spirit that taught to her open heart. As we walked home, the magnificent lightning storm in the clouds above us was like a celestial fireworks show celebrating what'd just happened. We exchanged an ecstatic bro-hug, and when I got home I knelt down and couldn't find any other words more appropriate to express my overflowing gratitude than these: "Obrigado, Senhor... Obrigado."

I love you all!

Elder Merrill

We made zone shirts! They have a minion on them, so that makes them cool

Pictures in high places are always exciting


​Yay cookies!

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