Monday, January 26, 2015

God Loves You + 2 Baptisms this Week!

JUNIOR, on his baptism day!

Wednesday-We had district meeting and did practices marking baptismal dates. Another highlight was my new 'Elder Hunt' tag came in but with the special "Brasil only" accent over the E.  The more Brasilain the better :) 

Elder Hunt's new name tag with the accent over the 'E'
He says 'the more Brasilian the better!'

We had great lessons that night and afternoon and confirmed everything 100% for 9 year old Renon's baptism on Sunday!  We also had a miracle meeting with another girl in a house of a less active family who said she wanted to be baptized, what a miracle!

Thursday-We had great follow ups with our investigators getting baptized this week, but the miracle girl from the day before no longer wanted to be baptized due to bad talk about the church from her inactive Grandmother. 

We need to exercise our faith, and continue with the hard work and it will all work out right?

Later on the way to another "power hour" in Tucuruvi, my comp cut his arm pretty deep on a piece of metal when he walked by, so we pressured the wound and when we got to the mission office we tried to super glue the wound shut. It worked!
That same day we also listened to a talk by Brad Wilcox on ‘Grace.’ It really opened my mind and reaffirmed my drive and thoughts on missionary work as concerning baptism and saving souls. I learned for myself that things are not always as white and black as I used to think. (My family members and Jacq Godfrey just read part, smiled and said "I told you so.") 

The city of Sao Paulo has a population of more than 11 million people. 
What a view even with the clouds!

No one is perfect and God's grace is sufficient for EVERYONE and EVERY MISTAKE. No one is perfect and God knows that, which is why he sent his son to atone for our sins and give us his atonement. Perfection is our life long goal, but we know that this isn’t possible for us on our own, so we must focus on progression. You can always return, you can always get back on the road to righteousness. It’s not one mistake and it’s all over, this is a tactic of the devil. If we sin, we must really repent and continue, we must also have strong enough faith to know that ANY sin can be (and was) washed away through the innocent blood of the lamb of God.

Repent of any and all your sins.   If we don’t and we don’t feel worthy, it makes Christ’s sacrifice like it was done in vain. God is happier with one repentant sinner than 99 of the faithful. But this cannot happen until the covenant of baptism is made with God. This is what our investigators and the whole world need to know. 
God loves you and there is ALWAYS room for YOU at the Lord’s table.

Elder Hunt is working hard in the favellas (slums) of Cachoeirinha

Friday-We had a planning session and had a really good talk about every need of our investigators to help them get them closer to being baptized. We had another small miracle with the girl who wanted to be baptized but changed her mind. 

We had a very powerful lesson with her, cleared her doubts, and marked a firm date for her baptism for this Thursday night at 8pm.

'This alone shows the iniquity of this area.  A crucified Winnie the Pooh.  This is the death and destruction of innocence here.'

It rained A TON and a bus driver gave us a ride for free during the rain storm (another miracle.) Soaking wet, we marched through the favelas with iniquity polluting the streets, and proclaimed repentance to the wicked with the authority and power of God. Wet, freezing, and fatigued, I had never felt more powerful and driven in my life. It was such a great day, HARD, HARD work, exhausting to our bodies and spirits. MIRACLES.

Saturday-We had great follow up with all our investigators. We have the possibility of 4 firm baptisms for Sunday. I had never prayed so hard for 4 people in my whole life.

Renon on his baptism day!

Sunday- Finally we ended up having 5 people at church on Sunday, but we had 2 baptisms!!! Renon and Junior. Renon is 9 years old, his parents are less active. But we reactivated them and baptized Renon! Renon already speaks a ton of English and he will for sure serve a mission. The Lord has a lot planned for him.

Junior, on his baptism day
'I am so proud of him and the changes he has made to his life!'

The other person baptized was Junior, he is 21 years old and when we met him he was a typical favela Brasilian guy who was into drugs, women, smoking, and drinking. But just as an example, in 2 weeks he went from smoking 40 cigarettes a day to almost 0. He is so great and I love him so much; he has completely changed his life. He’s not perfect, but trying his very, very best and he’s amazing. Congrats to him.

It was Elder Borba's birthday on Sunday and we surprised him with a key lime pie one of the members made for him.

Elder Borba had to go to a meeting really far away because he ends his mission and goes back to Uruguay at the end of this transfer, along another missionary from Brasilandia. So we did a division so they could go to their meeting this morning. 

I got to come back to Brasilandia with all my best buds Elders Lima Neto and Aguirres. I missed them and my first area SO much. I loved coming back here, it feels just like home :) I feel so much love and happiness here with my buddies.  It's like I've been on a long trip and finally got back to my family, the people that love me for me and are my friends unconditionally.  I love my Brasilian friends, I love Brasilandia.  I talked to Elder Medina last night on the phone and I was so happy.  I’m just here for the day, but I just love this house, this area, and these wonderful guys.

I also listened to a talk by our great pal President Dieter F. Uchtdorf called "Come Join Us," talking about joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." It was amazing.

My time in Cachorienha has taught me that success is not based upon the area, tactics, ward members, or anything else.  It is based only on the missionary and what he or she is willing to sacrifice to help the Lord build His kingdom.

This is some funny stuff our health secretary wrote and sent to the whole mission.

I have learned to teach, to be taught, to lead, and to be lead, how to learn, how to show faith, how to have success or triumph over difficulties, and how to be humble.  I have really been humbled here, but I've learned a ton through my difficulties and suffering.

I love this quote by Urban Meyer, he says "'I've learned to accept the things I cannot change. Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

This is the last week of the transfer and we are going to end it with a BANG!!! I expect some big changes in the next transfer, but whatever happens, I will only learn more and continue hastening the Lord’s work wherever and whomever I’m with :) 
 I'm feeling really great and love serving the Lord so much!

Elder Hunt

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