Elder Hunt (second from the left) on a division in Pirituba
Monday-We picked up the numbers like usual then followed up with all the zones, after we found out that President Farnes would not be coming to have our usual Monday meeting because he had gone to Recife, in the north of Brasil, for a week long meetings for all of the mission presidents in Brasil. In the month of October, three zones broke their zone baptismal records, incredible work!
Elevator Selfies in Pirituba
After the rainstorm
That night in the rain, we headed out by train and on a bus to Pirituba, my very first zone and where Elder Medina (my trainer) and Elder Quero (a buddy from when I was in Itu) are zone leaders. We were sent to their zone because two weeks straight the zone didn’t baptize a single person. In the words of Elder Claudio R.M. Costa from the First Quorum of the Seventy, "If a missionary in Brasil goes more than two weeks without baptizing, something is wrong." Upon our arrival, we called the bishop of the Pirituba ward and told him there would be a baptism Tuesday night. We didn’t know who it would be, but we knew that through 100% obedience, diligent hard work, and the overwhelming pure love of Christ to save others, The Lord would bless us with a miracle.
Raining tons in Pirituba
Mormon 9:19- "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."
Tuesday-That morning, Elder Rebouças went with Elder Quero, and I went with Elder Medina into the streets, faith level on high, doing all we possibly could to deserve God's miracles. To receive a miracle, you must do your part, your WHOLE part, which is being 100% obedient, but also acting, doing all that is possible within your power to accomplish your goal. You must act, teach, preach, and suffer in the name of Christ before you experience the triumph, before you are blessed with the miracle.
Favella in Pirituba
Ether 12:6-"...I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
Through tireless, relentless work between our two companionships, we were prompted to visit God's elects, those who God had prepared, those who were ready to receive and accept His message, His invite.
Danielli, Kawan, and Henrique on their baptism day
A Huge Miracle!
That night, three people were baptized, Danielli, Kawan, and Henrique. It was a beautiful service with the sweetest spirit, and many members there with open arms to support these new members.
Elder Hunt and Elder Medina, working in the rain filled streets of Brasil
Once again as the rain fell, we returned back to the apartment with a new sense of humility, thankfulness, and awe of the wonder of God's miracles. That night, the two week drought in Zona Pirituba had ended.
Alma 34:38-"...humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
LiVE-Little Victories every day. Recieve all with gratitude. The little 'i' is to forget about yourself.
Wednesday-Today was full of finding novos, but the most interesting part of the day were the two elderly women who made us lunch. The two old women are friends of many years; one woman is mute but was able to communicate the story of her conversion. She said she had visited the church when we she just nine years old, but when she moved away she was not able to find the church again for 15 years. The day she found the church again she asked to be baptized, then she devoted her entire life to building the kingdom of God even with her disability. The love we were able to feel in that humble home was incredible. Not having very much, those two elderly women gave all they had, preparing a banquet for us. These two beloved sisters understand salvation and The Lord's Atonement. They are incredible.
That night, once again in the rain, we headed off 3 hours to Socrocaba, where we spent the night in Zona Santana.
Elder Hunt with Elder Aguirres on a division in Jardim California Zona Trujillo Sorocaba
Thursday-Early that morning, we divided and I went with Elder Augirres, my ex companion, who is Zone Leader in Zona Trujillo and Elder Rebouças stayed in Zona Santana. We spent the day in a poorer area in Sococaba (which basically doesn’t exist) finding news and marking baptismal dates.
Elder Hunt and Elder Aguirres' dinner
The missionary's house in Jardim California has the baptism sign
And this baptism mural too of John and Baptist baptizing Jesus Christ
Look at the load on top of that van!
Friday-That morning we made our long trip back to São Paulo. We took care of some things in the mission office and then we went off to work in our favorite favela in Catareira, "Cemeterio Do Horto." But this Friday afternoon wasn't só alegria like usual. The whole feeling had changed, it was overcast, it was cold, in the air it could be sensed. The usual friendly faces and warm Brasilian smiles were no where to be found, it was silent, empty, and sad. Something had happened while were gone. High drug violence in the area was a probable factor. The harvest was not well reaped that day.
At the Sao Paulo temple with 56 recent converts, a day to remember
Saturday-Today made history. Today is the day that Mission Brasil São Paulo North took it's first caravan of recent converts to the temple. In just one zone, 56 recent converts were taken to the temple to perform baptisms for their ancestors. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! I am very grateful and privileged to have been able to take part in such a special day.
Sunday-We were without a single person to baptize the entire week due to lack of time in our area. To baptize this week in our area was vital, as Assistant to the President, the example must be given in ALL things. We tried it all, using all our resources, until we remembered a list, which is held in the ward secretaries office. It is a list of people who were blessed as babies or were registered as members of the church with less than eight years of age. At 4:30 in the afternoon we finally we able to encounter a teenage boy named Israel. We got to know him and his family, we later found out that his family was very active in the church for many years, even his father was ordained as a high priest, but fell inactive due to long work hours and another son in prison among other things. We taught and testified with power and faith, until the right moment arrived and we invited him and his two cousins to be baptized.
Elder Hunt with Israel, Kaio, and Jonathon on their baptism day
That night, at 7:30 pm Israel, Kaio, and Jonathan were baptized, taking the first step to eternal life and to help their families become reactivated members of the true church of Jesus Christ.
I tesify that due to our 100% obedience, diligence, and desire, God blessed us with this miracle. When you have sufficient faith, do your part of working hard and smart, and are exact in your obedience, the powers of heaven are put into action in our lives.
Let us all remember The Lord's sacred promise to all of us in fourth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, independent of where we are in the world or our circumstances- "Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desire to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility,diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen."
Elder Hunt slept on the floor of the mission office last night because they had so much to do.
Com muito Amor,
Elder Marcus Hunt