this week was crazy craze, like any other week in the life of a sister missionary in the heart of recife, brasil. you know, in case you weren´t aware (;
basically like my subject line - - this past week was ALL about the references. we had so many crazy experiences i just have to share.
--the first one was sister martin´s first contacting experience. we were walking to contact a reference from the elders in our ward in an area we´d never worked in before (and didn´t even realize was part of our area until they told us, #whoopsie!). We walk right by this guy sitting on a bench, and Sister M looks at me and is like - - can we go back and talk to that guy? obviously the answer is always YES; when the spirit whispers to talk to someone, you just go! (: so we sit down, start with a prayer, and start talking to him about the Book of Mormon...when out of no where, he looks at us and just says, ´´you know, sisters, i have three questions that NO one has ever been able to answer: ´where did we come from? who are we? and where are we going after we die?´´´
..............UM. can you say holy perfect investigator moment?? haha my jaw DROPPED and i just looked at sister M and we were both just beaming with smiles ear to ear. i looked right at him and said, Jorge, we know the answers to those questions. Would you like to know what they are?
(: (: (: the spirit was SO crazy strong as we testified of where we came from before this life - - and he was smiling the whole way through. At least until a beggar came up to us asking for money and Jorge´s ride showed up and he had to leave ): but we handed him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, got his contact info and will be sending the sisters who live in his area to go finish teaching him what we started! No doubt he´l be baptized in no time (:
this story is more hilarious cultural barriers than anything else....but another day last week we were contacting a reference from the elders. we go ring the doorbell and this guy walks out and we contact him, telling him we´re missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. he just looks at us and (all in portuguese, obviously) is just like...sorry, I´m Africano, and I believe your religion doesn´t like us and we don´t like you...
to which, in my innocent, american, God-loves-everyone mindset (especially remembering that my old bishop is serving as a mission president in South Africa) reply ´´oh no! we love africans! we love everyone!´´
....to which my lovely brazillian companion just stares at me in shock and apologizes to this man and we leave him with a pass-along card. he smiles and we go on our way...and sister M explains to me that africano DOES NOT mean african...its actually a type of religion here that worships crazy spirits and voodoo and things like that....and our religion definitely does not mesh with that. hahaha
OH HOW I LOVE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES. even after 6 months living in a different country and trying to speak its language, you still get moments like this on the daily. in case you were all wondering back home. hahaha. i still have so much to learn. #beinghumbledonthedaily (:
we also just monday went to try and contact a reference that didn´t even exist - - but as we were walking our way back to our main area to work, we walked by this man and his son working inside an electric shop. he looked right at me and i knew we needed to go back. we start up a conversation with him + his son, and before you know it we´re teaching about the Book of Momon and Sebastião (the man) is asking when we´ll be able to come back to teach him more!! the best part? we´re saying goodbye + walking away after our mini-lesson and hes like ´´Sisters!! Don´t forget to bring me a Book of Mormon when you come back!!´´ (: um, WE CERTAINLY WON´T. (: i´m excited to go back on friday!
basically the moral of the story is that a lot of time we get references from members that don´t work out (and A LOT that do, trust me!), but with each reference we get, there is ALWAYS a purpose to it. no doubt about it. whether we need to contact in that particular area or someone is ready to receive the gospel closeby....there is a purpose in EVERYTHING. no doubt about that one.
follow the spirit = the moral of the story of this week. He´ll always whisper to us to lead us to where we need to go. we just need to be doing the right things in our lives to have our spiritual ears open to be guided in directed in the right direction (:
ps marcel got the priesthood this past sunday!! HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (: (: (: he´s progressing so much! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL AND HOW IT CHANGES PEOPLE FOR THE BETTER! (: (: (:
scripture of the week - alma 30:24. so many people from the outside looking in may think that we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in bondage because of rules, etc. that we have. Because we choose to follow God´s comandments and etc. But really we are more free because we are choosing to do the things that help us live in righteousness. God will bless us more with MORE freedom when we choose to choose the right. I know it!
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! beijos!
Sister Sarah Banara Carrera Kron (: