These are some of the words that I could best use to describe my week. A change of heart I suppose you could call it. Last week we had a zone meeting and a quick interview with President Lisonbee just for him to see how we´re doing and for us to be report on how we´re doing in helping establish God´s kingdom here on earth. After talking with President a little, I had realized that I had a lot of shaping up to do in my attitude towards missionary work and how things have been going. I had bore my concerns about missionary work and the fear of being induced to just get numbers and after talking through everything, President had taught me some things that I won´t forget. I can really feel the influence of God coming from President Lisonbee in how he interacts with those around him after that interview. He knows how to correct and rebuke when it is necessary but to show Christlike love and appreciation immediately afterward to make you feel more inspired to work harder and be better than you were. That´s how I would describe our week. Elder Cerna and I have been talking and talking with more people and testifying more than any ther week on my mission and I can finally feel as though the Lord is pleased with our work. Granted, we still have much more to do and I feel excited to finish this transfer strong so that I can take what I learned here in Petrolina and do even better in my next area.
I´ve been really feeling the hand of God in our work here. For example, We´ve been talking and teaching more with Junior but due to him having such a young age, we feel like his understanding isn´t where it should be so that he can continue progressing to one day being baptized. On top of that, he doesn´t have any other support at home, meaning nobody to keep him on the right path once we move on to find more people and as such, we returned to trying to teach his mom, who´s actually pretty smart. Her biggest obstacle is recognizing the answer to the Book of Mormon and overall, the church in general. She´s been expected a dream or a vision of some sort. The other day during a normal discussion as we were talking about our own testimonies, I felt an energetic sensation that I had never felt before urging me to promise her that this time, she will receive an answer to her prayers if she will do one more prayer. I feel excited this week to follow up on her and see how it goes. The other day too, we were trying to reestablish contact with a woman that had been taught by the missionaries a while ago that we had found in the Area book. When we showed up to her street, there was a woman out front already talking to her and we didn´t want to be awkward approaching them. So I turned to Elder Cerna, half-jokingly and said, ´´Alright this is kind of awkward´´ and turned around and clapped my hands to a porch that we were standing out front of just to occupy ourselves for the timebeing. The dog chained out front started barking and out comes a skinny, tall, tan guy named ´´Jair´´ in his mid 20´s or so in basketball shorts, a soccer shirt, and a basketball cap with a bit of a beard coming on looking relatively annoyed with our presence and I was thinking, ´´oh dang, this guys going to flip a lid or something and tell us to leave´´. We started talking to him, pretending that we were lost and asked him if he knew a ´Regina´, the woman we were looking for. After he helped us, we thanked him and introduce ourselves. Then out of nowhere, he says, ´´Yeah, I know who you guys are, Elders. I´m actually baptized in your church.´´ He started talking a little bit abouthimself and even says that he still reads the Book of Mormon, but doesn´t have certainty anymore if it´s still true. We asked him if we could visit him a different day, to which he accepted with a smile. I couldn´t help but feel grateful for the ´´coincidence´´ that God had let happen for us to meet Jair and felt compassion for a guy that I had never met before. Missionary work is sure amazing.
All in all, I feel more and more sad that my time in Petrolina is coming to an end. I´ve met so many awesome people here: Nilda, João, Tordoya, and their families, I will have so many fond memories of them and the time we spent together in my short couple months of missionary service here in Petrolina. The only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that the next year I will meet similar people.
Eu amo vocês e sou grato por vocês me apoiarem para que eu possa estar aqui. Os melhores dois anos da minha vida!