Marcone and Rosana were baptized on Saturday and were confirmed members yesterday, to our joy. It was a great experience for the both of them and we´re excited to visit them again this week to ask them how their experience went. I think this baptism was even more special in my opinion because it wasn´t a baptism of a kid with nobody else in the family or someone alone but a couple who have brothers and sisters in the church who´ve had high callings and will be easily supported and welcome into the church. It was evident to me the joy that was felt when Marcone went to hug his sister, Christine, who´s been a member for a while and stood there in a long embrace. It had been a long time since the last time our companionship had a baptism, and not that it´s something to add a sticker to a list of baptisms, but it at least made me feel like I´m finally fulfilling my calling and that it´s actually possible for someone to enter into the waters of baptism, something that used to be almost unfathomable due to constant failures since João was baptized in Petrolina and it stopped shocking me everytime a progressing investigator stopped going to church and didn´t want to be baptized anymore despite all we had said, taught, warned and encouraged.
We also had a district meeting but our district is us in Jacobina and the other 4 elders in Irecê, which is 4 hours away so we don´t do district meetings very often because the buses between both places are very infrequent and we literally spend the whole day doing the district meeting because it´s an 8 hour round trip ordeal and we didn´t get to discuss much, let alone take a district picture because our bus was about to leave from the station. Irecê is a cool little town but I didn´t get to see much. It has a lot of history but it´s still just a branch in a rented house.
This friday, we´re going to have a zone meeting and everyone will be coming to Jacobina because Jacobina is the midway point between Irecê and Senhor do Bonfim and I´ll finally get the package you guys sent me because they informed me that I got the box :)
I also had the chance to give a talk yesterday and President Francisco Ferreira wanted me to talk about missionary work, which I talked about and even got several compliments from the members. Something that kind of caught my attention when I was studying was a well-known scripture of which I learned a new interpretation of, in 2 Nephi 31:10, which says:
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastnessin Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a loveof God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
Can we really have a perfect love for God and all men if we don´t want our neighbors, friends, family and whoever else that doesn´t have this message to feel and have the same love and blessings that our Heavenly Father has given us? I talked a lot about the many opportunities that I had growing up to share the gospel and all the opportunties I had to invite friends to go to church that I didn´t take. One of the biggest things I learned on the mission is exactly that: the desire to be more involved in the work. I hope that those of you that read this can also take a moment of reflection, as this talk had really helped me to understand that.
Um cheiro. (yes, some people in Brazil say ´´a smell´´ before hanging up the phone sometimes. I am not making that up.)
We stopped by a snack bar on the way home from an appointment monday night and bought a ´´super dogão´´, a huge hotdog and split it (even though it was made with hamburger buns.
Because we live in a little apartment of 3 stories, the owner of our apartment has a dog named Linda that´s annoying as freak and every time I step out back to hang up my clothes, she sits near the catwalk and barks at us, and it´s even worse because it´s a small space and so her barks are 10 times louder. Somehow, she escaped without her owner knowing and she went to our house and came in. She has a lot of energy and I got angry because she scratched up my suit pants a little when we wereheading to the baptism. scumbag dog.