Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I've Become a Fat Lard

Ola family!

What a week! Well, on Tuesday I went and picked up my new companion Sister Felix. She´s 20 and from Sao Paulo and served in my same zone in Icoarci, so I already knew her a little bit. Best of all- SHE LOVES TO RUN!!! First time in almost a year! I must be doing something right. It´s been so good to get out early in the morning and run next to (not on) the beach. I guess I´ve become a fat lard because I´m super sore now, but it will go away, and it´s worth it (repentance analogy?).

So, Sister Felix can pretty much do anything she wants- she walks on water to me. However, she´s really sweet and humble and has a huge desire to help turn this branch into a ward, being from a small branch herself in SP. This is great because I have no idea what I´m doing, but I´m learning A LOT about how the church functions and how every calling is necessary in the building of Zion. I never knew that things didn´t just magically happen in wards and stakes, but that people actually work, pray, and stress over every detail. Miracles of the mission..

In other news, we had our first baptism here in Mosqueiro!! Our leaders always tell us that we´re not here to plant seeds or be home/visiting teachers, but to find the ´´elected´´ who are ready and waiting to here the gospel. I had my doubts, but I guess my little mustard seed of faith was enough because we found one! When teaching a street contact I´d made a few days before, my companion invited a man there to sit in on our lesson and to come to church on Sunday. He said he´d always wondered what our church was like, so now that he had an invite, he´d come and see. Yeah, everyone says that. Sunday arrived, and lo and behold, Theodomiro was seated with all the priesthood holders and in church clothes! We were shocked, but still in doubt. We almost didn´t get a chance to teach him that week, but we did and invited him to church again. He came, and then that afternoon, we set a baptismal date for the following week, taught him everyday of the week, and on Sunday, he was baptized and confirmed after conference! I´m not a huge fan of this whole baptizing in just two weeks thing, but every time we talked with Theodomiro, his whole countanance was radiating with light and it was like everything just clicked. I always made sure to ask him if he was praying and how he felt, and he´d respond, ´´I always thought things should be this way, but I never knew that they actually were.´´

On the day of Theodomiro´s baptism, almost everything went wrong. The President got sick and had to go to the hospital, our ward mission leader didn´t show up until much later, I didn´t realize the baptismal font had to be filled up like 5 hours in advance, the water was freezing and green, and we almost didn´t have enough priesthood holders to perform the baptism, but it all worked out it the end (literally, he was baptized at night rather than that afternoon), and it was a really special experience.

Conference was amazing. My testimony of our prophet and apostles grows ever stronger, and yes, I got the answers I was praying for. Works every time. I loved the emphasis on obedience. It really is the first law of heaven and a basis for our testimony and ability to receive blessings. There´s safety in obedience, and that´s something I´m really grateful for, especially here on my mission.

I hope you all enjoyed conference too. We enjoyed watching all the ´´pretty people´´ here in our little branch, haha.

I love you all,
Sister Barkdull

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