So, sadly, Sister De la Cruz will be leaving us. I have loved having a companion who shares the burden equally with me. I think this has been the most stress free, enjoyable, and successful transfers I´ve had on the mission. Sister De la Cruz is pro active, humble, obedient, and weird. I´m going to miss her skeleton hand hair clips, the yummy food she made, but most of all, all of her clothes and shoes she ´´let me´´ borrow. My new companion is a lot smaller- Sister Torres! I knew her in Entroncamento a little bit, but didn´t have too many opportunities to talk to her. I just know she has a lot of health problems with the sun here, she´s from Argentina or Columbia, and she´s arriving at. I´ve never had a non-brazilian companion, so this will be interesting. Anyways, I´m excited.
Márcia came to church this week! I was a little frustrated because she said she decided to skip travelling and come to church because Sister Kemer and Sister Marzarella stopped by the bakery where she works and told her we might be transferred this week (she needs to come to church because she wants to keep the commandments, not please us), but she loved it, cried, and wants to get baptized even more now. I have loved teaching Márcia because every lesson with her, it´s like the vail gets a little thinner. She always leaves the lessons saying, ´´I always felt it should be that way, but I didn´t know if I was right, or if I could explain it´´. She really loves learning about the Plan of Salvation- who we are and the potential we have. We´ve taught her parts of it every day for a week now- this never happens in normal Belém missionary life. The only problem is, is that... she doesn´t acutally live in our area... She´s a nanny for a member in our area who gave her to us as a reference, and she´s never at home, so we´ve been teaching her at the member´s house. This week, we´re going to ask her if we can hand her off to the elders to pretty much just baptise (so altruistic) or if she wants to move to our area. I hope it´s the latter..
Also, Kelly was baptized! I love Kelly. Kelly was a super rebellious teen who grew up in a very broken family. She recently had her second daughter with the in active son of a member, and ended up living with them for a month after the birth. That´s where we came in. We´ve been teaching her for a month now, really focusing on how the gospel can bless her family. It´s been a cool experience applying the restauration, plan of salvation, gospel of Christ, and all of the commandments, soley to the family. She has really made a 180 turn; everyone sees it in her eyes and the way she acts and even comments on it. Her mom, super evangelical, freaked out when Kelly said she wanted to be baptized and through her out of the house. After one day though, her mom apologized and said she wanted Kelly to be baptized because she´s sees that Kelly is finally happy. Kelly´s always super excited to go to church and see all the cute families, and her ´´mother in law´´ (more or less), is always talking to her about the gospel, explaining things, taking her to church activities, and inviting her to stay in their home where the spirit is really strong. Because of all this, Kelly was able to experience the difference the gospel could make in her and her family´s life. Seeing this with Kelly, but also with Márcia, has helped me to realize what an impact the members can have with our investigators. It´s not just going to a lesson with the missionaries or inviting an investigator to church, but really loving someone enough to invite them into your home and experience what an eternal family is, or how living the teachings of the prophet can influence your family´s life. My PB actually talks a lot about this, so it´s been amazing to see what I can and want to do in the future.
Kelly has such a desire now to do what is right to help her family. So many obstacles showed up, as they always do, as Kelly was preparing to be baptized. We didn´t even know these things had happened until after her baptism. The thing is, is that because of the ´´mighty change of heart´´ that she´d experienced, none of this deterred Kelly from being baptized because it was what she wanted more than anything. I´ve never been so happy as I was when Igor, Kelly´s brother in law, was saying the ordinance, and Kelly went into the water sobbing. That memory will stay with me forever. I´m so grateful for the power of the atonement and that I get to help others experience it.
As a side note, we did a family night with Kelly the day before her baptism, and who shows up but her cousin who escaped from prison the day before where he was being held for killing a man... he even sang hymns with us and played signs. It´s probably not the first time I´ve taught a killer, but it´s was probably the first time I shook hands with one. That was an interesting lesson..
I love the gospel! I love serving the Lord! I love you all!