So, I don´t know if I said this last week, but my companion was pretty upset a while ago because these two people we were trying really hard to get baptized said that they didn´t have an answer or that they weren´t ready, and then the next day a recent convert came to church and said that it would be her last Sunday....
Well, guess what! That recent convert is fine now- just some street fight- and Angela, who was so sure that she would never receive and answer was baptized!!! I am so happy!
Angela is really special to me. When I got here, I asked my comp if she had anyone that could be baptized the next week. After THREE precious days of thinking, she finally remembered Angela, the mom of a recent convert that they had been teaching but dropped because she doesn´t believe in prophets. Well, we ran there. After a week of focusing on prophets (I have never had a stronger testimony of the necessity of prophets for our salvation than I have now), she finally agreed that, yes, we don´t worship Thomas S. Monson, that he´s probably not a modern day false prophet, and he is necessary to understand God´s plan. Then we focused on baptism. We did EVERYTHING we could think of to help her get ´´her answer´´. We marked a chapter about each gospel essential for her to read every day that week. We met with her every day to go over what she read. We brought members to every lesson. We prayed, we fasted. Finally,, she didn´t come to church. When we talked to her about it, she said she felt so bad about not going to our church, that she was getting ready right then to go to her church.... WHAT?! I straight up told her that she didn´t have an answer because she sacrificed everything to go to her church, and nothing to go to God´s. After a couple days, I decided that we would visit her one last time to follow up. In that lesson, we read Alma 32 (so good for emphazing faith in being baptized) and she said that this chapter really struck her and that she´d been thinking a lot more about baptism. After a pretty intense discussion on the relationship between faith, safety, and answers from God, Angela said, ´´I think the only thing standing between me and baptism is me´´. YYEEESSSS!!!! That night she prayed, telling God her decision, not asking for one, and waited for a confirmation.
We went there the next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed. When we arrived at Angela´s house, she told us about this dream she´d had about a mom killing her children and then looked at me as if she were asking, ´´How are you going to interpret that one Sister Barkdull into being an answer that I need to be baptized´´. I wanted to scream ´´JUST ONE STINKING MIRACLE!!! SERIOUSLY?! I JUST WANT ONE!!´´ Okay, I want them all, but finally, out of ideas, I asked the member´s husband who was there with us about what he thought about dreams. He was amazing. He said everything perfectly and testified with such a calm, dignified knowledge of the gospel of Christ. My respect for strong, worthy preisthood holders sky rocketed. The spirit was so strong. After he bore his testimony, I looked at Angela and she said, ´´I know what you want to hear Sister Barkdull´´ so I said, ´´Angela, I am going to ask you for the last time in your life, will you be baptized by one holding the proper authority of God?´´ She just smiled and said yes. Funny thing is, is that I was thinking about the , but she said yeah, she´d get baptized the next day. Great! She said that she´d actually already decided to be baptized the night before. I think she just wanted to see what I would do... Anyways, it was a pretty crazy day. Sister de la Cruz and I almost missed the baptism and arrived pretty sweaty and sun burnt (hence the lack of pictures for the public eye), but , Angela was baptized and confirmed the next day.
I have faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I know that as I exercise my faith in them, they will continue to perform miracles in the lives of the people here in Cidade Nova. So happy!
Love you all! Beijão,