Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Freaked Out Afterwards

Hello family,

Sunday night, I always know exactly what I want to say in my letter home, and then we get to the cyber cafe and my head goes blank.  I´m not remembering anything that happened this week.. but, a few things that happened-

We had investigators at church!  Soraia, Cirlei, and Dila!  All three are going through such hard trials right now, but they trust in God so much that He´ll help them through it.  At the beginning of the week, Soraia said she wouldn´t be able to go to church because she was ´´celebrating´´ the one year anniversary of when her husband abandoned their family.  However, a couple days later, her husband came to pay a visit and just destroyed her.  When we visited her the next day, she just cried and cried.  We talked a little bit about the role of free agency and consequences and the atonement and helped her see things with a little better perspective.  Her question for us was, ´´Was I living a false happiness before?  How can I know if I´m really happy or if I´m just pretending to myself?´´  Afterwards, she told us that when bad thoughts came to her that night, she when and grabbed her Book of Mormon, closed her eyes, opened up to a page and began to read.  She said she felt like Heavenly Father helped her up in that moment and asked if she could come to just the first two hours of church on Sunday.  Um, YES.  She loves the Book of Mormon, even though we haven´t even taught the restoration yet, ha ha.

Cirlei´s practically going through the same thing.  This week, she bailed out on two of her lessons, so whenSunday rolled around, I thought for sure she wouldn´t be there.  Oh ye of little faith, she was sitting outside of her house waiting!  The members were so great with her- showing her around the building, inviting her to sit with them in sacrament meeting, accompanying her to gospel principles.  In spite of the fact that our microphone died and no body heard the SM talks, Cirlei surely felt the spirit of love that was there in the church.  Interesting tid bit on Cirlei- her son that lives next door has leprosy.  I thought that didn´t exist anymore!  We were talking to him one day, and when we said good bye, I reached out and grabbed his hand, totally forgetting.  I freaked out to Sister Torres afterwards, but she told me that Cirlei told us that he´s not contagious anymore.  Sometimes I have selective hearing in Portuguese..

Dila.. sometimes I feel like she´s avoiding us, but then her neighbor up and tells us that she has a huge testimony of the church, knows it´s church, but knows she can´t be baptized because she´s not married yet.  They´re waiting for a day off at work to be able to sign the papers.  Until then, I guess we´ll just let her stew.

One huge thing I learned this week is that you´re never too strong that Satan doesn´t know how to get to you.  Realizing recently that I only have three months left on my mission, I´ve been praying a lot that Heavenly Father prepare me to become the person I need to become now, so that I can continue progressing at this level after the mission.  Well, this week my testimony really took a beating with some questions that came up, but I am doubting with faith.  I know the gospel´s true.  I know even more that the small, simple things like gospel study, prayer, church attendence, obedience, are probably the most important determining factors of our faith and testimony.  You´re never at a point or in a situation where these things are not essential to your spiritual well-being.  Heavenly Father´s taking good care of me.

I love you all!  Have a great week!  Never forget the daily littles!

Sister Barkdull

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