Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rather Odd Miracles

The view from our window.

We had some miracles this week, even if they were rather odd. 

The first one happened a few days ago. My companion and I were teaching a lesson outside on the sidewalk when some guy with two cigarettes in his mouth came up to my companion and yelled  "YOU ARE ON MISSIONS!!!  BUY GUARANÁ" and then gave two Real notes to my companion. We tried to tell him that we couldn't accept his money but he yelled "NO!  YOU ARE SERVING MISSIONS!!!!  BUY GUARANÁ AND BREAD!!!!!" he then slapped another two Real note in my hand, gave the lowest bow I've ever seen, and preceded on his merry way.  Our investigator took it as a sign of love from God so I really can't complain.  We then bought Guaraná (a Brazilian soda) and bread out of fear of that man.

My companion asked one of our investigators if he knew of anyone that would like to hear the gospel. He said yes. He told us he knows this man believes in God, but is hardened, doesn't want to go to church, and overall hardcore.  We went over to the house he referred us to and this very nice lady let us in (who turned out to be a less active member.) She led us to her husband (our referral) and he turned out to be a very nice man.  I was thinking we'd walk in on a man with a beer in each hand, smoking, huge, and covered with tattoos that'd say things like "Eu Odeio os Mórmons" (I Hate Mormons), but he turned out to be really nice, felt the spirit, and invited himself to church.  At the end of the lesson he asked us if we could "make continual visits to his house and teach him the gospel." .... fine.... I guess we will......

I've reached an "I'm very tired phase of my mission" which hopefully means something good.

So cool experience.  We had some recent converts bring us to a house of a less active member to try and bring him back into activity.  Usually when you work with less active members it's because they got offended or stopped reading the Book of Mormon and fell away.  These types of lessons are usually pretty chill and we try to rebuild their faith.

That's not who this guy was.

Turns out he practically was born in the church, attended until he was 20, and stopped going to church just because he wanted too.  He's a lawyer (rich) and now is part of an Espírita Church.  I still don't know what Espírita is completely; nobody seems to be able to tell me.  The only thing I really understand is that they're Christians, but believe in reincarnation, that Jesus did not atone for our sins, and that we have to atone for our own sins.  We talked for about two hours hitting lots of deep doctrine points and everybody bearing powerful testimony, it was nuts.  I've never really had a deep doctrinal discussion in Portuguese before, but I did that day.  We proved our point and the recent converts bore really powerful testimony.  He didn't accept to come back to church, but he did accept to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  We were also able to plant some seeds in some of the neighbors while we were there and one of them actually seemed rather interested.  It was a very interesting experience. I truly felt that I wasn't "confounded before men" and I felt completely confident the entire time, which I thought was a very interesting experience.

That's about it for this week, really nothing else really happened.  We're trying to find some ex investigators around here and the members are really supportive.  I'll just keep chugging along down here.  Until next time!

Elder Johnson

P.S.  Abraços  (Hugs)

P.P.S.  Love you lots.  Tchau a abraços beijos sucesso batismos!*  (Goodbye, hugs, kisses, success baptisms!)

A rich part of our area.

A small Grota.  We do have a bigger one, but I'm too afraid to take a picture of it.

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