Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Share What You Have

Hi Everyone!

Woohoo! Roneilson was baptized this past Saturday! He is such a gem and so sweet and ready to start a new life! It’s funny, because usually after teaching we invite our investigator to be baptized, but during this transfer, I have never seen so many people ASKING to be baptized! Roneilson was one of those. I always feel like the people we baptize are the easiest investigators, and that I hardly did anything for them to be baptized. It has really strengthened my testimony that people have been prepared and that there are people ready and waiting to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week we were in the house of a typical “old cat lady”, and Sister Cruz asked for water. As is custom here, the lady brought out a jug with one cup to share with everyone. She poured for me first, but then something told me to let Sister Cruz drink, because she was the one that asked first. I handed it to her and, as she started to drink, I saw black chunks floating, and I saw that she had seen it too. She drank, but left a bit of water in the bottom to avoid drinking the black chunks! Then, and I couldn’t even believe this, she turned to me and offered me the water cup! I just looked at her and started laughing to let her know that I saw the chunks. The next thing she did was just unforgivable … she turned to Sister Fagundes, who wasn’t paying attention, and offered her the cup of water! I was thinking, “are you kidding me?”! Haha, I just lost it, dying laughing but trying to hold it in, and tears were streaming. Then Sister Fagundes started drinking it and then realized what was happening as she took a gulp of straight RAT POOP! Sister Fagundes was gagging herself in the street afterward, trying to throw up … it was hilarious. The moral of the story, don’t drink water in Brazil.

It was so cool this week, as our recent convert Irmao Gerry is totally becoming friends with all of our investigators and being such a great member missionary! We invited him to fast this week, and after more than 30 hours of fasting he called us and said, "Irmas I am dying of thirst, can I end my fast yet?" Haha, I was dying because it was way over the time limit, and then when we saw him again he said that his fast was the best thing he has ever done in his life; that is was marvelous! I can’t say that I have the same attitude about fasting … haha.

This week our mission president showed up at our ward unexpectedly, and participated in our Gospel Principles class. It was a really cool experience, and our investigators and recent converts were just killing it, and President said he was impressed. Our ward mission leader then tried to brag and said, "these sisters are the best President; if Satan was in Teresina, he too would be baptized!" President didn’t laugh and it was awkward, haha.

This week we have been working a lot with the members about being better member missionaries. So many of them have friends that realize that they are different, and they share the gospel through their example, which is awesome. But I can't tell you how many times during my mission I am just filled with regret for not sharing and inviting more of my friends back home. My example was good, but I could have done more. I have already written a handful of cards to my friends back in Ohio apologizing for not doing more for them. I have thought so many times that I have so many friendships and interactions with people in my life, because it was the way that Heavenly Father would give them the opportunity to come to a knowledge of the gospel. There is so much work to do, but you don’t have to go to a foreign country to start. I could have done so much more, and right now I am working to not have any regrets here. Then when I get home, I won’t have any more friends because I will just want to talk to them about the gospel and they will be annoyed with me, haha, but that is the best way that I can show my love for them. I know that we can pray for courage to share. There are always opportunities, and I have learned on my mission how to turn any conversation into a gospel principle, haha. I love you all so much … remember that we have received a commandment, and when you were baptized you made a covenant with God, to share the gospel.

Love you,

Sister Vance

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