This week will go down in history for Elder Iverson. It started with a FHE with our Recent Converts. That is always a treat.
We had a MultiZone Conference on Quinta, and Quinta was a day that also will not be forgotten. First, I saw Elder Jacobson again and it was a treat. President talked and it was very good, but what touched me the most was something that Irmão Valoim said. He talked about agency, and the fact that we have the choice. And something he said that we call it free-agency, but really it is only free agency if we choose to be free. (2 Nephi 2:27) We have to choose the right to be set free from sin, guilt, and other feelings of discomfort. So what will it be gente (people)? Let's choose to be free!!
Quinta the meeting ended at 5pm, and we left the rest of the day with our friend (Daniel Damiani who is preparing to serve in Scottsdale, AZ in May) teaching people. We had two lessons that really struck home with me. The first is with a new investigator that we are teaching Beatriz(40) and Elizabeth(7). This was the second lesson that we shared with them, and it was one that was awesome, I would like to send a quick shoutout to Janna Wallace for the Plan Of Salvation she sent me, used it in this lesson, and Beatriz loved it so much, that she took a picture, and said I will study this, and I want to help my mom, and aunts, and grandmas. It was an experience for sure. We invited her to be baptized in the coming weeks, and she accepted, and said that she would go to church (unfortunately she didn't come).
Then we had a meeting with Maria and Guilherme. Who called in a panic Quarta (Wednesday) and said that doubts had arisen, and that people were saying garbage to them. We had a lesson via cellphone on Quarta :) When we passed on Quinta (Thursday) she was a little bit of a mess. She talked to us that she was thinking it was too soon, and that it wasn’t the right time. Stuff like that. So, we (The Comforting Crew) helped Maria feel that baptism on Sat is right. I was able to use examples from the past (for example. I compared it to me when I was playing soccer. I knew what I needed to do, and the objective was clear. But what happens, we get down to crunch time and the mind starts to go nuts. Everything that we know by heart, and is natural we start to doubt, the pressure makes us lose our heads.) And the same thing is happening with them. They were 3 days away from the baptism and the brain was going nuts. We talked to them about the temptations of satan, and that he was trying harder now that the baptism as so close. I also gave them the comfort that God knows how strong they are, and so he is letting them be tested, the only thing we need to do, is remain strong. This brought comfort, and still there was doubt, we shared testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and finished with something awesome. We asked Maria to ponder a little on the things she feels, and to pour out her heart to God in a prayer. We bowed our heads, and 30 seconds later Maria started to pray. She got about 20 seconds into the prayer, and started to ball.. She was crying and talking to Heavenly Father so tenderly, that it was a spiritual overflow. She balled and finished the Prayer. I said thank you, that was the most tender, and loving prayer that I have heard offered. We said another prayer Elder Corrêa said it and left. The spirit was so strong, and what an experience. For sure a testimony builder.
Friday we had 3 interviews, and all three of them passed!!!!!! Maria on Friday said that she was ready, that it really was the nerves that got to her.
So we then start on Saturday. We had the great experience to eat with Elder and Sister Swenson in the churrascaria (steak house) in our area. The food was great (and expensive R$530) but the company was better. It was a nice time to chat with them.
Then we had the baptism in the night. It was good, we got to the church at 6:30 (baptism at 7) and the font was not even 1/4 of the way full....... Crap....... so we grabbed buckets, and a hose and started to fill the font, all went well and we finished filling it at 7:30 which was the time that the deal started. (so yes mom it is custom that nothing starts on time) what didn't help was that there was a meeting of institute in the chapel. There was 500 YSA there...... and wow... it was a mess to start, but once the meeting started all went well. (The meeting started so fast, that we couldn't take pictures before ;( ) but all is well.
The baptism was great, I got to baptize Russel. He is from Paraguay. He is the husband of a member, and was really excited to get baptized. The baptisms were spiritual, and we had a lot of people there. With 4 people being baptized the 5th will be this week. We had a lot of help. The event went smoothly and we had other investigators there: Maria and Victoria (more to come on them). With the baptisms we slept well.
Then Sunday. We had the classes like normal and Guilherme came in a white shirt and tie :) and all was well, we kind of slacked off and forgot to tell them that they choose who will confirm them. Maria and Guilherme choose me, and Russel Elder Corrêa. I was scared to death. I have never done this is English let alone Port.!!! I was only really nervous. But I will let you know that it all went smoothly. The ordinance was perfect, and I only was nervous for the first part, it flowed after the start :) Wow what a rush.
Then we talked with Lourdes her dad is from Italy. And he was explaining how he likes to go to the park down the street, and it turns out the 90 year old was a little lost :) haha the park is in Italy. haha then we got to talk to Maria and Victoria. The neighbors of Maria who was baptized. It is a mom and daughter who lost their dad. Victoria at the baptism on Sat asked " I can be baptized?" and we talked about the Authority to baptize. They like it. They will be baptized in the coming weeks also. :) WOW!!!!! Things are changing here in Morumbi :) I Love the work, and it s weird to think of the time that has already passed.
Much love to everyone. Keep strong. Elder Iverson