This week we had splits, so I went to Guaranhuns one day with the Sister Training Leaders. We also had stake conference in Caruaru. It’s an hour away, so this week was pretty crazy because we were following up with a lot of people about whether they could go, how it would be, etc. There were a lot of people who we hoped would go that didn’t make it, but we had a couple of very special people who did.
We have one investigator, call him “Tiago,” who is older and likes to talk a lot about his life. In the contact we did with him we weren’t sure if he was really interested in learning or not, but he accepted a baptismal date (in the middle of the road!) so we went back to visit him. Lots of times we aren’t sure if he is paying attention or really interested, but then there are moments that we can see him progressing a lot. This week we were at stake conference with him and the stake president gave a talk about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon every day. (See President Monson’s last talk about the Book of Mormonhere) I was inwardly very excited about this talk because we always tell this to our investigators but sometimes they need a second witness for the importance of the Book of Mormon to sink in. After the conference Tiago mentioned the talk and said “I am going to read this book at morning and at night every day!” That was a very special moment.
I also wanted to share a story about a woman who went to church this week, call her “Natália.” She had been less active for years, and hadn’t been to church in quite a while. But her son’s girlfriend, call her “Giovana,” is a member of the church. She always invites Natália and her grandchildren who live with her to church, but they pretty much never went. One day Giovana invited Natália to church. When Natália said she couldn’t go because she had to make lunch, Giovana didn’t give up. She helped her make lunch and helped Natália until all of her housework was done. They showed up at church quite late, but they made it. Natália felt a really strong feeling of peace and comfort, like the church was where she ought to be. After the church meetings, Natália found out that one of her children had died. Her family members were worried that this would devastate her. But Natália told us that because of the peaceful feeling she had from church, she knew that everything would be okay.
Later we taught her granddaughter the Restoration. When we told about Joseph Smith’s first vision, Natália felt a prompting from the spirit that the feeling she had at church was like a first vision for her — an answer to prayer and a witness that the church was true. Now she goes to church every week, and her granddaughter is progressing towards baptism!
I know all of us can have spiritual experiences like Natália´s. Sometimes we have to be in the right place to recognize the promptings of the spirit — it was only once she went to church, after so many years of inactivity, that she received an answer! We can also receive answers through the Book of Mormon, as President Monson promised in his talk, and through prayer. It is so special to be here on a mission seeing people receiving answers to their prayers.