This week was good. We managed to teach first lessons to more investigators this week and our church attendance was better than last week — São João winding down definitely helped. People celebrate São João the entire month of June. There are three different saints who have special days — Anthony, John and Peter. All three are celebrated — and people celebrate the day before as well as the day of and sometimes the day after! We really need to find more people to mark for baptism, but we are making plans for this week so hopefully that can happen. Arthur went almost four days without smoking! A miracle. Then he had some problems and his baptism didn’t work out, but we re-marked him for this Saturday.
On Saturday he was very different — he smoked three cigarettes and was depressed. He didn’t think he could manage to change. We tried all sorts of things to help him but it didn’t work very well. He was tired of not seeing his friends for a while and said he thought it would be a good idea to test himself by going to a party with lots of temptations and seeing if he broke commandments or not! He would go that evening after the ward June fest party. We were worried about the ward party, because as missionaries we couldn’t attend. We were worried he would be all alone — we asked members to stick with him but weren’t sure if it would work. But I was hoping and praying he would go to the ward party and then choose not to go to the other party afterwards. He went to the party and enjoyed it so much that everyone in the ward commented on how he enjoyed himself. Then he didn’t go to his friends’ party! Another miracle.
This week we had a little miracle in the middle of a not-very-productive contact. I thought the people didn’t look like people who would have a lot of potential but felt like we ought to talk to them anyway. They really didn’t have potential but in the middle of the contact, someone else walking down the street heard the contact. They asked us if we would visit them and said they had been looking for missionaries that could stop by! I am excited to visit them and our other contacts this week!
The other thing that happened this week was interviews. I thought that since we live in Recife we would waste a lot less time going to interviews than when I was in other areas. Turns out that that isn’t necessarily the case! We live much closer to the mission office, but there is so much traffic and the busses have very complicated routes sometimes, so even though we live in the same city and there were fewer people being interviewed (fewer opportunities for the interviews to run super late) we still ended up spending a looot of time not working that day— the whole day. But we did have time to do our studies and eat lunch and visit Arthur. I thought that it was pretty funny that it took so long even in Recife! But I don’t mind talking to the people at the mission office — they are all pretty great! I
also spent a little longer there because I had to sign something to get my identity card to show that I’m here legally. It’s pretty funny — we went to the office one day the other week to do Sister Sousa’s paperwork. They forgot I had to sign my paperwork too, so we went back the next day. But the courier did the paperwork wrong, so I had to re-sign it during interviews! But I was already there for interviews so it didn’t take too much more time. It’s good I’m not still in Gravatá or Palmares! I don´t know if the missionaries there have to travel to the mission office to do this paperwork, but if so it must take a lot of time. We will probably have splits this week. That at least should be a lot less time consuming. It will be very strange to spend less than an hour going to another area instead of the four hours it takes from Palmares or two and a half from Gravatá!
Scripture thought — 1 Peter 1 is pretty awesome. I had heard parts of it before but read it more carefully recently:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: