September 12th, 2011
My week has been absolutely incredible! Monday and Tuesday were nothing really special, but it was really fun. Wednesday however, is worth writing a lot about.
That evening, we had our third lesson with our investigator, Valdery. This lesson however, was more than outstanding. Instead of treating Valdery as a teacher trying to test us, we taught him as Valdery, a Catholic fruit vendor who loves his family. Treating him like a real investigator made a huge difference. It made my companion and I love him unconditionally and when we taught him, it was a miracle.
Valdery hadn’t prayed at all yet, so we focused on how to pray and the importance of communicating directly with our Heavenly Father in a personal way. Due to the idea we got from the devotional the night before, and due to the fact that our first two lessons with him didn’t have the spirit in the meeting, my companion and I sang, “I’m a child of God” after we prayed to bring the spirit into the room (btw, the song along with the entire lesson was all in nothing but Portuguese, no big deal or anything).
Almost immediately, the spirit filled the room and set the mood for the lesson. We then proceeded with our lesson about prayer. First, my commanion and I bore testimony of how prayer has blessed our lives and how it could do the same for his. This seemed to catch his attention and make him actually focus on what we were talking about for the first time. We talked about how if you pray in a personal way, you can get a personal answer, just like Valdery’s kids would get personal attention if they asked a question.
We asked Valdery to pray for us, to which request he again refused saying that he was perfectly content with the way he prayed using the Lord’s Prayer from the Bible. We then read 3rd Nephi 18: 18-21, which expresses that God has commanded us to pray so that we can be protected from the adversary, and bore testimony about the truthfulness of the scripture and again asked him to pray.
He said he would pray, but only if we helped him if he needed, to which we replied, “Claro!” He then proceeded to give a wonderful prayer to the Lord, thanking God for his family and many blessings, as well as asking for security and health for his family, along with other things we had previously suggested.
By this time in the lesson, the Spirit of the Lord was strong, so we asked him how he felt, to which he simply replied, “Bom (good).” We however, knew that he felt more than just simply good due to the expression on his face, so we asked him what he was thinking. He said he felt peace and good feelings, which we told him was the Holy Ghost confirming that the Lord heard his prayer.
We then bore testimony of how the spirit has helped us through our lives, and I was almost crying when I bore testimony about how the Lord has answered many of my problems through promptings from the Holy Ghost. After I finished testifying, and the spirit was almost overwhelming, my stud companion, clearly inspired, invited him to be baptized so that he could feel the Holy Ghost all the time. After a pause that seemed to take forever, he said he would prepare himself for that date we set. We thanked him, ended with a prayer, and set a return appointment so we could answer any questions he had.
Ok, so first off, yes this is a teacher at the MTC, but he was representing someone he taught from his mission, and my companion and I were the only ones who brought the spirit strong enough for him to accept the baptismal invitation. When we teach Valdery though, we feel as though we’re teaching an actual investigator, which is why it was so amazing when he made the commitment to be baptized. If this is how it will be in the field, with that kind of joy and happiness we both felt afterwards, I am more than willing to take whatever problems I need to be able to have just one more of those moments, let alone if I have multiple.
The coolest thing about the whole meeting was that my companion and I taught as one. We were unified in the message and could back each other up whenever we didn’t know how to say something in Portuguese. Our testimonies complimented each other’s beautifully and it was a fantastic lesson.
After an experience that amazing, the rest of the week doesn’t even seem worth reporting (besides how dissappointed I was when someone told me BYU lost to Texas by 1 point hahahaha). I seemed to hit a barrier with the language and don’t seem to see much improvement, but I know that the Lord will help me even still. The only other thing worth reporting was yesterday, Sept. 11. We had a devotional dedicated to the events that happened 10 years which included watching a clip of the attack, and then watching a 30 minute performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
I hope to hear from you all!
E Eu digo estas coisas em o nomê de Jesus Cristo, nosso Salvador e Redentor. Amêm.
– Elder Finch