Monday, March 24, 2014

MISSAÓ BRASIL BELÉM, MISSÃO de MILAGRES

Belém Brazil Mission, Mission of Miracles

I learned many things this week. One of which was that my mission, Brazil Belém, is a mission of miracles. I had some experiences that I will never forget and will always treasure. I hope that you all can feel, through the words in this email, the same spirit of peace and wonder that I felt as I saw miracles happen.


Elder Barros and I were planning and praying about how we could continue to baptize every week (which is the goal of the mission). We had several people with potential, but none of them seemed very likely for this Saturday.


On Thursday, we had planned with the members in Salinas to have a Family Home Evening with everybody together in order to get an idea of how many people would attend church. We left around 6 am and arrived around 9 am. We went first to Irmão R, a solid member who volunteered to provide lunch and always helps us make visits and get to know the area. This shows mighty faith on his part, because he works every night from 10pm to 6am as a security guard. The other times he helped us, he went without sleep for that day. This last Thursday, he did the same thing.


As we were having lunch, he mentioned that he had shared the gospel briefly with his 23 year old nephew that lived on the other side of Salinas. We planned to visit him right after lunch.


As we left the house, it started to rain. Hard. The nephew of R, named A, lived about 20 minutes walking distance. We took about 30 to get there because we constantly had to take cover from the torrents of rain. I was the only one that had an umbrella. In the end, we were pretty soaked when we got to A's house. We almost turned back several times, but felt that we should continue in the rain.


Finally, we arrived at A's house. He was practically waiting for us, standing at the door and smiling. He greeted us and let us in quickly to escape the rain. We sat down and explained who we were - missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. At that moment, the Spirit entered the room very strongly. Everybody was solemn and silent as A recounted an experience that he knew was sent from God. The day before, he was in a tough situation with his family. Things were difficult personally and religiously for him that night, and he asked God to show him what he needed to do. He asked that he could receive answers to his questions and divine help. 


That same night he had a very vivid dream. The details of the dream are personal, but I was given permission to share some of the things that he received. In the dream, he spoke with an angel. The angel told him specifically that the things his uncle R. had told him were true, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was the only true church on the earth. In the dream, he sat down and 3 men in suits put their hands on his head. The angel put his hands as well and said to accelerate the work of salvation.


After he recounted this experience, we asked him if he believed this dream to be an answer from God to his prayers. He replied affirmatively.


We asked him if he was willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ, being baptized by someone with authority. He said yes.


In this moment, we felt strongly to invite him for baptism this Saturday, on the 22nd of March. However, he had never gone to Church and would not be able to attend for 2 weeks due to the conditions in Salinas. There were rules, standards for baptism. He had to be living the commandments and Saturday was in 3 days! The font was in Capanema and there was no way to transport him there and back on Saturday. How could we invite him for baptism this Saturday when he had heard the name of the church only once before in his life?


But laying all of this aside, we invited him for baptism that Saturday and he accepted.


That night and the next day, we worked to organize everything. To see if it was even possible to do this. We talked with our Zone Leaders, our Bishop, and with President Scisci. Everything was authorized.
Baptism of A.  I'm the tall guy in white.
On Saturday morning we woke up at 5 o'clock am to get to Salinas. At 8 am A was interviewed by the Bishop and found worthy. At 8:30 we started the service at R's house and at 9 am we traveled to the beaches of Salinas to baptize A. It was one of my greatest pleasures to walk into the ocean and baptize A in the midst of the salty waves.


A miraculous baptism!

And the Spirit testified to us again of these things as I put my hands on his head with my companion and the Bishop and A received the Holy Ghost.
The beaches of Salinas
I know that miracles are real. They happen in our days. I know that Jesus is our savior and he works through His church in these Latter Days.


Called to Serve,

Elder Gale



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