I have to say that Conceicao (our recent convert of a few weeks) is the absolute joy of my life. She and her daughter, Debora (which is not an ugly name in Portuguese), are what I think of when I need peace. I was thinking about them as I was lying in bed on Sunday night and I was just completely overcome with joy. I could have cried. Earlier that day Conceicao was sustained and set apart as Second Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency of our Branch. She mentioned when we visited her a little while later that at first she was terrified but then felt peace and is really excited now, and anxious to magnify her calling. We taught a little bit about how callings work (as I've learned a few things about that here) and that helped her to feel even stronger. I feel like Ammon when he returned home from his something like 14 year-long mission and started freaking out because of the miracles he'd seen. I only boast of the Glory of God, and will continue to do so. However, for as happy as I get, my mind continually returns to that scripture in the D&C that says "how great would be your joy if you bring MANY souls unto Christ" or something like that. I want that. I don't want to be satisfied with just Conceicao in this area. I want to be able to look back on Arapoangas and think of many, many people in the same way I think of Conceicao.
There are certainly those who we've helped a lot, who we've even seen miracles with, but who haven't been able to be baptized for now because they aren't married. For these things I still have incredible joy. I've had a man tell me that he has three goals in his life: the first to get married, second to join the Church, and the third he hasn't told me yet. I've seen another man stand and bear his testimony in front of the Church declaring with tears in his eyes that he will be baptized in the Church at the very moment he is able to. There are a lot of problems with legal marriage here. It's not the same as it is in the States. But basically any honest person that is willing to change their life and that goes to Church eventually becomes converted, whether they can make covenants or not. I trust the Lord will provide a way for all of these people soon.
So that's all I wanted to say this week. Just that I'm happy because I can say that I've seen miracles. Pray together with me and my companion that the elects will be illuminated for us in our area so that we can find them and see even more of these wonderful miracles and I can keep freaking out with JOY!!!