This week was progressive in regards to working with the members. We were able to go out almost nightly with a different member to work around the city. Most of them have cars, which helps a great deal. What comes most in handy are their testimonies and their willingness to help our investigators. There was one night this week we went to visit a guy named Ricardo with a member/returned missionary named Rafael. As they got to talking they realized they work at the same bank (Banco de Brasilia), only Rafael is quite a bit "higher up". I was touched as I heard an executive in a business humbly teach and bear his testimony out of genuine love for the Gospel to a man considered much lower on the ladder. Rafael offered a ride to Church, which Ricardo gratefully accepted. Then, on Sunday, seeing them sit together at Church, I knew that this was the way the Lord wanted the work to be done.
That night, we were offered a chance to speak at a little Church near our house. The lady pastor stopped us on the road and invited us to come by at 7:30. We went, and when she invited us to come up and speak we taught about the history of prophets God has called leading up to today. We asked the pastor lady to read Amos 3:7 for us. When we asked her what she got from that scripture, she took a moment to think, and then replied, "gloria hallelujah". We asked her again what she learned, and she read the scripture one more time, said "gloria hallelujah" again and then after a moment said, "I believe the word of God is inspired of God". There are no doubts, family, we are in the right church. James 1:5 was equally as misinterpreted and poorly understood.
In the end, pastor lady ended up not liking our message very much. We did indeed bear testimony of the Prophet Joseph, of God's pattern of calling prophets throughout history and the necessity of having a prophet on the earth in order to have revelation, authority, and therefore, the true church, in accordance with the teachings of the Bible. We gave pamphlets about the Restoration to everyone there and that really frustrated her. I've never heard so many "hallelujahs" coming from a clearly angry person in all my life. We got the address of a girl who was sitting in the front who is interested in learning more.
I'm fully convinced that if we get everyone integrated with the members here we will very soon have many baptisms. We had a meeting with the branch president on Wednesday where we presented our ideas to help the branch grow and he really liked all of them. It made me happy to see the branch president happy. We should always do what we can to make the bishop/branch president's life a little easier. We've likewise gained the trust of the counselors in the branch presidency, the Quorum president, and several other members who want to help and are excited about the future of the Church here. I'm excited too.
OK now the annoying asking for stuff part. I have bad news: I lost my camera. This means I lost about 7 months worth of pictures. I'm really sad, but I'll try to find something to learn from it. I guess I'm glad that there is really no means of chronically my hair loss now. I need to ask for a new camera still. As soon as possible, please send me a cheap little digital camera that I can just use for the last three months of the mission. I would like to at least be able to take pictures of my last few weeks and my last day. You could even send me the Leika that I got for Christmas before I left, if anyone remembers where it is. The only thing is I'm not sure where the USB cord is at. I don't necessarily need that, but I just wouldn't be able to send any pictures home. I mean I can always use my companion's cameras for that. Whatever is easier for you guys. Sorry, I hate asking for things.
Worry not, Momma. Soon enough all your kids will be living in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I love you, family.