Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 10, 2010

Wow! It was really great to hear from y'all this week. It sounds like everything is going great. It is crazy to hear about the family all growing up. I can't believe Hannah and Steve are almost graduating. Max, the little kid me and Sonny used to pick on is growing and his voice probably changed already. All of my brothers and sisters are getting married and having kids and I am out on my mission. It is crazy growing up. I still get weirded out sometimes when I stop and think, "wait, I'm on my mission."

Anyways, this week was better. A LOT better. We didn't knock quite so many doors, and actually had a decent amount of lessons. All of that door knocking is finally paying off, and we are seeing the fruits of our labors. We have about 4 progressing investigators right now. We are still working with Claudia. She isn't really progressing a whole lot. But she said she would pray to know if she should be baptized. She already prays every night, but is Catholic, and doesn't feel good about being baptized again. We are teaching another guy Edgar, from Guiné-Bissau. He is this big african dude. He is way cool and says he always likes hearing "the word." He is also Catholic, but says he will read in the Book of Mormon (even though he hasn't yet) and pray (even though he hasn't yet.) He is really busy with driving school, but he said in about 2 weeks he will have more time. We are also teaching this kid that is about our age named Júnior. He is way cool, and wants to know how to have more happiness in his family. He has a lot of good questions. I think he will progress too.

We also found this lady named Margarita. When we found her, it was incredible! We were kinda just walking around knocking some doors, and decided to pass by this young woman's house named Fátima, who said we could come back another day (the usual response.) We knocked on the door, and this older lady answered. She told us that Fátima wasn't home, so we told her who we were. We told her that we are here to help people grow faith in Jesus Christ. She kinda rolled her eyes and said "o que é fé?" or "what is faith?" We started talking, and found out that she is Catholic, but non-practicing, and that she doesn't really believe in God anymore. We talked to her about the importance of faith. We offered to say a prayer, and we promised her that she would feel something different during the prayer, such as peace, or happiness, and that if she felt something like that, that she would know that God exists. I knew we would feel something, and as I said the prayer, we all felt the Spirit really strong. Probably the strongest I ever have. It was incredible. Before the prayer, she seemed sort of annoyed at us, but when I ended the prayer, I looked up, and she was smiling. We all kind of just looked at eachother, and let the feeling soak in. None of us said anything for about 1 minute. And then we finally asked her how she felt. She said she felt really peaceful, and we testified that it was the Holy Ghost. We asked her if she had any questions, and she said "who are you guys?!" It was one of the best experiences that I have had on the mission so far. We couldn't go into her house because there wasn't another man in the house, but we talked to her at her door, and briefly explained the restoration. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and left Alma 32 with her, that talks about the seed of faith. She let us come back a few days later, and we brought another man with us, one of our members. We explained the restoration in more detail, and invited her to keep reading and to pray. She is still having a difficult time accepting God into her life again. The last time we taught her was on Thursday. We invited her to come to church, and she said that if she wanted to go she would go. She wouldn't let us mark another visit until tomorrow. I am hoping she has prayed and read. She didn't want us calling either. It's really funny. She is a tough cookie. But there is no way that any of us can deny what we felt. We still want to take it easy with her, but I am sure she will progress.

Anyways, it was really awesome. We have taught a lot of other people just once. It is usually harder getting a second visit, because after the first, they know who you are. So we are working to get second visits with a lot of people. But we are doing a lot better, and the work is finally picking up.

That is really awesome that you are treating one of your converts now dad. I don't know if I ever knew about him. That is so cool. I bet that is really awesome to see somebody that you brought to a knowledge of the gospel 30 years later. I hope somebody that I baptize names their kid after me! Ha ha. I can't imagine anyone here would. Everytime I tell somebody my first name, they can't pronounce it. They all say "gweg." I have to tell them that my name in portuguese is "gregório."

Well, the mission is full of awesome experiences like that. Miracles happen all the time, especially when we are being obedient, and diligent. I am still working to do better, and have room for a lot of improvement. But I have learned a lot... mostly from mistakes. I am loving the mission and want to continue to grow.

I don't really know what else to say. I just feel really blessed to be out here on my mission and to have the knowledge that I have about the gospel and for the testimony that I have. Thanks for all of your support and for your example. Thanks for the update. I love you guys! Tchau!

Elder Walker

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