We went to Pinhal Novo on Wednesday this week because it was Paulo´s birthday on Thursday, so we decided to get him a little notebook for him, since he always just writes down notes on random loose sheets of paper. He is still by far one of the coolest people I have ever met and absolutely loved the notebook we gave him and the lesson on family history work. We left him with the task to go to family search and put in as many family members as he could by himself, and sure enough yesterday he showed up to church with a paper that he had printed out from familysearch with some of his family on it.
He just makes me so proud!
He also received the Priesthood yesterday, so let´s just take a moment to give 3 big shouts for Paulo because he is well on his way to the celestial kingdom.
We are currently working with another man right named Rubem. He is in his 20s and has some different ideas about life, but we were able to go pick him up for church yesterday, and what is even more exciting is that he has a family that absolutely loves us, and we are hoping to start teaching them along with him!
I know I have talked a little bit here and there about Alfredo, but he is honestly one of the most incredible people I have ever met before. I think I have explained his situation somewhat, but to review a little bit: He is here in Portugal living with his daughter as he is treated for some of the health problems that he has, but his wife and other daughter are back in Guiné. When he told his wife that he had found a religion here in Portugal that he believed to be true, his wife told him that she would seperate from him if he were ever to be baptized (this is just many of the difficult situations he has had to face), so basically it has been a constant battle to increase his faith enough in the Lord to believe that all will be well if he is baptized! He is so prepared, I can´t even believe it some times. President Tavares actually called us a couple of weeks ago to give us some advice because Sister Lacey and I just weren´t too sure what else we could do, and his advice was this:
STRENGTHEN HIS FAITH.
So for the past 3+ weeks we have solely been talking about faith with him. We have had some incredible lessons with him. Some of the most powerful lessons that I have experienced here on the mission, and it has been so hard to see him come to church every week and have that desire to be baptized, but at the same time have the fear that he might jeopardize his family to become a member. It is a tough situation, and at times I have thought, "he has reason", or "Maybe now is not the right time" but as I have continued to study and learn about faith I don´t have a doubt that now is the right time and that the Lord will bless him if he just exercises his faith and is baptized.
Last night we had another lesson with him. We again talked about faith- about the brother of Jared and we were able to teach with our branch president. I can´t even explain what happened, but after 3+ months of continually inviting this man to be baptized, it was like he finally understood. We invited him to say a good heartfelt prayer last night and to ask with all the sincerity he could muster if he should be baptized and that if he got an answer, that he would agree to be baptized this sunday.
I have never been so sure that this man would get the answer he needs. I knew from that moment that he would be baptized this coming sunday.
Well, he called this morning, and said that he just had a few a doubts and questions that he wanted to talk to President Luis about, but then he would for sure make a decision. So he will be talking to him this afternoon, and by tonight we will know if we will be having a baptism this Sunday, but I already know the answer to that.
Deus é grande. I know he is looking out for us and helping us at every step we take in life. He lives and he loves us so much.
I hope you all have an incredible week. Love you all so much.
Paz e Bênçãos.