We saw some amazing miracles and some strong opposition this week in Setubal. Sister Ditton and I have been working super hard, and because of that we have seen Satan working even harder against us, but we have also seen more miracles than ever.
The youth in our ward had their yearly camp this week, and we were invited out to give the spiritual messages a few days in a row. Their camp consisted basically of just all the youth camping, playing on the beach, and dancing to music......nothing super spiritual at all, so it was neat for us to be able to add another dimension to the camp. The best part about it was that out of the 30 youth that were there, I think about half of them were either less active or nonmembers. I am going to be completely serious and say that we have quite a few punk youth in our ward, but then we have this group of angel jovens that reminds me of the 2000 stripling warriors because they are so incredible!
I will talk about 2 youth specifically that are absolutely incredible- Alexandre and Simão.
First of all Alexandre is one of the coolest young men I have yet to meet here in Portugal. He is already an incredible missionary and is only 16 years old. At this camp he had 2 friends who are recent converts (Simão and Fabricio), he also had his girlfriend there who was not a member, invited another nonmember friend, and also Fabricio was there with 2 nonmember friends. So just because of this one young man there were about 6 other people there.
We went out to their camp on Friday morning and did an activity with them. We decided to do the activity about the atonement and the doughnuts. We had a great big giant box with 36 doughnuts, and all 30 of the youth were there. We actually asked Alexandre if he could do the pushups. (Keep in mind that Alexandre is a pretty skinny dude that said that his max amount of pushups was 40.....I can do better than that, but I didn´t tell that to his face) I think all of you already know this story, so I won´t explain, but I went down the line and started asking every person if they would like a doughnut. For every answer of no or yes, I asked Alexandre to do 3 pushups. He hadn´t even gotten through half of the people and I could see that he was already getting super tired and weak. At one point he was starting to collapse and I honestly didn´t know how he was going to make it through the other 15 people.
I have done this activity before, but I have never been the one giving out the doughnuts, so this time gave me a whole different perspective on how Heavenly Father must have felt as he watched his son suffer for all of our sins.
But by far the most spiritual part was when Simão (Alexandres friend and recent convert) got up without being asked, went over by alexandre´s side and started doing pushups with him. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences I have seen on the mission. Almost instantly Alexandre got more strength- I still don´t know how or from where, but he was able to do the 90+ pushups.
I think it was definitely a touching moment for a lot of the youth.
I wish I had time to tell you everything that happened this week, because we honestly saw so many miracles!!! Including marking a lady named Maria for Baptism! She is such a cool lady, and she came to church with us this Sunday. She told us beforehand that she was really nervous to go to all 3 hours of church because she doesn´t do well sitting down for very long, but after church she said, "I can´t believe I made it through all 3 hours! That must be a sign!"
We will be teaching her tonight, so I will probably tell you more about her next week, but she does smoke, so if you could all pray for her this week, I would really appreciate it.
I am extremely grateful for the miracles that I witnessed this week. I know God is looking out for us, and helps us in each step of this work.
Talk to Mason for me. #jealous.
Paz e Bênçãos.