Monday, August 19, 2013

Daddy Legends

 Good news, everyone: I can finally tell stories in Português and people understand them! :D  This was discovered this past week when I briefly told the story of dad getting knifed on his mission to Sister Mártir and Leonardo (our member friend who helps us teach a lot) and they were so impressed that a few nights later they brought it up again and begged me to tell it to a group of shirtless boys on the street.
    "Hey, tell that story about your dad!" Leonardo begged. And then, before I could say anything, he animatedly began to tell the story himself. "Her dad got KNIFED on his mission!"  
     Once the story had been told, the group of young men, laughing and gasping and impressed and excited, called out to other boys on the street to come hear the story. It became more and more elaborate with every telling.
     "Yeah, and her dad is this huge guy. I mean, he's a serious wrestler, I'm telling you! So he figures he's just gonna take out the scrawny runt who stole his watch." They really like the part about dad tackling the first guy (and more fist punches and martial arts moves were added in with each telling) and the hand-off of the watch to a second robber. I bid the crowd a good night before things escalated to "it was a car full of masked ninjas that drove up with samurai swords!"
      Happy Father's Day, daddy! You're officially famous here on the streets of Agua Suja. ;)
      It was father's day yesterday, right? It was here in Brasil, anyway.

   This past week was really great! We've been teaching a super golden investigator named Kiara. She's 23 years old and lives alone with her 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. We found her while knocking doors and she looked at us like angels sent from God. She said she'd undergone surgery earlier that week and had promised the Lord that she would start going to church. Then she asked for help to know which one she should join. Bing! That's when we appeared on her doorstep. She has so many questions and is so hungry to learn anything and everything about the restored gospel. She and her kids LOVED church and all last week her kids were asking her when they were going to go back. One of the most beautiful moments o my mission thus far was the day that Kiara understood what repentance really means. We'd talked about it before and she'd been confused. She didn't understand how it was possible NOT to repent. Because in Português, the word "arrependimento" is also used for "regret". She said she always regrets it when she does something wrong, so she's always following Christ, right?  We explained to her that when you truly repent, you feel so much remorse for your sins that you will truly never want to do the same wrong thing again. The sin of which you've repented will become loathsome even to think about.  
     The next day, we were really rushing to get to all of our appointments, and she wasn't home when we had time to pass by her house, so we left a little sticky note with a message and a scripture on it for her. The scripture was Alma 7:11-13, about how Christ took upon Him all of our weaknesses and infirmities so that He would know best how to succor us.  The next day when we passed by her house, she told us that she'd received an answer to her doubts, and that Jesus Christ had communicated to her through the Spirit. "It was exactly as you said it would be," she said. Then she pulled out the scripture that we'd left on the sticky note and as she read it out loud  to us, she cried and cried and hid her face with her hands. "When I read this," she said, "the Lord showed me my future-- how my life would be if I continue committing the same sins I'm committing. I saw would would happen to my children." And then she cried and cried. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life Never have I beheld one so truly repentant. 
   Kiara is truly changing her life to be in harmony with the gospel. 

I love being a missionary so much!!!!

-Sister Whitaker

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