Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A White Christmas

White with baptismal clothing that is.  On the first day after Christmas, the Savior gave to us, four baptisms! This is in addition to the three we had last week.  Our recent convert Dulce, who was one of the individuals baptized last week, gave the first talk at the baptism service this week and she rocked it! I was sitting right in front of President Mathews for the service and before it began I told him we were all nervous for her because she was just baptized and didn't like to speak in front of people... but when she finished I heard him turn to his family and other people that were there with him and whisper, "She was baptized just last week!" Dulce and Telma are going to be amazing members of the church.

The work in this ward and area is really booming right now. We've had over ten investigators in church every week this transfer - the mission average is about four.  I love our Bishop and our ward, our recent converts are going to be will looked after.  It would be just fine with me if I stayed in this area with Sister Rasmussen for the rest of my mission. 
Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!

Sister Hanzel

Baptisms this week
Baptisms last week

Praia Zone Christmas Party

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hugo's Baptism and the Best Engagement Ever!

Hugo's Baptism

Hugo was baptized and confirmed a member of the church this past weekend! He really is amazing, here is his story...
I had felt the impression to contact his house with Sister Cerqueira, so we did. We marked a date to come back and visit his brothers but it fell through twice. So we left them for the time being. In the middle of last transfer with Sister Larsen I had the thought to revisit that house, that same day the Mont Vermelho Sisters called because they wanted to show us a reference's house. We met up with them and it turns out it was their house! They had taught Hugo's brothers the first lesson and then found out they lived in our area so they passed them on to us. We again marked a date to return (with the Carnell's) but when we came back it was Hugo who answered the door and sat with us. 
The Sunday before Hugo's baptism Sister Rasmussen and I were updating our area book and we flipped to the former investigator section to add some names. There sitting on top of the former investigator pile was a paper I had pulled out from that section several months earlier because I had the distinct impression to revisit that paper and recontact that person. I had forgotten about it with everything else we did that weekly planning session, but when I reread the paper with Sister Rasmussen, imagine my surprise when the name and description was our Hugo. He had been taught by Sisters in 2014 but they had left him when we stopped progressing, however the bottom of the paper said, "Visit him again, he has great potential." And so the rest is history. Heavenly Father had been preparing him and he was baptized less than a month later by Elder Carnell, which was sweet for all of us.
This week we also had 12 investigators and 7 less actives at church! My best before that was 7 investigators at church, but what was even better was that was that it was our less actives who brought our investigators! Hallelujah! Anyone who is a returned missionary will understand what a miracle that is. Being with Sister Rasmussen is such an exhausting blast. 
Also, Daisy and Valdo finally came to church this week, and last night (with lots and lots of planning and practicing on our part) we were able to get those two lovebirds engaged with the help of the story of Jacob and Rachel in the Bible and a dollar fifty Vegas style ring we had bought in a Chinese store. 
Daisy and Valdo get engaged

Well! I love you all. Have a great week!
Sister Hanzel