Monday, June 6, 2016

There can be miracles... when members of the Seventy visit, and when you believe

Sometimes Sister Rasmussen and I like to think back on our missions and pick out our top three days, and yesterday, Mindelo Stake Conference Sunday, made it into my top three. 

On a mission, all your hard work throughout the week eithers pays up on Sunday or not, depending on who comes to church; because in order to have progressing investigators, they have to come to church! So let me tell you about church yesterday during Mindelo´s Stake Conference with Elder David P. Holmes from the seventy presiding. 
Elder Holmes
We left home an hour early to pick people up like usual, and it´s always a surprise as to who will actually come with us and who won´t answer the door....
Adeilson (Kedi´s dad) usually requires a few hard doorknocks and shout-outs, but yesterday he was up and getting ready to go! He came to church and will be getting baptized next Saturday. Miracle. And what was even better, his brother Jeorge decided he was coming with us too! We love when Jeorge sits in on our visits with us but never thought he would progress. However several Sundays ago we ran into him in the streets (slightly drunk) and asked him why he didn´t come to church, he pulled out his earrings, gave them to me, and said, "Here keep these and next week I´ll pick them up at church." Well he´s a few weeks late but followed through! He was only planning on staying for an hour to get his earrings back, but ended up staying for the whole conference and told us afterwards he doesn´t want to wear his earrings anymore, he wants to keep coming to church and change his life around. Miracle.
Sister Rasmussen and I were on cloud nine walking into conference with Adielson and Jeorge, and then to make things even better, sitting in the row in front of us was... Steven! Alright let me tell you about Steven.

As I was emailing you all last week Steven was sitting in the chair next to me and we started talking about the church. Before hitting send on my home email I had marked him for baptism on the 18th of June (so if my email home last week was a little spacey... Steven would be why). He´s super intelligent with a lot of questions, but he has a real desire to know, and we met with him almost every day last week (which was the highlight of our day, Steven is our favorite investigator right now). However, we were slightly worried that he was just enjoying the religious discussions and didn´t plan to act on any of our teachings. While emailing last week, he had told me he had a huge party Saturday night with alcohol and so church on Sunday would be a struggle. However, sitting in the row in front of us, was Steven. He made the effort to get up early after his late night party and come to church. Miracle. 
Riding cloud ten at this point (that can be a thing right?), I start scanning the filled to capacity church building to see who else is present, and wouldn´t you know it, Valter from Santo Antao is waving to get my attention. He came down for conference because he was going to receive the Melquezidic (spell check!) Priesthood. How exciting! 
Also, waving off to the side was Sister and Elder Carnell from Praia, our favorite couple missionaries! They went out with us last night for a FHE at a member´s home, and it was just like old times in Palmarejo.
And then, when we thought it couldn´t get any better, we look to our right, and there taking up quasi the entire row, is our new family of investigators - the entire family, all at church together. Big. Fat. Miracle. This past week we were out in our far area that looks like Arizona and accidently knocked on the wrong door, but a teenage girl invited us in and we ended up sitting with her entire family (mom, dad, brother, baby sister) and teaching the first lesson. We invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and then to attend church on Sunday, because that´s what we always do after the first lesson. However never ever do you have investigators respond so immediately to your invite, and each member of this family prayed about the Book of Mormon, felt something good, and walked all the way to the church building for Conference, as a family. And just to put this miracle in perspective, this was the first time I have ever had a whole family (mom, dad, and kids) come to church together as investigators. Miracle.
So... needless to say church yesterday was one of the best. We heard Elder Homer of the seventy speak and all of our investigators (nine in total) felt something special. There will be miracle baptisms following, I can feel it!

Love you all!
Sister Hanzel

MaryBelle (very helpful member),Carlos, us, Adeilson, Jeorge, Steven