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Semana 58 Leap Day!

By 8:59 AM

Olá todo mundo,

Happy Leap Day!! And I get to spend this weird holiday on the mission. Wohoo :)

So this week was yet another sprint race but Satan put a brick wall inches before the finish line... However the Spirit was ever present and God´s work is still moving forward here! 

This week we got to go on splits with the sisters in our district - and I got to spend the day with Sister Ventura! It was exactly what us 4 needed to reenergize our work and give us more gas in these last weeks of the transfer. 

Sister Muria and I have had a lot of extremely spiritual lessons this transfer together - the kind that leave you breathless and feel your mantle and calling as MISSIONARY take complete control of your words and reprehend the wicked and touch the hearts of the meek. This week we ran into a leader of the church Assembleia de Deus, and before we knew it were wrappped into the ever avoided "Bible Bash" (which yes, happens frequently but we avoid it because the Spirit can´t be present when someone isn´t willing to listen to what you have to say). After trying to listen to this guy and direct the conversation to restored gospel principles, he finally told us to never come back and denied the fact that God prepared the Book of Mormon for us in our day and that it couldn´t be scripture. That lit my fire, and I cut him off and bore the purest, truest testimony to him with all the power and conviction I could muster that God called a prophet in these Latter-Days, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that His church was restored upon the earth. The room went silent as I reprimanded him for being ignorant to what he knew to be true. And the Spirit testified so powerfully in that moment that my own testimony was strengthened! I didn´t even realize what I was saying until I had finished. Even though he sent us out of his house, I knew that he knew what I was saying is true.

So yesterday was one of the saddest days of this transfer... Cleberton dissappeared the first few days of this week, and we found him on thursday and had one of the most beautiful lessons with him about repentance. As he shed bitter tears of Godly sorrow in front of us, I had flashbacks to times in my own life when I had felt the same way. But I knew the happiness that was waiting for him on the other side! He told us, "never give up on me. I know now more than ever that this is the path that I must follow. I need spiritual strength because I´m not strong enough to do this alone." We were so happy to hear that from him, in preparation for his baptism yesterday. He passed his interview with flying colors. But when saturday came around, he dissappeared again. Sunday morning we spent a half hour looking for him around the neighborhood, but no one had seen him. Sunday night we returned, and heard notice that he had badly relapsed into some of his old addictions. We were so sad. Not angry at him for what he had done, but sad that the adversary is working SO hard against him. This has never happened with an investigator on my mission before, but I know it is because of the huge potential and testimony of the gospel that he has, that Satan is doing EVERYTHING to make him fall and to impede his baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. But we can´t give up on him now, nor will we. The Savior hasn´t given up and never will. Please pray for Cleberton that he can find the inner strength to overcome these weakenesses and the temptations of the adversary so that he can enter the waters of baptism like he deserves! 

Sunday we had the opportunity to bring a woman to church named Carla (who´s in the pictures of us and our walk home from church). She absolutely loved church and felt the Spirit so strongly testifying to her that it was all true that she said she would come every single week. We will hopefully see her baptized this week.

At church we sang "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet", and the words had never touched me so powerfully as they did yesterday. They reflect my testimony perfectly.

1. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
And love to obey thy command.
2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that deliv'rance is nigh.
We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
We've proved him in days that are past.
The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last.
3. We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We'll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.
I have never been more grateful to serve the Lord as a missionary, declaring His restored gospel. I know this is the ONLY path we can follow to return to His presence. Dad has commented that lots of people back home are following and reading these emails, and I wanted to share my gratitude to everyone for your love, support, and prayers. I decided before the mission that I would share these weekly experiences as part of my testimony and own missionary work at home, that I could maybe touch lives through my experiences and what I have to say. I remember what Christ told the Nephites in the Americas in 3 Nephi 27:25-26, 

25  For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them shall their works be known unto men.

 26 And behold, all things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.

I want all to know of my testimony. I know He lives. I know this is His kingdom on earth. I know that we have a prophet that lives and guides us today, that he receives modern day revelation. I know that through our faith and repentance we can make covenants with God and return to His presence. This life is our test that will determine our eternity.
I love you guys, and talk to you all next week!

Sister Brown

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