This week was a wee bit hard here in Embaré. We talked to a lot of people (although not as many as we should have) and a lot of appointments fell through and my companion was getting very disheartened. She said "We are talking to so many people and no one wants to listen. We marked a lot of appointmetns, but when we get there, they aren´t home. We are tired and it´s hard to keep going. We are doing so much, but nothing is happening." She is a little newer as a missionary and a recent convert too. I explained to her that sometimes we are going to have very very hard days, weeks, months or even years, but Heavenly Father is watching out for us. He knows we are doing hard work. He knows we´re tired, but He also knows how strong we are, and with Him, we are unstoppable. She gave a little smile and we kept walking.
|Intermediate English Class|
with Sister Arthur
The next day we had english class. We got there super early, hoping that someone would come early and want to hear about the gospel, but no one came until . That was okay, because at least they were excited to learn English. I love my class and it seems that because of them I am liking being an English teacher more and more every day. They are so excited to see me and they all call me "teacher." It´s adorable. I think my youngest student is 40 years old, but they all take me very seriously, because my English is so good. We had a few funny moments this past class. I had to talk to my companion briefly in Portuguese and when I turned my attention back to the class, they started giggling and whispering to each other "no, no just wait and see how long it takes her." I reflected while I continued to talk. What I was doing? Then I realized....I was accidentally speaking in Portuguese. One of my classmates (the smart alec of the class) said in his Brazilian accent "teacher, please speak English." We all laughed a lot about that.
At the end of the class, I invited everyone to the baptism that would be happening a half hour after and as is the custom, everyone left immediately following english class. I was so happy when one of my students asked "Is it right to say ´I appreciate you?´ I said yes, because I think it is, but I´m not totally sure what´s right in English any more. She put her hand on my shoulder and said "I appreciate you very much." What a sweetheart!
After everyone had left, we talked to the Elders, who said that the same happened in their class. Only Luiz had stayed. Sister Tabraj and I had to go pick someone up with some members and arrived just as the baptism was about to start. We were so astonished when we entered and saw Maura (the one who appreciates me) and Oscar (a couple from my English class) sitting in the back of the room! They were talking to Elder Maia and looked very happy to be there. We sat next to them and they asked so many questions and loved the baptism and asked us if we would visit them to teach them what it is we are here to teach! It was amazing! I have never been happier to be American in my life! (I love being American, so that means I´m pretty darn happy.) Everyone had a great experience at the baptism! As missionaries we had a lot of "face-palm" moments, because the member directing the baptism turned it into a comedy act, but I know that when we are in the right place for the right reason with the intent to learn and have a spiritual experience, the Holy Spirit will whisper truth to our hearts and that is just what happened with those who came to see just "what is a Mormon baptism like?"
Shortly after the baptism, my companion said " I guess I shouldn´t have been so quick to complain." He is always here to help us.
Tonight, we are going to teach them about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This whole situation of teaching English....again...reminds me of a scripture, Ether 12: 27 "
Teaching English was a weak thing that I hated and I used to hope for a reason to end the class....and according to my desires, people stopped showing up and I stopped teaching English. When I realized how much it could really help people to come unto Christ, I decided to give it a real effort. I told Heavenly Father that I don´t like teaching English, but if He wants me to teach it, I will give it my all and I will find a way to be happy. I know this promise found in Ether is true. I am not the world´s best english teacher, but look at what ´s happening!
We have 31 students (basic and intermediate) and the members (who didn´t have much confidence in the missionaries when we got here) are impressed and people are coming unto Christ. In short, I love being American.
I would tell you about all the other cool things that happened, but everyone probably already stopped reading half way through. Just kidding. Maybe.
I LOVE YOU! Remember! Your good efforts are not useless, even if you feel like you didn´t touch anyone´s heart.