To tell about the week, I don´t know where to start. We are teaching so many good families that it would be hard for me to share about them all. But there´s one success story that I want to share.
Jefferson. 27 years old. Baptized 5(ish) years ago. Suffers from epilepsy. Went less active after becoming involved in something or another in a soccer stadium and spending some time in a cold place thinking about what he did. Picked up a smoking habit (along with a few others). - Jefferson was waiting for a chance to come back to church, but he with the bad habits that he developed and the drastic changes that he made (for the worse) he didn´t know how. We were teaching his cousins next door, but we were ready to drop them from the teaching pool because they weren´t ready to progress, when one day Jefferson was at the gate smoking. When he saw us he threw the cigarette away and shouted out to us that he was a member of the church. We sat down with him and started talking and he needed to vent. We invited him back to church and he was waiting for us at the gate that Sunday. It´s only been about a month, but with steady study of the scriptures, church attendance, and living all of the commandments as well as he could, he gained the forces he needed to overcome the addictions. And this week he smoked his last cigarette. Needless to say we are very excited for him! The bishop still hasn´t interviewed him, and we had to break the bad news that he probably wasn´t ready to go to the temple with the ward yet, but he is very excited to continue putting his life in order, and help his mother prepare for baptism.
Okay one more...
Benedito and Elieleia. A middle aged couple with a daughter (25), son (15) and two grandsons (7&8). Daughter had two children and decided she didn´t like them (after she discovered that one had severe mental disability and problems in the intestine), and now they are being raised by their grandparents. This was a huge burden on their shoulders and they have been working hard for the past 7 years to help their grandson with special needs. The daughter took off with some guy and they are alone with lots of work to do. We shared a little bit of the Plan of Salvation with them and read in Jeremiah about how we lived with Heavenly Father before we were born, and how we were prepared for the challenges that we face. The Spirit was very powerful as they recognized that the reason why Luan was given to them is because the Lord trusts in them enough to give them a child with special needs. Then Elder Ritchie and I sung "Sou um filho de Deus" and they became a bit emotional. This week we will return and finish talking about the Plan of Salvation, and help them come visit the church with us next Sunday.
I love being a missionary. I´m glad that I still have bastante time to serve!