It is a huge blessing to be able to serve in a branch. I love branches and the branch in Vila Real rocks! I would come back here just to live in this branch. The members here are solid. Yesterday we got a reference from Família Campos. They are a family who has not trusted the missionaries for over a year and a half.. They finally gave two irmã a reference a few months ago but they ruined it and this family has just struggled to do work with the missionaries.. so yesterday was a BIG FAT miracle. It feels so good to know the members are entrusting us with their friends. This is really how the work is done. Through the members!!
Maria is a member of our branch and she was baptized 2 years ago and i can promise you that i have never met anyone as incredible as her.. When she began to take the missionary discussions her neighbors were disgusted with her and would throw rocks at as she was going to and from her house. (this is real Joseph Smith times people) She said sometimes she would come home from work and her windows would be shattered and people were messing with the outside of her house. She told us this week when we passed by her house that she doesn´t care that all of this is happening to her because she knows the church is true. Maria knows that this difficult time will pass and one day she´ll rest from all this nonsense.. How many of you would endure this kind of pain for what you believe?? There are so many who leave the church because of words.. just words.. but this woman won´t leave the church for anything.. I know Maria strengthened my testimony this week and i want to do everything i can to continue to strengthen her and help her stay strong in the church forever. Pray for her.
As Irmã and i had time to do contacting this week, we prayed so hard to know where we needed to go.. We thought of this hidden city.. we don´t know the name of it so we just call it the secret garden.. We felt like that was where we needed to go looking for the elect.. We arrived in the city Thursday morning and came to a fork in the road. We said another pray to know which path to take. So after we felt good about it we walked on the path to our left. Afterwards we came to an apartment complex and felt, whoa.. which one do we start with.. So we prayed again and started with the first apartment to our left.. We started knocking.. we weren´t getting anywhere.. no one wanted to talk to us.. But then finally someone answered and said, we could come back another time because she was getting ready to leave for work. I said, can we a quick prayer with you i your door. I promise you will feel a difference in your day. She was really hesitant and i kept pushing for it and she finally let us up to her door. She opened the door, we introduced ourselves and she was really kind and didn´t seem like she was happy. Irmã and i began to testify of her worth in this life. She said i have never been happy and i don´t think i can ever be happy. Sad huh? Afterwards we talked about Heavenly Father and how he wants to help her and through prayer she will know of her worth and feel his love. We prayed with her and she loved it and said we could come back to share our message with her. So we returned to her house on Saturday and taught her the Plan of Salvation. I know without any doubts that Heavenly Father guided Irmã Palmer and i to her. She needs hope. She needs love. She needs the gospel like right now! We left her with a bunch of reading material and a Book of Mormon and we are going back to visit her this week. Pray for her. Her name is Aurora. Sorry i forgot to mention that earlier.
I know Heavenly Father is preparing us for big things to come in the future. We can know what he expects of us through prayer, Scripture study and through his servants.. When you are having a bad day, don´t forget that fire you once felt when you received an answer from god or when you felt his love. You are all of worth and mean so much to him. Don´t doubt that! EVER! Continue with faith and diligence. I love you all.