Week 3…Miracles and Rats!!

Hello everyone!
 
I am FINALLY sending some pictures. Sorry for the delay.
 
Anyway, this week, the sisters and I are beginning to write a book entitled “Lies My Investigator Told Me.” Here are the top for this week:
 
-“The pamphlet you gave me was stolen!” (LIE – it wasn’t.)
-“I live really far away!” (LIE – you live in that building right there.)
-“I only speak Chengana!”) (LIE – you just said that in Portuguese.)
 
Our finding efforts can be really amusing sometimes. But that’s what keeps it fun. But anway, I must tell you all THANK YOU so much. Whenever I check my email, I am just so overwhelmed by the love and support from all of you. It’s incredible. Thank you, thank you.
 
The work here is going well. We surpassed our goals this week for lessons, new investigators and attendance at church. We have been working hard, but it really is the Lord doing everything. The Spirit is essential in conversion, and we are just striving every day to be worthy of it. Sister Smith and I are learning so much together, and our teaching is getting better everyday. We had such a cool experience yesterday when teaching a family – we were working so jointly together, teaching and testifying; the Spirit was so strong. Before I even knew what was happening, I was explaining about Joseph Smith and reciting the First Vision better than I ever have before. The Spirit was bearing testimony and it inspired the family to ask questions of which we could testify more. We came out of it so filled with joy and love. One one my best lessons so far. We are working with families for marriage and baptism, and praying fervently for others to desire to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and our message. That is one thing I am really learning – about faith. I have stopped praying for people to receive answers to their prayers and instead am praying for them to have desire to read and pray, because I KNOW with all that I am, that if they WILL pray, they WILL receive an answer. They will. God has promised this through prophets, so I can trust in this. It has transformed the way I think about myself and others. We are also preparing here for the dedication of a new chapel in Matola – we were helping the choir practice, and it was incredible. The people here don’t really know how to sing, but they LOVE singing. They sing with such spirit and power, and yesterday, when they were singing “Scatter Sunshine,” I was brought to tears. I love these people.
 
Some funnies for the week:
-While helping Sister Smith in Primary, we had a little rowdy child (good to know it’s the same in other countries than it is in the states) who was terrorizing everyone. He carried around a little Pez dispenser that was Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. I thought that was fitting for him.
-Rats. The rats here are HUGE. They just scamper by when you least expect it. They are Rodents-of-Unusual-Size-Princess-Bride style. Ick.
-A man in choir had a phone that played a Shania Twain song when it went off.
-Our guard singing “Destiny’s Child”
-Various experiences with exuberant drunk men
 
I wish I could even accurately explain to you what I go through everyday. It’s difficult, strange, marvelous, and true. I feel so grateful for the privilege that the Lord has given me to participate in this marvelous work and a wonder. The Church is true! God lives! It truly is the “good news.”
 
“The ‘good news’ was that death and hell could be escaped, that mistakes could be overcome, that there was hope, that there was help; that the insoluble was solved, that the enemy had been conquered. The good news was that everyone’s tomb could one day be empty, that everyone’s could again be pure, that every child of God could again return to the Father who gave them life. This is the essence of the message delivered by every prophet who has ever lived and every apostle ever called to the work. It is the message we are called to declare.” -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Missionary Work and the Atonement”
 
I know these things are true! This message is marvelous. May we ever live worthy of it.
 
I love you all! Thanks for everything.
 
-Sister Baldwin
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