I’m a little short on time today, so I’ll just give some brief updates from the week.
Elder Lima and I went to the Federal Police department with President Broadbent to do some paperwork that had something to do with his visa in Brazil. The ride there took us through the whole city, from the southern zone to the northern, passing through a whole bunch of different scenes. The most exciting part about the whole thing was stopping by this really nice area of the city on the way back to eat lunch which took us past a whole bunch of beautiful office towers and apartment buildings. We stopped by this place and ate and then went by a little Portuguese bakery. I don’t even remember the name of the thing I ate, but it was absolutely delicious. It was basically a palm sized pie crust (largely butter, super flaky, and fattening) filled with some kind of carmelized nuts. There are no words.
I had a really cool experience inside the temple this week. We had to go to the Brazil Area office to pick up some stuff which is literally in the parking lot of the temple. President gave us permission to go do some temple work. We didn’t have time to do a whole session, so we went into the baptistry to help out. When we got there, two young men and a woman showed up wanting to do baptisms. The woman is a recent convert to the church and it was obviously her first time in the temple. When the Temple President was talking to them, he explained about the plan of salvation. When he explained “the work you’re doing today will let your ancestors out of spirit prison and allow them into paradise”, the woman perked up a bit. She said, “I brought my Mom’s name with me today. Does that mean when I’m baptized for her she’ll be let out of this spirit prison and move to paradise?” When the President responded “Yes, it does”, the woman burst into tears. I think she knew that before, but it just kind of hit home in that moment. I was able to baptize her for her mother and several other of her family members. It was SUCH an awesome experience. I baptized the two young men, too. By the time I got done with like 40 baptisms I was tired. To the side of the baptismal font, sits a mosaic of Alma baptizing people in the river. When I looked at it, I had that feeling – again – that I was in the same place he would’ve been, baptizing people that lived a long time ago so they could enter into the Kingdom of God. I thought that was pretty awesome. All in all, it was a really neat experience! When I reflect on all the things that happened in the day, I feel like it was meant to be. I felt the spirit very strongly when we were there with her.
Elder Viana (my actual companion) and I were working in our area one day this week and came across two teenage guys in the street. We started talking to them just like we normally do. They gave us their address and told us they’d like to talk to us some more. We were walking and doing more contacts and simultaneously looking for their street. We stopped to ask a lady if she new where it was, and she said that she knew the two guys. She also told us that their aunts and uncles lived in the house right in front of where we were standing. So, we knocked on their door hoping to talk to them too. One of the guys’ cousins answered the door and invited us in. When we got into their living room, there were just 2 or 3 people there. As we sat down and started talking, more and more people started appearing from other parts of the house until there were 9 people there listening to our message. It was such a cool experience. It was a direct blessing from Heavenly Father, practically placing new people to teach in our laps. We have been working hard for some time now to find more people to teach and He showed us the way.
Other than that, I’m still trying to get a handle on all the new stuff I have to do as a secretary. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and the new way that I’m helping with the Lord’s work. I have a testimony that what we’re doing is right, and that the Gospel that I’m bringing into the lives of these people will help them have Eternal Happiness. I love seeing the changes that are wrought in the lives of the people when they realize what the true and everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ can do for them.
I love you all!
Elder Chapman Tew