Friday, December 19, 2014

"I love you all! Stay well, and Feliz Natal!"

ON Monday 15 December 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad

Toni was BAPTIZED yesterday! His brother-in-law performed the ordinance, and it was such an emotional and spiritual moment for all of us. The progress this brother has made since we first met him is incredible! He´s very very shy and was pretty indecisive at first, the Spirit of the Lord entered his heart, and when he made the decision to be baptized, I could literally see the difference in him, with his confidence and faith. His prayers became so sincere, as he thanked Heavenly Father for the revelation he received concerning baptism (he actually used those words!) and for the changes he´s made in his life.

This week, we´re really hoping for a miracle, as one of the couples we´re working with is really progressing! Ricardo and Carla are legally married, and have been investigating the church since October. They even went to General Conference! This past week, we taught about the living prophets and apostles, shared The Living Christ, and gave them a conference issue of the Liahona. At one point, Ricardo asked us what we believed concerning the prophecy of the prophet Elijah coming
in the last days. I said "GREAT QUESTION, WE´LL EXPLAIN RIGHT NOW!" I got really excited about this, because it brought us into the subject of temple ordinances, sealing power, and ETERNAL MARRIAGE. I put that in all caps, because the spirit literally fell upon us, and the moment
we started explaining how Elijah restored the keys of the power to seal on earth and in Heaven in the House of the Lord in Kirtland, the Spirit began talking and I realized I was just a mouthpiece, haha. But when we stated that when one is married in the temple by one who holds sealing power, that marriage lasts FOREVER. For all eternity. This was a new concept to them, and they got excited! Especially Carla. At one point, Ricardo even said, "we´re gonna be sealed in the Recife temple!" So basically, we just need to mark their baptism and get them on the path to the temple right away! I am SO excited for this miracle. Ricardo is a man very well learned in the scriptures, has a lot of faith, and is certainly a future leader in the kingdom of God. I keep telling my companion that we´re on the brink of baptizing a future stake president, haha. Of course, all have the same potential in becoming like Heavenly Father, but I just feel that this couple has a big role to play here on earth.

So I´ll keep y´all updated on their progress! Also, I´m thinking I´ll probably do Skype in the morning, 11 a.m. my time (8 a.m. Central Time) on Christmas day. I´ll confirm everything next week.

I hope y´all are enjoying the holiday season! It´s a little different for me here, because it´s about a thousand degrees always, haha. But it´s a great experience.

I love you all! Stay well, and Feliz Natal!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Feliz Dia de Ações de Graças! That means Happy Thanksgiving in Portuguese!"

On Monday 1 December 2014 Elder Kamilos wrote:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Feliz Dia de Ações de Graças! That means Happy Thanksgiving in Portuguese! Even though it´s not a holiday here, I still thought a lot about the family and some of the things I´m grateful for. Then I
remembered President Uchtdorf´s talk from April, and I realized that I really am grateful, not just for what I have, but for who I am and the opportunity to be a servant of the Lord.

So this week we had a baptism!! It was a mother and son, Lucimar and Joab. I won´t be able to send a picture right now, but I´ll get one to you real quick! She´s 30 years old, recently separated from her
"husband" (they were never actually married) and was really prepared by the Lord to hear and accept the Gospel. She was so receptive to the message and to the Spirit, and accepted to be baptized very quickly. Her sister in law is a recently reactivated member as well, so she helped with fellow shipping a lot! Joab is a young man of 14 years, and has actually been involved with the young men for a while now. He went to the ward youth campout a couple weeks ago with his cousins, and had a blast. Our goal now is to get them to the temple to do baptisms in a couple of weeks. The stake will be taking a caravan to Recife on December 13th, so we´ll see if that gives us enough time to get them ready. We´ve already shown them pictures and explained about the temple, and that´s actually one of things that really got Lucimar interested. I told her that she could go visit the temple shortly after being baptized, with the help of the bishop and the missionaries.

Our investigator family of 6 is progressing as well. The first time we went to teach them in their home, we explained all about the Book of Mormon and some of the basic doctrines of the church, concerning the Godhead, Priesthood, and Missionary Work. It was a great lesson because it was completely based on their questions, which I love. It means that they´re actually interested and are ready to learn! The real miracle is that they´re married and they have a strong family unity, and surely this family is prepared to receive the restored gospel.

It´s hard to believe it´s already December! Christmastime is near, and 2014 is coming to an end. Time flies by sooooo fast on the mission. Also, transfers are coming up once again on December 10th. I´ll
probably stay here in Paratibe, but who knows? Oh! And the news from the area is that the ward will be split this month, and the newly renovated meetinghouse will also be dedicated! We´ve actually been meeting in the Valentina chapel (my old area!), so it´ll be nice to have our own chapel again. It's built to be a new stake center, so it´s big and has air conditioning. :)

That´s the news from Brasil for the week. I look forward to the upcoming Skype call! Love you all very much!