23 February, 2011

February Miracles

(Feb 16, 2011)  
     We started teaching this lady who has been absorbing the lessons with passion.  She told us she would have to leave for Brazil shortly so we didn’t expect to complete all the lessons.  She just informed us she would be here longer that she thought so we excitedly made our way to where she is staying (conveniently with a member) and we taught her a great lesson about the restoration of the gospel.  As we finished and bore our testimony about the restored church she stopped us.  
     She told us how for the last couple weeks she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying with all her heart to find out if this really was the true church and if God had truly ended her life long search (she's sixty) for the truth. She said the answer just was not coming. She even went to Bergamo and spent the day alone praying in the cathedrals and in the mountains. That weekend she got really sick and had to stay home alone from church in bed. While in bed, she had a dream where an angel came to her and gave her a brilliant book that just shined. She woke up with an amazing feeling but couldn’t explain the meaning of it. That same afternoon a member who she didn’t know felt inspired to visit her. 
     Without another word the member (who is an incredible spiritually powerful woman) bore testimony of her conversion story and challenged her to read two chapters out of the Book of Mormon which helped convert her to the gospel about ten years ago.  They were Lehi's dream and Alma 5.  As Laura read them she just cried as the Spirit confirmed to her that this was the shining book in her dream and that this was indeed the end of the search she had been on (Laura is a very integral part of the Catholic church in Brazil but had never felt at ease with many of the doctrines and practices). The miracle for me wasn't that the answer had come but just to see the light in her eyes as she told her story to us. To see the tears as she expressed her awe that God loved her enough to respond so personally, so lovingly and so directly. She will be baptized Saturday.

(Feb 15, 2011)  
     La scorsa settimana ci sono stati molti miracoli. Venerdi' siamo andati ad insegnare da una famiglia in parte membro. Il marito ed una delle bambine della famiglia sono membri mentre la moglie non lo è. Con la scusa che un'altra delle sue 2 figlie ha raggiunto l'età del battesimo ci ha chiesto di andare a fare alcune lezioni a casa sua. L'ultima lezione, quella di Venerdi', abbiamo deciso di rivolgerci completamente alla moglie e di sfidarla a prendere le lezioni con noi missionari. Durante questa sfida è successo qualcosa di strano. Ho avuto la forte sensazione di chiederle quale fosse il suo piu' grande desiderio. Essendo il marito malato di tumore lei ha chiesto la salute per la famiglia e mi sono sentito di prometterle che se lei si fosse impegnata a capire se quello in cui crede il marito è vero avrebbe ricevuto quello che avrebbe richiesto. Beh, per farla breve il marito questo lunedi' doveva iniziare una nuova terapia per combattere il tumore che per fortuna negli ultimi mesi si era un po' ridotto e non cresceva piu'. Abbiamo saputo la sera dello stesso giorno che il marito di questa famiglia non inizierà la cura perchè dalle analisi che sono state fatte sembra che il tumore sia scomparso.

(Feb 8, 2011)  
     On Saturday, February 5th, we had a lesson with one of investigators at a less active member’s house.  Also present was an active member. It was such a powerful lesson.  The less active member who has been searching to rediscover her testimony was in tears.  The other member who had just returned from the temple expressed how she knows the church is true because of the way she feels at the temple.  She explained how the people are dressed in white to express purity.  We did not know, but this investigator had had a dream where she was told to join the church where the members dress in white.  After the member described her temple trip, the investigator expressed her dream.  She then testified how she also knows this church is true.  On Sunday, we had another powerful lesson with one of our new converts and this investigator.  The new convert explained her conversion story, and the investigator explained how she had found out that this church was true.  Most everyone in the room was in tears.  Now we moved up her baptismal date to this Sunday.

(Feb 8, 2011) 
     We just taught the Restoration to two investigators who both had copies of the Book of Mormon. Throughout the lesson, we concentrated as much as we could on the Spirit, acknowledging it often and asking lots of inspiring questions. After explaining the Restoration and bearing testimony, we asked them to describe their feelings, and the lady responded like this: “I can't even begin to describe how I feel! When you speak, the words you say are connected with an incredible power that fills my insides. It's wonderful.” The man agreed and we immediately invited them to be baptized. They almost leaped out of their chairs they were so excited, and said “YES, YES, we'll be baptized. We'll be baptized tomorrow!”  We explained that that wouldn't quite work, but then went forward and set the dates for the 19th. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

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