Bem-vindos everybody, this email's coming at you early because we've got a zone p-day today!
This week was full of baptismal preparations, disappointments, successes and miracles. but the end was a glorious baptism of Tony, Nuno and Nando.
Tony was somebody that helped me see my purpose in being here in Brockton instead of brazil. When I arrived here the missionaries had taught him so many times (several sets of missionaries over 8 months) and had seen a lack of commitment from him; thus E. Lopes was understandably reluctant to try to reestablish contact with him. but I pushed for it for reasons I didn't really understand. And when we finally met with him, he told that he had been waiting and that he still wanted to join the church and be baptized. Even with that desire, we struggled to get him to church on Sundays, but with endurance things changed; he's come to each Sunday the past month and on Saturday he was baptized. E. Lopes #1 came up from Connecticut for the baptism, and he told me "Elder Jackson, its a good thing you came along, because otherwise we wouldn't have tried again with Tony." And I felt like the Spirit witness that I had been sent here to help with this work, with these specific people. No credit is due to the miniscule capacities of Elder Jackson. I just came here and tried. And the Lord prepared it all. I cannot see him preparing it, but I hope for it, and I believe in it, and it is true.
Another tender mercy? Watching William give his first talk yesterday in church, 1.5 months after he was baptized. about dating. he's 13. but when I went over Sunday morning to make sure he felt okay about it, he showed me the outline he had written on his phone based on the Strength of Youth pamphlet. he didn't even write out his talk. he just went up there and gave it. and even though he forgot to end "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen", but rather said "that's all.... thank you", it was awesome and I felt like a proud parent. I love these guys.
Other successes? My son Elder Lopes the Second is growing up faster than the morning glory in my windowsill. We found six new people to teach this week. We have two more people set to be baptized and join this church on the 27th. Although the health struggle continues, I get to have a bunch of diodes glued to my head on Wednesday while some doctors poke around my brainwaves. There's nothing better.
Random scripture of the day:
"8 I behold that ye are lowly in heart; and if so, blessed are ye.
9 Behold thy brother hath said, What shall we do?--for we are cast out of our synagogues, that we cannot worship our God.
10 Behold I say unto you, do ye suppose that ye cannot worship God save it be in your synagogues only?
11 And moreover, I would ask, do ye suppose that ye must not worship God only once in a week?"
p.s. Shoutout to Mama Jackson for making cookies so good, they can sit in the post office for 4 days and still make a grown man cry.
p.p.s pictures: Tony is the one next to e. Lopes, and Andre is his best friend who is a priest. Andre practiced the baptism with all 200lbs of Elder Jackson, just so he knew he could do it with 100lbs of Tony. Also, Tony doesn't know how to smile. That's legit what he told us when we took these pictures.