First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KIERSTEN! Hopefully you got something in the mail from me....
Besides that, here's what happened.
This past week we were blessed with more prepared people, and it all culminated one of the best Sundays of my mission. We found and taught two less active families this week, and on Sunday they both came in suits and dresses to see the primary program. We also found and started teach a woman named Luisa, who Elder Carvalho and Rodrigues found tracting while I was on splits with a member. She was taught in Cape Verde, has three smart kids, and has an 8 passenger car. Her brother, Deni, now has a baptismal date, as well as her son PJ. She brought them all to church this Sunday, LOVED the primary program, loved her kids being in YMs and Primary classes, and at the end, SHE DROVE OUR MEMBERS HOME. It was amazing. The second miracle of Sunday-- we had 34 people there from the group. Thats the record by at least 5 from what I remember. We had 4 LAs and 4 investigators, and the english sisters brought a brazilian man from Belo Horizone (my original mission call) who stayed with us for the whole time and is very interested. For the first time, we had enough people to do our own Relief Society and Elders Quorum. And at the end, almost the entire group drove itself back home except for 2 people in an english member's car. Our prayers being answered.
Also, this week I was studying in the Book of Mormon about the people of Alma who left the city of Nephi, began a basically Zion society, and then were taken captive by Lamanites who found them while searching for Limhi's people. Its basically a study of why bad things happen to good people, which is a question everybody asks. Mosiah 23:
"20 And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam.
21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people."
Then they're taken captive and smitten by the Lamanites.
"12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."
Tough times come, even when we are keeping our covenants with God. We need to remember that this life is a preparatory stage, a proving ground wherein we are purified in the furnace of affliction. It has to be that way. But we can submit cheerfully and with patience. And the days come when we are delivered.
I love you all!