Monday, June 13, 2016

Greetings from chilly Divinópolis,

I'm not really sure where to start because so much happened this week! I will have to go in chronological order. The first big thing that happened is that we had a Conference with 3 zones from the mission! It was the bomb. Our mission president has spent time being instructed from many 70s and even Elder Holland over the past few weeks and he shared a lot of what he learned with us! The mission sure is going to change a lot. I also got a package from home at the conference and that was super nice.
During the week was absolutely crazy! We had so much to prepare for the weekend that almost all we did was centered on helping our investigators make it to the baptismal waters on Saturday. Thankfully the Lord really blessed us and everything went smoothly. I will talk about those who baptized individually because I haven't written a ton about any of them yet.
Thiago is a friend of a member who we have worked with during the past 3 weeks. He accepted the gospel very well. It was actually necessary for him to make a pretty big change in his life and it was amazing to see how the light of the gospel completely changed him. He was super excited when he passed his interview that he went and personally invited a lot of people for his baptism! His friends that came are being taught by the other elders now because they live in the other area. Thiago is a very smart guy and understands the teachings of the church so well. He is excited to read the whole Book of Mormon during his first year as a member!
ELIVANDO AND ÉVELLIN GOT BAPTIZED AS WELL :D That was a complete miracle that they finally made that decision. I have been working with them since 3 months ago with Elder Otávio. About a month ago when they weren't progressing I sat down with them and basically explained how important it was for them to make the necessary changes and be baptized and if they didn't then we would have to stop passing by because there are people out there ready to change. They were pretty surprised I think and since that moment they have progressed! Through fasting and praying with them they were able to finally quit coffee and then this week it was the question of actually making the decision that we had to battle with. They agreed to be interviewed and the night before the interview we took out ward mission leader to their house. It was that night that Évellin finally decided to be baptized with Elivando because we gave them blessings and she really felt like she needed to be baptized and leave her other church. It was a miracle.
Thales, their nephew, was also baptized on Saturday! He lives next door to Elivando and Évellin. We have been working with him about the same amount of time as them and he has been really loving the church. The reason it took so long for him is because he wasn't understanding the commitment of baptism before. But now he understands and is showing his willingness to really come to church every Sunday and keep all of the commandments. He is 18 so I hope he decides to go on a mission in a year or so. He is a really good guy and has a lot of curiosity in religion in general. Thankfully Elivando is a big influence in his life and will help him stay strong in the church for sure.
The actual baptism was awesome. It was in the morning and the water was coming out really cold when we were filling the font so we heated up water on the stove and added it to the font. The water was still really cold but that was okay. We invited a bunch of less actives and recent converts to participate in the meeting and that was super great because they were able to feel important and feel the spirit at the meeting!
I know that Christ lives and that this is his church. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. One thing I have been thinking a lot about this week is how little I can actually accomplish without the help of the Lord. I know He's bringing about a marvelous work and I'm grateful to be an instrument in His hands. 

I will be sure to send some pictures. Transfers are next week, but I think I will stay. I hope everyone has a good week! Love you guys!!
Elder Searle
The ward mission leader and his wife with Elivando and Evellin, Elder Searle and Elder Dedeco

Thiago, Evellin, Elivando and Thales with Elder Dedeco and Elder Searle
Silly Pose 
Wellinigton with Elder Searle

Elder Dedeco doing Brazillian BBQ at Elivando's house after the baptism

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