Arapongas, Brazil

Querido família e amigos,DSC03916

         Yesterday was such an unbelievably wonderful and slightly emotional day on the mission! Our friend Jack decided to be baptized after one week of lessons. Jack speaks fluent Creole, French, broken English and hardly any Portuguese. We ended up teaching him almost completely in English and it truly was a testimony to me of the power of the spirit to conversion regardless of the language barriers. I remember a day or two before his baptism he had a little fit about his earrings (he thinks he´s pretty jazzy with his diamond studs). He asked if he had to take them out and I said that would probably be best and he was pretty firmly set that Jesus didn´t care if he had earrings or not and that he had not taken them out for 20 years. We calmed him down and told him it was his decision and that he should pray about it and we wouldn´t address it any more. The next day (The day of his baptism) he showed up to church without his studs 🙂 I was so impressed. It is so difficult for us to humble ourselves enough to leave behind our ´little bag of Babylon´but Jack is a witness that an eager heart and a willing mind is powerful enough to conquer any Babylonian bad habit.
           Sister Vargas and I were met with another neat little surprise. Our friend Panel came to church with us for the first time today… Panel speaks ONLY Creole and less Portuguese than me when I entered the MTC, but he was smiling the whole time and stayed with us to watch the baptism. During the baptism he turned to me and said “Eu batismo hoje“ aka: I baptize today….. I was a little shocked. Pleasantly shocked to say the least. We were able to agree in broken Portuguese that he´d wait till the next Sunday so that we could teach him a little but wow oh wow. Elect. After church I ran to grab our recent converts Osner and Robens (both Haitians who speak Portuguese very well) and dragged them to Panel´s house to translate the third lesson: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was truly a wonderful moment to ses my friends, recently baptized translate with a lot of vigor the message of salvation. It was a very special moment for me. I am truly here to serve and am astounded day by day by the power our Father has to piece together his grand plan. I love my calling and I am so happy to watch my friends enter into the covenant of baptism and the promise of life eternal.
            I am soooooo happy to be here with Sister Vargas too. She is unbelievably wonderful and I know we´ll do great things here in   together. She is from Nasca Peru and speaks Spanish!!! I will return home ti-lingual! — maybe. I´ve already memorized all of the words to that one song ´la cucaracha´ 🙂 Also I received another pleasant little surprise! I found out the day she arrived in Arapongas that I´d be training her! I admittedly was super nervous to train, but it has been nothing but blessings and spiritual since day 1 together.
     Eu sei que O Senhor está nos abençoando! Eu amo vocês!!!!
com amor,

Sister Whitney Dean

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