Querido Família e Amigos,
This weekend, Sister Munar and I have been working extramely hard to give Christ the best Christmas present we could. The day I arrived in the city of Bauru, we met Gabriel. GabrielGabriel Gabriel. He is an 11 year old boy who is the male brazilian version of Sarah (my sister) when she was 11 years old. It is unbelievable how much he reminds me of her. He is such an indescribably wonderful boy. One of my best friends. We´ve been working with him for almost a month, the first day he went tchurch he had such a strong desire to be baptised, but his mom Jane was worried he didn´t understand the importance and the promise of the baptism and encouraged him to wait. Gabriel is so wonderful. His story; what happened yesterday was a miracle and against all odds he was baptized. I truly am in awe when I reflect on the circumstances and the fear I had. I am learning that God is all-powerful. Yesterday, as servants of God, we made a decision that years of education and common sense would have discouraged , but this young man truly spoke with a voice that wasn´t his own when he eased our fears and said “Agora“ “Now“. God speaks with us. I know. We are weak and fearful of men and the carnal bonds that so easily beset us in this mortal state. Our Heavenly Father is all powerful and His ends cannot be corrupted. I am weak! But yesterday I learned that He is watching and… it will all be all right! I am truly learning of a higher wisdom. I realized that our knowledge that we gain here from worldly sources plays such a strong part in our decision-making. Yesterday Heavenly Father tested me. He helped me realize that my spiritual knowledge, my faith in the eternal perspective, had to be put to the test. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to decide to look past the fears that m carnal knowledge put in my path and to take a leap of faith, depending on the Lord´s promise that everything would be alright if we chose to do the thing that God needed His servants to do.
Gabriel was my Christmas miracle and I can´t describe the relief and joy he brings to our service. He WILL be a great missionary and servant to the Lord one day soon.
We here in Bauru are working diligently and toasting a little (It still hasn´t clicked that it´s christmas time in my mind, there should be snow on the ground!). I love you all and I am so grateful for your support, friendship and letters! Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal!