Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Brother Gomes Finds a Girlfriend

(This email was written February 24, 2016.)

How big IS Texas?
I'm just living the dream out here in Provo. I have 2 weeks left but am not really sure how everything is going to change once I head out to Houston. I don't even know how I can really explain this life I'm living. It's like a dream, albeit a good one. 

We teach 3 fake investigators a few times each throughout the course of any given week, and it has been really neat. First investigator is Marco, and we call him Investigador de Oro (Investigator of Gold) because he follows every commitment we issue him, and teaches us lessons that can be found about teachings in the Book of Mormon, as well as the commandments. In my heart of hearts I want to believe that is a real investigator, but I'm 95 percent sure he's a member. We have a baptismal date with him set for March 5 and he's ready. 

Andrea and Santiago are our next two investigators, and they are much, much harder. Both are played by my 2 teachers, Sister McBride and Brother Gomes, who play the part of real investigators from their missions. Santi was a little agnostic when we first met him, but since then, we've helped him pray and see the need for constant communication with God in his life. He's starting to understand that the Gospel can help him develop a better relationship with his family, which is quite dysfunctional. He is close to accepting a date for baptism. 

Andrea grew up a baptist, and was hesitant about what we taught her, but she's starting to warm up to us. She told us she feels something every time we visit her, that isn't there when we leave, which is an awesome thing to hear. We are instruments in the Lord's hands. She has accepted the commitment to be baptized, she just hasn't quite yet committed to a date. 

Last week when we were teaching Andrea the importance of repentance, she posed an interesting question: "So this means I'm going to have to make a really big list of bad things I've done in my life up to this point?" We explained to her that repentance is a desire to change, and align our actions and will with God's will. Last night during devotional, Sister Rosemary Wixom of the Primary Presidency spoke and helped answer Andrea's question also. She asked "How can we know when we've fully repented?" And proceeded to share Mosiah 3:19 which explains that the natural man is present inside of all of us, and how we need to become as children, submissive, meek, humble, and willing to submit to the will of the Father. So repentance is a process, not an event. And all of us need Christ's atonement in our lives, because there is great power that can be unlocked if we decide to use it. I'm so excited to teach those who don't know about wonderful gift of repentance because some live with guilt in their lives that they can't seem to get rid of. Christ's atonement helps us wash away our sins and the accompanying guilt sin brings. 

Attached below are a few pictures of life here in the MTC. One is with my teacher, Brother Gomes, and I just want to take some time to talk about how much I love him. Initially I was going to start soliciting dates for him in my weekly emails, but he has since gotten a girlfriend. The story of how has strengthened my testimony of prayer. One day a few weeks ago, our district was gathered in class and praying at the end of our personal study time. In the prayer, I prayed that Brother Gomes could find a novia(which means girlfriend in Spanish). The next day when we saw him, I asked him how his love life was, and told him I had prayed that he would find a girlfriend. He responded with "Sus oraciones ha sido contestado," which translates to "your prayers have been answered." He had gotten one the night previous, merely hours after my prayers. God is good everyone. 

Elder Gomes, our awesome teacher, who now has a girlfriend, thanks to our prayers!

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