Life is great down here. This week was an especially wonderful week. We found so many people who are ready for the gospel. It's amazing to watch first hand the work that God is doing in these people's lives through their faith. I am still in awe of an especially astounding miracle that took place with one of our investigators yesterday.
This investigator had been receiving the missionaries for almost a month when I arrived. The teaching process had been rather slow because she spent a lot of time traveling to her family near Brasilia. The lessons however, were always wonderful and she had a great desire to follow the example of her savior and be baptized.
Unfortunately, her original baptismal date was pushed back a week because she drank coffee (as all Brazilians do) just days before. We agreed that we'd visit her everyday this past week to support her in her desire to keep the commandments and prepare for baptism. The next day, she woke up throwing up, went to the hospital, and received the direct counsel from the doctor to stop drinking coffee! On our last visit, the day before her baptism, she informed us that she had received a call from her mom, just hours before, telling here that she needed to pack here bags for good and take the bus to the next possible bus to Goiânia, and arrive as soon as possible.
After understanding her situation and the pressure thereof, we left her with a prayer and a promise that God will always make a way possible for his children to fulfill his commandments. That night, we began fasting and praying for her to be able to be baptized. For me personally, it was a great trial of my faith, did I really believe that God would change all of this if we asked him? She was absolutely cornered by circumstance, and all odds were against her! It felt logical to accept we would just have to contact the missionaries serving in Goiânia to find her and help her realize the blessing of baptism in her life, but for some reason we felt and prayed that she would be baptized the next day.
Morning came, she wasn't at church. We went about our normal plan making visits and teaching families. At approximately six o'clock, we received a call from her, saying that she had lost thirty reais and was unable to pay for any of the bus fares and that she needed thirty reais before the next bus at six thirty. We told her that we could help her and that she would have to meet us at the chapel (aptly located next to the bus stop). When this occurred, we were on splits with members of the church in that area. Elder Johnston, who had the keys to the chapel, had just finished a visit a block away from the chapel. Elder Kenneth, a member, and I were walking between visits near our apartment.
The member that we were with had enough credits in her phone plan to call her son, who was with Elder Johnston, telling them to go to the chapel and fill up the font. We used the spare key that Elder Kenneth suggested that I carry with me just days before, to get into the apartment and get the necessary white baptismal clothes before hustling to the chapel. The bishop, who is required to preside at baptismal services was already there before Elder Johnston arrived, in the office doing other work. Using buckets to speed up the process of filling up the font, all necessary things lined up, and our investigator was baptized before getting a free ride with a member who was already on his way to Gama, where our investigator would be able to take a direct bus to Goiânia.
In his ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, claiming that they were done by the faith of the respective individuals and families. No odds are too great for God. If we choose to change the way we make decisions, that is, choosing to act on the hope that Christ is real even though we can't see him or understand how he did what he did, making his gospel a priority in our lives; all trials, circumstances, sadnesses, and confusions will be overcome. I know that this is true and that He lives and loves us without end.