July 27, 2015
Wow. I don’t even know what to say. My time in Padre Bernardo is over and my mission just has a few short days left. I will be leaving for Brasilia tomorrow and I will stay there, close to the mission home until Friday when I board on the plane. I am beyond grateful for my time here and the way I was able to finish my mission. Padre Bernardo will always have a spot in my heart. Saying goodbye is the worst part. I finished my last week of my mission running. We were able to accomplish much this week and the week ended with 3 Baptisms and a wedding for the Padre Bernardo Group!
Mazinho and Divina got married and were baptized this week. The other companionship taught most of the lessons to them but we were able to see the progress and help them get married and baptized! It was a great experience. They are so great. They will be great leaders here in the church. Elder Kesler was able to finish his mission baptizing the family he has been working with since we got here. We also had the baptism of Maria Paula, She is another daughter of Carina and it was very special witnessing her baptism too. Carinas family is changing so much and I am so grateful for the time that I had to work with them and watch their liveschange! I just hope that they continue on the path that they have started.
Nativa, who was our very first baptism here, gave a talk on Sunday, Imagine someone who is very shy, open up and give a powerful talk. She spoke about endure to the end! It was a perfect talk. Nativa has so much faith and has had nothing but struggles in her life. She spoke about how she was almost ready to quit when two missionaries meet her and started to teach her. It’s these small moments of happiness that make all of our struggles and heartbreaks worth it.
Elder Nascimento and I have been working hard, with just a little bit of help from the Lord, Padre Bernardo will turn into a Branch in the next month or so. This week we had more than 40 people participating at church. The school that we meet in is starting to become a church building with members talking to each other, little children running around and many hymns and laughter.
I am so grateful for my mission. Words cannot describe my feelings and what I would like to express. I hope in the last few days I will be able to find the right words. But, I know that God knows of my journey and what I have learned and experienced. My prayer is that I will be able to take everything that I have learned and continue to serve my King, long after my service here is done. I love Brazil, I love Arizona too, I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think and pray for the Scottsdale Mission too. I love my Savior. I love this Gospel. I love being Mormon. Thank you for all the love and support that everyone has sent my way. And in just a few short days I will be with you once again!
With all my love, for the very last time,