Today is the official day family! I cant even believe it, it all feels like just one big dream of time going by. I feel like one day I will just wake up and be back to my normal life haha but good thing is that I wont:) The life ahead of me is so much better:) Today is the official day of entering into the 4th quarter. Maybe for some reason I had already said that, but in exactly 6 months from today, I will be home. I just have half of a year to make the biggest difference that I possibly can, with some of the most precious time of my life. Wow:):)
Let me just give you all an update first of what happened this last week, aka yesterday. Yesterday, 3 people were confirmed the Gift of the Holy Ghost, one of them who bore his testimony and just rocked me with the Holy Ghost haha. The guy almost brought me to tears it was so strong. Then right after sacrament meeting, Elder Lefevre and I baptized D F (The sister of C that was baptized last week), and V H (The daughter of C) and it was just AWESOME!!! We had about 40 people there to watch the baptism, and it went really well, the Spirit was really strong. The two of them are 12 years old and 9 years old and they LOVED everything and LOVE everything about the Church. We would literally catch them during the week reading the Book of Mormon haha it was awesome. One of them even testified to their teacher at school about the Book of Mormon, and when it was its content was questioned she invited the teacher to read it and find out for herself!!! Hahaha WOW!!! She spoke the truth, no one can read that book with real intent and deny the Holy Ghost that testifies to them, and if they do, .... they need to humble themselves and do it again. I would love to send you all the pictures of all of these baptisms and stuff but here in the Library there is a virus that messes up the pen drive, so I wont, maybe I will send it from a members computer.
But ya, this is the 3rd week in a row that we have baptized here in what has been considered one of the hardest areas and hardest zones in the mission. The Lord is blessing this place so much, and its awesome just being a tool in his hands to speak the words that he would say. Let me just tell you all right now that the truth is WE ARE DOING NOTHING, the Lord is DOING EVERYTHING. Its that simple. The more we complicate this work and the more that WE try to prepare people, the less success that we see. We can always say that the Lord will use people to do his work, and that is true, but it is ONLY HIS WORK WHEN WE DO IT HIS WAY. Aka, we don't do this work our way, and with our own personally thoughts and opinions, we simply ask the Lord to tell us and reveal to us what he wants for these areas, and in works:) As Elder Lefevre and I have put our lives in the Lords hands, he has used us to make Santarém one of the new best areas to serve in. Baptizing 3 weeks in a row here was unheard of, and now we have two more people marked to be baptized this weekend, and 2 more that we want to help for this weekend.
And then there are the unbelievers, those who will try to reject revelation and ask, But how many of those people are staying strong and firm in the Church? That question is easily answered when you come to church and see for yourself that those recent converts and now giving talks and blessing the sacrament. We have to literally believe that it is the LORD that is preparing these people, and because of that, these people will stay strong. All it takes is ripping out the unbelief from our hearts, and believing with all of our heart, in miracles. Sometimes I don't even expect people back home to believe the miracles that we are seeing here, or the way the work is being done here, because they are the miracles that you expect to see once or twice during your entire mission, that are happening weekly here:) I am grateful for Elder Nelsen of the 12 apostles that confirmed to Elder Moroni Torgan (the mission president) that this is the way that missionary work should be done, and that this mission is an example mission for the world.
I hope I don't sound prideful to say this all, the truth is, I only right these letters and emails to you all because I hope that they will help your faith grow in God, and in miracles, because they are happening weekly here. Not miracles of small things, but big miracles of life changing events for people. The very purpose that I write these emails is to help with this faith, because I love you all and I want you all to continue to grow this faith, if it were not for this purpose I would honestly have little to say haha. I would probably talk about the Portuguese food every week, or tell you about how it is like 1000000 degrees outside and I am getting skinny haha.
Family, I love you guys, I really do hope that you all feel that. I really hope that you are reading these emails and that the Spirit is tugging at your heart that you too can see great miracles in your lives. I hope that you write down the feelings that the Spirit gives to you, about that one man or family that you know that is not doing too well, and that you go there are you see and experience these miracles for yourself:) That is my greatest desire:) Even if it sounds super cheesy, you guys gotta know that I love ya!;)
Have a good week fam, do something that would make you, God, and me proud:)
Elder Daniel Hatch