Monday, April 14, 2014

Twenty Times the Blessings

They were very receptive to our message of the Restoration of Jesus Christ´s Church.

Dearest family,

So I turn 20 years old this week which is cool. I remember what I was doing on my 18th and 19th birthdays still. I worked a 7 hour shift at Dairy Queen from 3 until 10 when I turned 18 and took 3 finals at BYU for my 19th birthday. So I have no doubt that this birthday here in Maricá will be great. I love it here!

Congratulations to Natalie for passing the driving test! I guess I´m the only one who didn´t pass it on the first try. Shame on me.

This week was cool. I´m excited to let yáll know how it went. Elder Evans and I were grateful to have reactivated a family here in Maricá! I wasn´t able to get a picture with them yet, I´ll get that soon. It´s a family of a mom and dad (who aren´t married yet, but we´re working on that with them) And their names are Liviane and Wescley. Liviane has two sons Lucas and Felipe who were both baptized when she lived in Fortaleza, where she joined the church. After they moved here, they kept going to church, but the members here in Maricá weren´t as friendly as they were in Fortaleza, and after they had a baby, no one visited them, which made them a bit dissapointed. But Liviane still has a big testimony of the church and the Restoration of the Gospel. They all have a huge desire to go to the temple to be sealed as a family, so we´re thrilled to have been able to meet them. Liviane has already helped us by giving us references and helping us teach some of her neighbors. Unfortunately, she lives really long away, so we can´t visit them super often. Only once or twice a week since it costs a lot to take the buses there and uses up a lot of time.

Which reminds me. Money is super tough here in Maricá. All of our district meetings and most of the people we teach that are progressing require us to get multiple buses to visit them. We also don´t receive lunch from members as often as we would in a normal ward. Only 2-3 times a week, so with the little money we have, we have to use to get buses and buy ourselves food. If there´s anyway I could receive a little bit of help while I´m still here in Maricá, it would be extremely appreciated. I don´t like to complain, but I would be super grateful for a little bit of help.

We were able to follow up with our visit that we had with Cremilda, and it was great! She said she read 2 times the chapter we left for her to read in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 31), and she loved it! She went to get us a cup of water really quick and Elder Evans and I did a Valerie-style happy dance for like 5 seconds. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she accepted baptism! We´ll help her prepare to get baptized on the 3rd of May. Here in Maricá, it´s pretty uncommon to find people who are willing to dedicate themselves to a particular church. They usually just visit whatever one´s closest to them when they feel like they need more Jesus in their life, so we jump for joy when someone recognizes the importance of keeping God´s commandments and making sacred covenents with him by the proper authority. What a great birthday present!

I love you all! We have a cool lesson planned to teach Jaquline and Alexandre this friday on my birthday. My hope is that as a present for me, they´ll both return back to going to church every week while they are getting ready to be married and baptized. Elder Evans and I will be praying our brains out, that´s for sure. Have a great week full of birthdays!!! 

Elder Braun

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