Monday, August 4, 2014

Teaching English!

Our fancy, schmancy banner for the Self-sufficiency/english/institute courses

Dear Family,

What another exciting week we had! 

We had interviews with Pres. Cabral this week, the first time since he arrived in Rio, which was a great experience. He´s definitely a powerful man, even if he is only about 5 feet tall, but he sure knows exactly what to say to motivate and inspire us as we strive to fulfill our calling as representatives of Christ. 

The branch in Marica has been going really well, and it seems like with every week, we´re reactivating different people! Right now, our biggest worry or biggest necessity is to work on retaining these members who have returned to the true church. We´re trying our VERY BEST to motivate the leadership in the branch to establish goals and make plans so that these people aren´t left alone, forgotten, and eventually return back to being inactive. We´ve actually had more success finding new referrals through less-actives than through the active members, so that´s bonus points, kindof.

A lady named Patricia returned to church this sunday. She used to be the primary president about 4 years ago, and some of the members were ecstatic to see her again, including a few of the primary aged kiddos. Her 9 year old daughter, Ana Karen, loved coming back to church, and now that she has the age to be baptized, she said she´s excited for baptism! The first time we met her, she wasn´t very sure about it, but there´s always a great spirit we feel when we enter the Lord´s church, testifying of the importance of following Christ´s example in all things, including baptism! 

Which reminds me, we went from 3 firm baptisms this week to only one, marked for this saturday. Why? First of all, I ask that everyone at home could pray for Marlo. Everything was going GREAT for him to be baptized on the 9th, but yesterday, only his wife Juliana (member) showed up at church with their little kids. Juliana said he changed for no reason, didn´t want to come to church, not even have us pass by yesterday like we planned. We were a pretty devastated to hear those news, but our branch president is helping us by following up with him.

Also, a young man aged boy, Vitor, was super excited for this saturday, but his mom (who doesn´t live in our area) didn´t allow him, saying she she´d prefer that he became more familiar with the church. Him and his grandma, a lady we recently activated, cried because of that. Satan knows just as well as God does how blessed and happy we will be when we live the gospel of Christ, and for that he´s working just as hard as we are to make us miserable like he is. That punk.

But the lady we´ve been teaching, Jessica, is as excited as ever for her baptism this saturday! She´s about as elect as they get, and grows in understanding of the gospel with each and every visit. 

On saturday, Elder Heidenreich and I taught English for the first time in the branch, as part of the Self-sufficiency course the branch pres put together! Not many people were there (only 4), but we had one referral that a member invited who was very grateful for our service. We were a little confused why all of the members were excited to be there... and they didn´t show up. But we´ll just have to keep inviting them, over and over and over again.

I love you all! I´m so blessed to come from such a wonderful family. I´m happy to share this gospel and grateful to have been blessed with both awesome and difficult experiences to help me grow as a servant of our Lord here in Maric√°.

Elder Braun 

Our fancy, schmancy banner for the Self-sufficiency/english/institute courses

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