I hope that everybody is having a good May so
far......wait.....MAY?!!?!! Already?! My goodness, time flys by!
This week was good. I am getting more familiar with our area, as well
as with the members of the ward. The people here are very open and
loving, as are people in general here in Ceará, Brasil (the state
where my mission is). They are generally very friendly, and willing to
talk to us. It is a very different culture and dynamic than most
places in the world, as well as many of the other missions in the
On Saturday, one of our investigators was baptized. Her name is
Fátima. She is an older woman who had been an active member of an
Evagelical church for nearly 25 years, and who said this about being
baptized: ``I accepted Jesus 23 [or so] years ago, but now I´m going
to follow Him in the correct path.´´ She is very kind, and very sweet
to us. Elder Call and Elder Baptista started teaching her before I
came to the area.
One of the things that has most interested her is eternal families:
that through the priesthood authority of God, we can be sealed
together for time and for all eternity, not just ``until death do we
part.´´ Even more than this, she was very excited by the doctrine of
baptisms for the dead, which she heard about in a Relief Society
lesson. Baptism is an essential ordinance, and without being baptized,
we cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven (see John 3:5). Yet, we
know that millions, even billions of people have died without an
opportunity to learn about or accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, our Loving Heavenly Father provided a way that they may
have the opportunity to receive all of the blessings of the Gospel
that they did not have the opportunity to learn about or accept before
they passed on.
Fátima was really excited about this, because her mother passed away
when she was very young, 9 years old I think. She had wondered for a
very long time what would happen to her mother. Because of this, she
was very interested in learning more about the Church, and coming to
know more about the importance of vicarious work for the dead.
I had the privilege of baptizing her, and she was confirmed yesterday
during sacrament meeting. This week, we are going to help her
granddaughter, Kaylanny, to get prepared to be baptized, too!
Anyway, my time is long gone, but I love you all, and I hope that you
have a great week! I am excited to talk to some of you on Mother´s
Day! I can´t believe how fast 5 months has past since the last call on
Christmas....it seems like forever ago and like yesterday at the same
Love you all tons and scoops!
Elder Reid Powell Empey