I´ll start with the highlight of our week, the baptism of Fulai (Fly) and Salvador. We started working with these young men a little over a month ago and they have come so far and changed so much in preparing themselves for baptism. Their uncle is already a member and was super helpful in the process. So this week all of the youth in the district had a big camping trip for youth conference and went to a place called Funda about 2 hours outside of Luanda. Fulai and Salvador already being super involved with the young men were able to go, and we received permission from President Merrill to hold the baptism there at the camp in a river that runs behind the property that they would be using.morning we left Luanda with President and Sister Merrill to go out to the campout. When we got there it was so cool to see all of the youth all together. I got to see a lot of the kids from other branches that I had gotten super close with. They had it set up super well. Then it was time for the baptism all of the youth gathered around the bank of the river and sang hymns while the 4 of us got dressed, then when we came out the branch president from our branch spoke a little bit and then it was show time. They had jerry rigged a little latter thing that we used to get into the water and then we walked about 15 feet out or so to where it was deep enough and performed the baptism. It was such a special experience. I had the opportunity of baptizing Fulai and he was so nervous and excited, he said that before the baptism his heart was beating super fast but as soon as he left the water he had an overwhelming feeling of peace come over him and he was calm. It was so special for all of the youth to be there and to support them. Elder McCune then baptized Salvador. These two young men are studs to say the least, I cannot wait to follow all of them over the years and see where they go. After we got all changed President and Sister Merrill said some things and then all the youth prepared for a prosyliting activity that they had planned. All of us went to a near by Seventh Day Adventist church near by and handed out Book of Mormons. The church was expecting us and had chairs all set up for us and everything, it was super cool to see how this church in this tiny village did things. They had one preacher yelling in Portuguese and another translating and yelling in their dialect, Embundo. After their meeting they let us talk a little bit and hand out the Book of Mormons. It will be really cool when missionaries get to that little village in who knows how long and sees that seeds had already been planted. This day was definitely one of the best day on my mission, so full of the spirit and the spirit of missionary work. All the youth that we were with there are the future of the church here in Angola and it was so good to see that all the leaders are helping them prepare. It was incredible, I can´t say it enough.
The rest of the week was incredible as well. Last week I mentioned how seeds are so important in missionary work, well this week I gained a huge testimony of that. This week we started sitting with 3 people who already had a little seed planted in them. One stopped usnight and said that she had been to our church in Portugal and that she wants to know how she could get involved here, one ran into the Elders in Italy the day he was leaving and they promised him that he would find us here one day, and the other had sat with the Elders here in Luanda a good time ago and was interested in learning more again. We all need to do our part and plant seeds when we can. Who knows if our seed will be the one that converts that person, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Heavenly Father is watching over that person and will help the seeds that we plant to grow when the time is right. Mission work is a team sport and we all need to work together. I hope that it is the time for these 3 people! I will keep you updated on them.
I am writing all this with a smile on my face! Things are going so great here and I am so grateful for all of the blessing and tender mercies of the Lord in this work. We couldn´t and shouldn´t do it without him.
I hope that you all had just as good of a week as I did! Thank you all so much for the prayers and support! I LOVE YOU ALL!