Another Change in P(L)ace

Pois é. I’ve been transferred again. Today/last night/this morning early I packed up my bags and headed off for the chapel where almost half the mission met to be transferred. There were a good 13-15 missionaries leaving  the mission to return home. I was called to a big area, in a bairro – er – neighborhood? – called Casa Amarela. The ward I’ve been called to is called Beberibe. I’ve also been called to a new responsibility as Zone Leader. So that means instead of being responsible for the 7 missionaries I was with before, I will now be responsible for 14. But! On the other hand, I get to travel more and see more people and also work more! Which is always a welcome change.

My companion is an Elder Martin Sanchez from Livermore, California. Close to home, eh? His Portuguese is impeccable, and it helps that he’s darker skinned (Mexican Heritage?) He’s a hard worker and has a big vision of what the mission can be. I feel like I’ve certainly met my match. I’ll keep y’all updated.

This last weekend was a sort-of blast. My companion, Elder McCall, got sick with a flu. That is, he came down with a cough, a sore throat, stomach pains, diarrhea, congestion, and a relatively high fever. So that was fun. I started to feel myself get sick but drank incredible amounts of liquids (to the point of waking up 3-4 times a night) and I think I’ve successfully steered clear.

We were working in particular with one investigator, Bianca, this week. She had been taught by some missionaries a year before, but fell away from the process. We found her again and she’s been on fire reading and gaining a testimony of the gospel. On Tuesday, we brought her to a member family’s house to teach all of the commandments. All of them. The Ten Commandments, the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Tithing/Fast Offerings, the Law of Chastity, and keeping the sabbath day holy. We took advantage of the fact that she had been taught before and has more or less already been living the gospel. She soaked in every minute and asked for more. She committed to substitute a barley equivalent (Pero?) for coffee and made the change the very moment we invited her. That next day, she came down with an awful, splitting headache, to the point of nausea and vomiting. She went to the hospital and the doctor told her that it was due to not drinking coffee after being addicted for 50+ years. We spoke with her later and explained the power of a priesthood blessing (James 5:14-15), that it could help her overcome the addiction. She didn’t hesitate to ask for a blessing, and we were more than willing to supply it. The Spirit was incredibly strong during the blessing, and afterwards she said “Que Maravilha! Eu me sinto tão leve”. The next day, we stopped by and she said she had passed the morning coffee- and migraine-free. The gospel works miracles. I’m sad not to be there for her baptism, but I will be ecstatic to hear about it afterwards. She is ecstatic about bringing the gospel into her life and raising her grandson to be a missionary and disciple of Christ.

Knowing the Gospel changes perspective, but living the Gospel changes lives – oftentimes for many generations. I feel so blessed to take part in this marvelous work.

May God bless each and every one of you.

-Elder Fleming-

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