Monday, February 28, 2011

Neto and Zenaide

So last week I told you that Neto and Zenaide would be baptized this Saturday. It went through and they were baptized! It was so special! My companion, Elder Santos is having a few knee problems and we're going to physical therapy. That and a few other things, we were very busy last week. We got a little side-tracked so we didn't have a whole lot of time to plan out the baptism, but it was great.

On Saturday we went and cleaned out the baptismal font and got it filled up, an hour or so before the baptism. The Irmã Zenaide's parents came from Piripiri, about 2 and a half hours from Teresina so they could see the wedding and the baptism. Irmão Neto has a brother in the ward right next to Taquari, so he, his son (Neto's nephew who just got his call to Florianóplis) and a few acquaintances came to the baptism. It was simple but great. I wanted to do a special musical number, but nobody else who could sing with me was able to come, so I ended up singing a solo! It wasn't the best, but I sang because they're special to me. Then we had the actual baptism and watched a small clip from the DVD Introduction to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It went really well!

Afterwards we all went over to Neto and Zenaide's house and we had a little party with food and cake. The cake was delicious. Very, very delicious. So was the food! They got to know a few more members of the ward, so that was a big help.

Saturday also happened to be my birthday! So it was pretty much the best birthday on the mission. On Sunday, I got to confirm them members. I'm grateful to have been able to be a little part of it all.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Love ya'all!
Elder Rackham

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I said that last week I would report on the baptism we were going to have Saturday. The baptism was postponed a week, but it was for a good reason. For Neto and Zenaide to be able to be baptized, they needed to get married civily. So we went to the cartório (I don't know how to translate it, I forgot) to sign the documents and start the process. The only unfortunate thing is that it takes a bit of time to go through the process. The soonest we can hold the wedding is this Saturday. It's fine that way, because it just happens to fall on my birthday! What a great way to celebrate my birthday!

It's great to see them every time we visit. Every time that we're there, they're either reading the Book of Mormon together and talking about baptism or something about church. It's been simply amazing to see the change that has taken place in their life. I stop and think about my part of the process. I can't really explain, but we as missionaries really don't do much. I say that in terms of helping strengthen families and creating more unity in the home. All we do is teach the gospel. I've seen it many times during my mission, how home life changes dramatically as the people hear and accept the gospel and start to prepare to make and keep sacred covenants. Many people have said of the difference that has occured. We didn't help them with this. I think it's simply the Spirit that comes into their homes that cause this great difference.

I've also unfortunately seen the other side of it, where a family doesn't apply gospel principles in their home as we've been teaching them, and this great change doesn't occur. This is probably a fault of ours, not theirs. We could have taught better, or meet their needs better. Unfortunately we're not perfect. I hope one day that the seeds we planted will sprout and they as well will be able to enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel.

I'm learning so much, every single day. I hope everyone is doing well! Next week for sure I'll tell you about Neto and Zenaide's baptism!

Love you all!
Elder Rackham

Monday, February 14, 2011

Well well well!

I'm short on time, again! I talk to much it seems. I'll be sure to budget a smidgen more time for next week's email so I can send a better update.

We're teaching a family and this next Sunday they're going to be baptized! We have everything planned out for it to happen. Everything should go alright. I'm so excited because it's a very special family. They're so great to us, and I always feel the spirit when we teach them.

I'm excited to plan out the baptism. I want it to be special and unforgettable. They mean so much to me it's the least I can do. We're going to teach them to night.

We had our Zone Conference last week. It was great as always. President Dias' trainings are always so great. I always feel that he's an inspired man during these conferences and I'm amazed at his knowledge and capacity to teach clearly the doctrine.

I'll let ya'll know about the baptism next week!

Elder Rackham

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sometimes you're not sure what to do

We were going to have a baptism this past Saturday, but Aliciane is facing some family problems. Aliciane really felt for herself the truthfulness of these things. She wants to be baptized. But her family is important to her. And that's the problem. Her family isn't too keen about her being baptized. We watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration with her, her mom, and a family we're teaching. It was very powerful and everyone felt very strongly that Joseph Smith didn't make this things up. It was the first time that I watched the movie as well, and it really had a profound effect on me. In fact, I think because of this experience Aliciane resolved her concerns and gained a testimony.

We tried to work with her to see how she felt about everything. But she's scared about what could happen. She has an uncle who is very opposed to the idea of being baptized. He started visiting them and bringing pastors with him to try to convince her that she shouldn't do it. Everything is giving resistence. But it'll be okay. I need to remember that this is done on the Lord's timeline, and not when we decide to have things done.

It was a good week. I love my companion, Elder Santos. We have so much fun and we teach well together and it's just wonderful! The ward is really great. It's been a good experience returning tothe same area I was already in.

I'll let you know about Neto and Zenaide next week. It's one of the families we're teaching. It's been a wonderful experience so far.

Love you all!
Elder Rackham