Elder Holmes & Ward with Celio
P-Day Adventures at the Palacio em Sentra
Baptism of Eric
Party put on by ward members to celebrate Eric's baptism!
Sorry it has been a while since I posted a letter from Lee. He has been transferred since the last posting and is serving in a suburb of Lisbon called Ovidelas.
Thanks for all the interest and prayers on his behalf. Sure love you all…… Carolann
Subject: Visit from the 70/Eric Getting Baptized!
From: Lee Holmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Olá Família e amigos!
I hope you guys all had a great "dia dos namoradas" yesterday (thanks for spoiling me mom with the package!) and are all excited for another week!
Here in portugal, we were visited by Elder Dyches, a member of the 70, which was great. He spoke a lot about the 8 fundamentals of Preach My Gospel and how we need to be applying these into our work here in portugal. Teaching the doctrine of Christ, the role of the Holy Ghost, Revelation through Prayer, Revelation through Church attendance, Revelation through the Book of Mormon, Teaching People and not Lessons, How We Invite, Then Commit and Follow up, and How to really begin teaching. He shared some great stories about conversions and how we can truly be the angels in people lives here in Portugal. How we need to look to see where the Lord´s hands was in helping us each and every day. Elder Dyches shared a story about how one time he was asked to perform a surgery on someone with a man that everyone knew as the master, one of the best ear, nose, and throat doctors out there. He began the surgery and this master teacher placed his hand on Elder Dyches' hands and helped him make the perfect little cuts that needed to be made. It wasn´t until after, that he realized he had just been trained by the master. During that story, I felt like the spirit was trying to tell me that here on the mission we are being trained by the master trainer, whether we know it or not, preparing us not only for the mission but for the rest of our lives into the eternities. It was a privilege to hear from him and his wife and comforting to hear the love he shared with us from our own living prophet. Not only are we praying for him, but he is praying for us.
Later on in the week, we had a baptism for our friend Eric Anderson de Sousa Costa. There is a long story about him so I´ll try to share a little bit of what happened! Anyways, Eric is one of Josémar´s friends (one of the youth in our ward here in Odivelas). He grew up here in Portugal, but moved to Angola and just comes here during vacation time during the winter. He had come to church a couples times, had spoken once with the missionaries before I arrived, and was waiting for his Mom to come from Angola so the missionaries (us) could speak with her about the church her son has so much enjoyed. The mom took a little time to come, so we started teaching him more, inviting him to church (with their other friend Celio) and his testimony grew and grew. 2 Sundays ago, after not talking to him for a week or so, knowing he was going to leave to Angola here soon, we sent him a text and he showed up in Church. Not only showed up in church but bore his testimony! It was awesome! Josémar shared with him that he was the first person to share his testimony before baptism for 4 years. Anyways, after church we had a lesson with him, he really felt the spirit, we invited him to be baptized that day, he got on his knees and asked God and after the prayer just kept saying how good he felt and how he was ready! How he was really feeling the spirit. Sadly, he had some troubles with his family when they heard about the decision, with him telling them that he really received an answer from God to be baptized. Never have i seen someone with so much faith and so much desire to enter the waters of baptism. Anyway, that sunday night, it was a little tough as he decided to wait, maybe until Angola or in the future, and we prayed that one day he would enter the waters of baptisms. BUT! A miracle happened. He didn´t deny what he felt, he received a ton of love and support from the members here, and decided he wanted to be baptized before he headed off to Angola. We got a call Thursday night, the members did an awesome job of preparing a little celebration after, and Eric was all smiles as he left the waters of baptism.
The lesson I learned with Eric is our Heavenly Father is really preparing his elect, how the Holy Ghost can really touch someone’s heart and testify of whats is true. AND that Faith is what truly drives everything! He had the faith, kept with his desire, and followed through what what he knew to be true.
Love and miss you all!