At the start of this week, after a great day of teaching lessons in an area, my companion and I stopped at a bakery to eat some bread as we walked home. As we came out of the store, laying on the ground near by was a withered-looking woman named Victoria. She was frail, dirty, skinny, weak, and hungry. She silently pleaded for food as people walked by, she was ignored.
My companion and I approached her, raised her up. Gave her the bread and juice we had. We asked her as she was scarfed down the loaf of bread, why she was in the road like this. She cited her story of traveling very far to come here to work, but the job had dropped. She didn´t have sufficient means to go back home, and so found herself living on the street starving.
We asked her if she had problems with drugs, smoking, or drinking. She claimed none. She told us she was 19, but she appeared to me to be in her 50´s. We felt much compassion for her.
We stated we perhaps may not completely understand the situation or how to help, but we know one who does. After we had given her our bread, we taught about the Bread of Life. We helped her to pray. We gave her a book of Mormon, promising that coupled with prayer, it would change her life. I am fully convinced without a doubt of the Lords promises, that when we seek first His kingdom everything is then added.
A couple days later I saw her again. Our member lunch had dropped. Vicotoria was sitting on the side of road, with the same tattered clothes and look of hunger. I asked if she was hungry, she said yes. ´Segue-me.´ (Follow me) I said. She rose up and followed us across town. The words in Matt 25:31-40 came to my mind with even the song a poor way-faring man of greif. We went to a restaurant that has lunch for $5,00 Reais (Less than $2.50) (Super cheap, I love that place, it´s 5 Reais for a plate, and you self-serve your plate. So I load all the food I can on a plate till I have a mountain and can´t place more, and it´s still 5 Reais. (This type of thinking must be Pollard family thing. I think about Grandpa and the buffets in Vegas) After we had eaten. We told her, look, we can pay for a meal like this, but nothing is going to change, you´ll still be hungry tomorrow, you must change. We then advised her to start looking to work. Just start asking everybody, if she can work, even if it´s clean the floor for just a day. We used the restuarant we were at as an example, after some persuasion we got her to ask. She was denied. Yet we encouraged her to never give up. We went with her to try another place. She recieved a no again. But we saw that she could do it. We commited her to keep going all day, not to sit on the street asking for money, get up and start looking to work. She promised she would. A couple days later, we saw her again. She told us she was reading and praying. And that she found a job. She starts tomorrow working at a Salon (the hair place) doing pedicures.I was unable to keep in my excitement and joy to hear this. As we left our friend I found myself jumping with joy, my eyes full of joy. I am so grateful. I know that our Savior Lives. That He uses us often to be His hands in reaching out in mercy and love. My love for Victoria and others here I know didn´t ever come from me because I had the will or a good heart, the Love I feel comes from Him. I know when a power greater than my own is working in me and through me.
Our district is doing awesome. We had a baptism this week on Saturday. His name is James De Matos. Age 14. His school teacher is a member here, Eurides. who invited him to come to church with her a couple weeks ago. His life and poor background is enough to make one cry. The gospel has been the best thing for his life. Love you!