Saturday, January 3, 2015

Elder Costa Dec. 17, 2014

Steven, Britten and I had much anticipation for this day.  We were going to meet with Elder Costa, the Area President of Brazil and the doctors and nurses at the Albert Einstein Hospital today.
Felipe picked us up at the Hotel and was going with us to meet the doctors and Elder Costa.  While we were driving Felipe shared with us what happened after he dropped us off the night before. Felipe and Lohony (who had also just returned from a mission) shared their testimony's with Andre.  Andre was so moved with the spirit he felt, by learning of Britten's miracles and every one's testimony's.  He said, "I have this good feeling and I want this in my life.  I want to learn more, so I can feel like this always!"  My eye's welled up to hear of Andre's desire to learn more of the gospel.

Before our appointment at the church offices with Elder Costa, we decided to have lunch at the temple.  There were 9 sister missionary's eating lunch there also, before their return home that evening.  It was wonderful to be able to visit with them about their missions and where they were from.  What a small world it is, as one of the sisters, was from Smithfield, Ut... just a couple miles from us. Crazy!  We took pictures in front of the temple and then went to the Church offices that are located right behind the Temple.  It was wonderful to be in the Sao Paulo temple and the temple grounds again!

We entered the Church offices and we had to show our passports at the front desk to be cleared, before they took us up to see Elder Costa.  This was all so familiar as I remember so well our first visit here.  We entered the front office and there was Elder Costa standing down a long hall with a huge smile on his face and his arms held out to greet us.  He showed much enthusiasm to see Elder Schenk as he gave him a Huge Brazilian Hug!  He welcomed each one of us the same way...even Felipe.
To sit in his office for the second time was amazing and something I never dreamed would happen.  My heart was overflowing as smiles and laughter filled the room.  Many stories and feelings were shared and later I wished I could have recorded the conversation.  Elder Costa shared many things with us.  He shared how the people in Brazil loved Elder Schenk and how his miracle had touched the lives of many.

We asked Elder Costa, "How much time he had for us", because we knew of his busy schedule.  He replied, "I have a very busy schedule today, but for you...I have 10 hours!"  It was incredible the love we felt from this great man.  We then asked Elder Costa, if we could share with him, Britten's story that we put together on DVD?    He said, "Of course".   It was thrilling to watch his face as he was moved with the video.  When the video ended he said, "I have a great idea. We need to put this on the church website for everyone to see.  Brazil needs to see his miracles, and it would help so many!  But we will need your permission."   I hesitated a minute and asked Steven and Britten what they thought about this.  I told Elder Costa that we have spoken at several firesides where we have shown this video and several times people have asked me if they could get a copy of it or if it was on the inter net.  I told them No.  It's just kind of for us and family.  Just not ready to put it out there for everyone to have.
 I turned to Britten and asked, "What do you think?  Are you ready to have it out there?"
We all looked at each other and decided.... maybe it's was time.  Elder Costa was so excited and went
to get Alex who would be over this project.

While Elder Costa was gone we had a wonderful and moving visit with Ozani and Nellys, Elder Costa's secretary.  Nellys is a most beautiful woman and could be mistaken for the Brazilian version of Angelina Jolie!  Nellys told me that she will never forget the look in my eyes when we came to see Elder Costa after Britten's accident.  She said, "I can't even imagine the pain of a mother receiving this news about her son."  She said, "When you and Steven left Elder Costa's office to go to the hospital, we all joined together and knelt in prayer for Britten."  

Ozani shared with us his personal experience of Britten.  He told us that they kept some news from us when we came after the accident, as they were just trying to protect us.  As he continued to share with us some of the details, he got choked up and was having a hard time containing his emotions.  He asked to be excused.  It was so difficult for him to relive those first few days, as he was with Britten.
He said when he went to Santa Casa Hospital to see Britten, he was completely wrapped in bandages.  He said he couldn't see anything... couldn't see his eyes or any of his face...anything.   It was not good. He told us it took them about 4 hours trying to get Britten ready to be transported from the Santa Casa hospital to the ambulance that was transporting him to the Albert Einstein Hospital.   Britten asked them why it took so long.  Ozani and Nellys said, "because YOU were in such critical condition!"   "So many people were there trying to help you."

They got Britten transported to the Albert Einstein Hospital and Dr. Ribus examed him and ran the test on his brain.   Dr. Ribus said, "I do not have good news for you. There is nothing we can do for him.  He has No blood or oxygen flow to his head.  He will not survive."  Ozani stood there with tears running down his cheeks, just looking at us.  He said, "Dr. Ribus asked President Moriera and I to sign some papers so they could take Britten's organs to be donated to others."   Ozani said, "That is not our roll to make that kind of decision.  His parents are coming.  We need to wait for his parents. When your parents arrived here the area Presidents were fasting.  I was there when your parents met with Dr. Ribus. Dr. Ribus said, "We have a different scenario now....Something happened. A miracle happened......  Ozani choked back some tears and said, "It is a miracle.....It's a miracle."

Words can not adequately express the feelings that was present in that room. 
Nellys then said,  "I know and believe modern day miracles happen, but I had never seen one.   And now, to have witnessed one personally... is incredible."   Tears, hugs, smiles and laughter were shared as we were all reminded about this beautiful miracle we had witnessed!  

Ozani then took Britten around the church offices and introduced him to many.  Britten told me later, "Wow, it was so crazy to have women crying and then give me a hug.  I didn't know anybody and yet they all acted like they knew me."  Oh course, they remembered Britten and were part of the fasting and prayers offered in his behalf.
Elder Costa returned and told us that Alex was gone, working on another project.  He told us that he would be getting with us later, so they could put it on the website.  What an incredible feeling, to think that Elder Costa would want Britten's inspiring story to be seen by many!
It was so wonderful to be with Elder Costa and his staff and to feel of their love for us, as we felt the same for them.
I looked around the room I and saw several different pictures of the Savior.  The Savior's love was present that day!  And we have felt His love over the past 2 1/2 years.  He has been with us!  He has given us strength to get through the rough days.  And He has helped us find peace, comfort and Happiness!
Thank you Elder Costa, Nellys, Ozani andTelmo.  It was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with you and we feel it a great privilage to know you.

My heart was so full of gratitude for the wonderful couple, Scott and Jenae who made this possible. They felt prompted by the spirit to have us return to Brazil and share Britten's story with the doctor's, nurses, Elder Costa and to speak at some firesides. To be able to share our testimony's and Britten's miracles has been an experience we will never forget. Lives have been touched, and testimony's strengthened through their kind efforts.
We appreciate Scott's time, talent and inspiration, in putting together a video (in Portuguese) of Britten's story. You can't watch it with out feeling the spirit and shedding a tear. We also want to thank Aline Bakr and Tanner Dance for doing the Portuguese translation.


  1. Que dia maravilhoso e inspirador. Estou acompanhado o blog dia após dia, e todas suas grandes aventuras aqui no Brasil. Que bênção poder retornar ao templo de São Paulo após esses 2 anos e meio. Que bênção e que milagre!!

    Saudades. Amo vocês!

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