Tuesday, August 9, 2011
First off, after writing you, our group of missionaries went to the zoo!!! It was amazing. We had lions, and tigers and...deer. Yes, deer, and ducks too. Quite exotic. The penguins died, and so, it was a little sad. We also saw a duck like creature that looked like it was from the Ice age movies. Photos being sent. It was great, and it was absolutely free!!!!!
As well, I´m pretty sure that this ward is getting ready to sacrifice me to some sort of pagan god or something, because they will not stop giving me food. God probably thought, that since I have had a few difficult areas that now I can be spoiled. But dang it, I´m getting fat...for this family, that is. What happened...see on Saturday we had a July Party (festa de Julhino) where everyone dresses up like cowboys and hicks and you eat and eat and eat. Then after eating hot dogs, corn on the cob, a sweet corn substance, pie and cake and more pie and cake, the women of the ward gave us 5 bags of leftovers to take home. (We have given some to the elders).
Then the next day we baptized Myalla. It was wonderful, the ward stayed and the parents cried and are now firm in their decision to return to the church and to prepare to go to the temple (YES!!!!!) The parents were crying, it was wonderful. After that, because there was still a ton of leftovers, the ward had lunch. The members that we were going to have lunch with said, eat here and then we´ll have lunch at our house. So I had two lunches, pretty much died after.
The members also gave us four laoves of bread and four cartons of milk on Sunday. So much food. Anita is baking us bread, cake and everything else.
Then on Monday we had a family night at the home of a family who are from Peru, but who lived in Japan and are now here in Brazil. They only had hymn books in Spanish, so we sang songs in Spanish...interesting. Then afterwards she made us a Peruvian Dish. It was baked potatoes with beef, eggs and raisins and some more stuff in it. It was quite good. We ate two and then she sent us home with four more.
And then on Tuesday we had a welcome home party for an elder returning home. Mom, Dad, do not even think about it. He came home, went to the stake center and then to the chapel where the ward and all of his friends were waiting with food and slide shows and wow, it was overwhelming. My first day home should be family, salmon, and sleeping. Oh and facebook and Harry Potter. And yes, they gave us leftovers.
So, yeah, working and trying to be better. I´m so proud of this family, you guys rock!!! The book of Mormon truly is the word of God, and it is because of it that we know why we are here. When we read the book we feel the peace of Christ and truly it is amazing. I love you all.
Wow, wow, wow, it seems to be flying so fast. Seems like only yesterday was the day that I was writing you guys and you were all at camp. Dude, no complaints.
Well, so we were able to get some shoes for my comp, but am now totally and completely broke. Whatever. We´re working and we´ll baptize this week...one of the families that we´re helping reactivate. My comp is okay, she just keeps talking and talking and talking and then she´ll talk some more about anything and everything. Let´s just say that I am learning (again) about patience. It´s like Joseph Smith once said, that the Lord has to keep giving us the same lessons until we finally learn it. Again, I am the healthy one of this pair, but honestly, am beginning to feel old and tired.
Last week on our p-day we went and visited the huge Catholic church here. It is so beautiful. They have these giant painted pictures with stories of the Bible. Honestly, I like our story and photos of Adam and Eve more, they look terrified and horrible leaving the garden with and angel (I think it´s supposed to be Micheal because he has a giant sword.) sending them out of the garden. As well, quite funny, you have the baptism of the Lord. He´s sitting next to the river and John is pouring water on his head with a gold cup or something. Complicated. I like our version better, it makes more sense. Who would walk to a river only to have a tiny bit of water sprinkled on your head?
We also were able to take Anita (a recent convert) and her family to the temple. As always, I love the feelings that I feel in that Holy Place. The temple absolutely is the most wonderful place in the world, and I am so thankful for that place. The temple rocks. When I go home, I´ll be going there every single week.
Well, think that´s it. Have fun at camp!!!! See you guys next week!
So, wow, okay...downside to opening an area is you know nothing and usually the other missionaries do not leave you anything...(I´m an exception, I usually leave at least one person to be baptised) but, life is good. This ward is absolutely wonderful, but more on that later.
So, it´s hot here. Yeah, I know, crazy Brasil...one area is absolutely freezing and the next area is hot!!! But what can you do? Americana is a huge city. We have to take the bus everywhere, and so my finances are not as amazing as I would like. I am still with a cold and am not feeling amazing, but I´m going to take it in stride.
S.Barbosa is a convert of 5 years and if from Natal. She is the only member of her family who´s a member of the church and her family doesn´t really support her. For example, she is without shoes...her only pair are breaking and we are trying to find a pair of shoes, but her stake has to approve it and agree to pay for the shoes. It´s quite sad. She is also engaged (and will not stop talking about him...my gosh!!!) to a missionary who is serving in Terezina.
So, on Saturday, I got permission to go back to Cordeiro for Zilda´s baptism (because I´m in the same zone as before, S.Cleise couldn´t come) and we were at a house of a member. I asked her which bus I should take to get to the Rodoviaria. She asked why, I explained that I was going back for a baptism in Cordeiro, and a min later this woman´s husband called and said that he was somewhere far far away biking and could she come get him at 4:00? She replied, yeah, but first I have to drop the sisters off in Cordeiro, so I´ll be a little late. UM,UM,UM??? She said, Get in the car, and she took us. AWESOME!!!
The baptism was absolutely lovely. We had a bus leaving at 5:15, and since every Mormon event starts late, we literally had to book it the moment after Zilda came out of the water. I was so proud of her, and she and I both cried a little. This is also the second baptism that I have given to one of my zl´s...Elder Motto. He was the missionary who baptized Ana, and now he can count this baptism as his as well, because the zl´s are going to take care of Cordeiro now...what do you do?
After that, we went to the stake center in Americana for the stake´s fiesta...which had more than 700 people and many many many investigators, which rocked. There was so much food, I think I gained 4 or 5 pounds. The next day, on Sunday the members informed us that they give food to the missionaries every Sunday...and they gave us three bags of food. Wow, Í´m not complaining.
But, we have really have been walking in circles these past few days, and I do not like it. Yesterday, after DM, I decided to go back to the house and look at the area book and try to figure out what God wanted of us. We prayed to know where to work and nothing.
I remembered a quote that President Lee said when he was talking to President Eyring. He said, ``Hal, if you want to get your revelation, do your homework...`` And that was exactly what Pres.Eyring did. So, I took his advice. Was there anything, any piece of paper, anything? It didn´t look like it. Finally, I saw this piece of paper that the other sisters had written the name of a family less active. It said that they had a nine year old daughter and that she wanted to be baptised, but that they didn´t know the number of the house. Well, let´s start digging. I looked through some old papers and found that a woman had gone to church who lived in that street, number 53. Well, maybe she would know. When we found the house, it turned out to be this family. They want to come back to church and their daughter wants to be baptized, and could we baptize her? Um, yes!!!
As well when we were teaching on that street we did a contact and taught a family that accepted to be baptized. Now, we just have to help them get married, but truly it was a day of miracles and we are going to keep having them if we do our part and stay focused.
Love you all,