It has been a crazy week! But first, I forgot to tell you that last week we got to have a special conference. Elder Godoy, the Brazil area president was having a mission tour. He stopped here and gave us an awesome talk. I didn’t understand a whole lot. But from what I could tell, Brazilian members like to party and for a new member at 15 that was weird to him. He gave a lot of jokes (sadly I didn’t understand) and he was very cool. I really enjoyed it.
This week has been really really hot! I don’t know why I even put makeup on in the morning. The moment I step outside our apartment, I have sweat dripping down my face. When we walk to a member’s house or an investigator, I am literally dripping sweat on the ground. You know when dad gets on a normal summer day? Yea that’s how I am here. It’s gross. I feel for you dad.
Last Monday I got the chance to see the sad part of Brazil. We went to an area to spend the p-day with other missionaries. Well they were about a 45 min bus ride outside of the city. They don’t have sewers, or pavement. Dogs are all over the place, and it was really sad looking. That area is only for elders though. But Sister Conde told me it is bad to start a mission in the area that I am in because it is the richest part. No other area will have members with this much money. It makes for hard baptisms, but also is cleaner. Now I am a little scared to leave the area...
A couple days ago I got to experience the sad part of Brazil here in our area. We were tracting on a street that had tons of high rise condos. In the middle of two 8-10 story buildings, was a hole in the ground, literally. You had to use the tree roots as steps to get down to the house. We asked if a contact was there, and he wasn’t, but the woman was open to hearing our message. Even though I was terrified, I followed my companion down. The woman had no front teeth, her hair was short and everywhere, missing a finger, and a lot of other gross things that I wish never to actually see on a person, and later she told us she had AIDS. The house wasn’t even a house. When a breeze came through the house it smelled like human waste. It was so sad! The entire time I am thinking ´todos pessoas!´ (all people!) she was really happy to hear about the message and even made an appointment for us to return. I just wish I knew how I could help her more. And how I can not be scared of that area! But it will all work out.
This week I got to witness a miracle. The miracle is still going on too. I think it was Thursday that the secretary to the president calls us up. He asks, “have you been fasting?” we are like no, why. Well I guess this woman, just out of the blue calls him and asks him about the church. Her story is that she had a dream about the temple (not knowing it was a temple) and that everyone was dressed in white, but she wasn’t. And she wanted to go in, but they wouldn’t let her because she wasn’t in white. She also saw gold plates in her dream. Well she researches this on the internet and find things about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon. So she finds the number and calls the church building here. Sister Conde calls the next day to set up an appointment with her, and the lady (her name is Sandra by the way) Sandra asks us to bring 4 books of Mormon for her, her two kids, and her husband, when we go to visit. She also asks about the Liahona, and who are Nephi and Lehi (by the way, these are things missionaries LOVE to hear). So Saturday we go to visit her and her family. Right when we get there she starts asking when she can be baptized. She already knows it’s true, she wants to get baptized. But she’s scared of water, so make sure the font isn’t too deep... (Seriously! how cool is that!) We find out that she is a professor of religion and her son is studying theology. They are really smart and have tons of religious books in the house. My favorite part was when we handed her the book of Mormon; she clutched it to her chest and gave a deep sigh. She looked as if she was finally home. It was so amazing. I wish members would look that way at their scriptures. She even had Joseph Smiths first prayer as her ringtone on her cell phone. She adores the church music and hymns. Needless to say, the next day they were at church, full 3 hours too. She was so excited every time she would get a new book she would look like a kid on Christmas morning! Sadly her husband hadn’t sat through the lesson, and didn’t come to church. I made the decision right then that I was going to work on him. Well that was easy, the next day (today, p-day, this morning) we went over to their house. They had their books all laid out on the kitchen table and were ready to learn more. Even the husband, Fernando! That was really cool. They were so excited and asked tons of questions. She asked about tithing, and we taught her right then about it. The next moment she is all, can I have one, I want to pay right now. No joke. They are always finding out more and asking us more questions. They were very intrigued by the plan of salvation. Fernando really got into that about the spirit world. They already know all about the temples. We had left the December issue of the ensign with her last Saturday and she read it in a night. She is even reading daughters in my kingdom, the book for relief society and asking tons of questions about it. With the help of Sister Conde she even got a subscription for the monthly ensigns. Then we got something thrown at us. They don’t have two kids. They have five! Two are married, and one more came out of the bedroom just woken up and ready to eat lunch (its summer break here). My companion and I were in shock! They had never mentioned them. Before we left Tiago, the son that we knew about, asked how he could serve a mission. We directed him to the bishop because he is 27. So I don’t know how that works. But can you say golden family? I have always known that God will prepare them, but this is really awesome of him! I can’t wait for their baptism, to see their faces. So that is my wonderful miracle.
Well, that has pretty much been my week. Very excited, highs and lows but I am loving it. I miss you tons. And give tons of hugs and kisses to the kids for me. And to Chris and Jessi. and maybe even toss some water on them to make it feel like I am sweating on you :P
I love you tons!