So things this week have been a lot better than last week. I was able to get full nights sleep a few nights last week although the past few nights I have not been sleeping very well so we will see how it all plays out this week. But I am finally getting accustomed to the language and not knowing what all is going on all the time. I am able to speak and understand a lot better which helps a TON, especially with companionship study. I am usually able to get through it saying all I want and understanding most of what my companion is saying which is a miracle considering how I have only been speaking Portuguese for 9 weeks (2 months today). So before I get more into my week I will explain the pics.
The first is the view from an investigators house that I took all sneaky like while she wasn’t looking.
The next few are of the ward FHE we have every week. The two young guys are sons of the branch president and one speaks decent English, which is nice. I am going to help him and the son of the first picture of me with a woman. The son is not a member so I hope by helping him something might happen there. But lets see how good of a teacher I can be.
The next pictures are with my favorite family in the branch (the Asian ones). The boys name is Hitochi and he is pretty cool. I am not sure on the daughters name but the mom is named Elizabeth. We taught the parents of Elizabeth the first lesson and they seemed very accepting of the message. However, sadly this week we ask Elizabeth about them and she said they are only interested in studying the Book of Mormon, not actually in getting baptized. We hope however as the (good seed) we planted grows their desires will change.
The next few pics are some I took above Elizabeth’s house. Yes my apartment is at the bottom of that valley and yes I am going to get huge legs and calves once I am done in this area cause there are tons of steep hills everywhere as you can see.
The sunset one is where we are up in the hills a bit going to visit a member. I really like it up there cause there is no noise of traffic or music or the smell of exhaust everywhere which is really nice. Which leads me to my next story. On our way out of the hills I had my first encounter with the Black Hand, which is what Brazilians say when something strange happens, my companion called it black magic. Anyways we were coming down this dirt road to where it forked. And in the fork on the side of the road was a bottle of blue liquor standing straight up next to it was a glass full of the liquor, weird I know.
Oh and another thing exciting that happened this week is I found out the true difference between 220 and 110V electricity and what it does to your appliances. I was making toast one after noon for lunch since we did not have a lunch appointment, which is the worst, and I assumed the toaster was made to handle 220V. So I plugged it in and pushed my toast down and the coils got really bright, like it lit up the whole kitchen, and I just thought wow they sure do make powerful toasters here in Brazil. Then the thing started sparking and I realized I needed to use a transformer for the toaster. Luckily the toaster made it out still workable but more importantly the toast was not burnt.
Now for my week. As I said my sleep has improved, which has helped a lot of with everything else, needless to say you cant be a very good servant of the Lord when you’re sleepy. My attitude is a lot better and I can handle trials a lot easier (so does the many prayers I say every day). But I needed this help a lot cause this week was kind of a rough one in terms of investigators. As I said we lost the parents of Elizabeth which is really sad cause they really did seem interested and I know how much it would mean to Elizabeth to see her family all together in the gospel. After all family is the main principle we teach in this church; it is one of the two things you take with you from this life into the next. The next thing that happened is we are having problems meeting with our other investigator named Raimunda. She seems interested in the church and she said she is reading the BOM (Book of Mormon) but we don’t know how serious she is. My companion asked if we should give up on her. I told him no cause I am not ready to give up on her. We also had a scare with one of our other investigators named Val. I believe I told you about her last week (she is the one we showed the film about Jesus Coming to America and then we talked about the Book of Mormon). She is the friend of the woman whose son I am going to teach English too. But our scare was that we could not teach her because her husband did not like the missionaries and would not allow her to have discussions taught to her. However she came to church on Sunday with Sandra (name of the woman) and we were super excited to see her and she was so excited about church and she really like it. Needless to say she wants to get baptized!! We found a way we can teach her the lessons and we are really excited for her. We gave her a BOM yesterday and she was so excited to finally get one. It is so amazing to see how the spirit can have such a profound effect in a person’s life. I am sure she (Val) didn’t think she was going to make such a big change in her life last Sunday before we showed her the film. However the spirit touched her heart and she made the decision she wanted to see what this church is all about. However it is still sad that her husband is so against us (I think they are separated, my inability of speaking Portuguese makes it hard to understand everyone’s situation) but at any rate it is sad because this gospel is supposed to bless the lives of those we teach as well as their families, and it is really hard for it to do this when they are separated or not all baptized as a family, which is another sad thing to see. There are a few members who are members but not their spouses, which is sad because the great blessing of this gospel is families are forever. As you can see I have been learning a lot about the importance of family in Gods plan for us, in fact it is central to his plan.
I do have a testimony that families are forever. In my weekly letter to the president I told him how I was feeling alone my first week. He responded to my email and told me about how I am never alone and how there is always my family supporting me as well as the God Head. But he also said there are angels supporting me, and I really can feel that. I can feel the support of mom when I am having a hard day, or when I think I can’t make it to the top of a big hill. I know she is always there with me, helping me along. I can feel it and it is truly amazing.
Well that’s all that has really happened that week, we have been trying to work with inactive members which is hard but kinda funny cause you will see them poke their head out and then dash back in the house and pretend they aren’t home so they can avoid you. Anyways I am feeling more like a missionary every day and I am growing to love the area and love the Brazilian people even more every day and it feels amazing. The members are very receptive and friendly to me, which helps a lot. But if you guys want you can send me longer emails now, I am not longer limited by time here in the field. I love you all and I look forward to talking to you guys next week. Allyson says it is only an hour a head here than it is in SC and 3 for Utah. Therefore I plan on calling on Skype at 4pm my time, 3pm SC time and 1pm Utah time. Now the computer I am using I am not sure how good the internet is, so if it doesn’t work or if you don’t see me STAY ON!!!!!! I will hurry and try and find another computer or communicate with y’all some way so y’all know what time I will call back. Anyways, I love you all and keep sending me emails!! I love them!