Monday, August 26, 2013

Bonsucesso Semana 6

Rain, followed by sun, gets muggy, then drizzles.
BBQ with young men, bratwurst that sizzles,
One brought some coke, temptation that fizzles.
Searching in Centro for some new kicks that rizzle.

This week was great. Last P-Day, we burnt a bit of meat with the young men of the branch and played some Volley-ball, Basketball, and queimado (which is a derivative of Dodgeball, but more team oriented, and requires only one ball). I made up a little BBQ sauce with vinegar, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, and one of those magical Penzy´s spices called Peri-Peri... BBQ sauce pretty much doesn´t exist here, so eating a bite of the pork that I did with that sauce roasted on was a pretty thrilling experience for a few Guarapuavan teenagers :) We also cooked up some bratwurst and beef. One forgot that the missionaries don´t drink coke, and showed up with a big old two liter bottle... but we stuck out firm and just drank Guaraná (which is the best type of soft drink in the world... if you can find some Guaraná Antartica somewhere, let it get really cold and drink it with pizza or BBQ and you´ll see why I´ll have one suitcase filled with 2L bottles of it here in about a year).

Tomorrow we´ll be in the city center for a combined District Meeting and hopefully I can look for some new shoes and a new shoulder bag... after about a year, they are both in pretty sorry shape. My bag has been being shredded from the first few weeks back in Colombo, but I have been stitching and patching and pinning the poor thing back together to have something to carry my scriptures in. I tried to take pictures of it, but it didn´t do justice of how bad it really is. My shoes are also getting pretty close to the end of their useful lives, but I´m happy about that! Means that I´ve been doing work :)

And work we have been doing. This week we found some very promising people to teach. One is a young man of 20 years named Lucas. We were talking with him on the street about a block from the Chapel (you can see the big white point from about 2 miles away) and invited him to a Wednesday night activity. He went and loved it! We gave him a tour of the chapel and he felt the Spirit testifying that this is no ordinary place. When we showed him the baptismal font, he became very excited and started asking a bunch of questions about the church and authority and everything else that makes a missionary´s heart go thump thump thump. Yesterday he was at church for the Sacrament Meeting and felt at peace. Hopefully next Sunday we´ll have pictures in white :)

Well I love being a missionary and teaching the Gospel. I love sharing my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, about the Book of Mormon, and how the Gospel has blessed, is blessing, and will bless my family for eternity.


Elder House

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bonsucesso Semana 5 (and 4)

Well last week was so crazy I couldn´t even send a good letter home. And this week I´ll have to put in just the basics.

We are renewing our teaching pool cause everybody moved, started working strange hours, fell off the deep end with addictions and doesn´t want visitors, or is lying to us. Sometimes it happens like that, and you just have to start over.

I am very excited about the progress of several people. One is a lady named Beatriz, that we helped get the documentation to marry, and now she is just waiting on her husband to be in town so they can mark the date, and marry, and be baptized! Others are two cousins who were out on a search for a better life, and when we taught about the Plan of Salvation, they understood why they are here, and what they need to do to return to the presence of God. And now they are progressing by leaps and bounds.

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking in church. It went great, cause usually in our branch giving a talk consists of reading a chapter out of an old Gospel Doctrine manual... which would put anyone to sleep. So I put a little pep in the meeting :) The branch president, who is an ex-police chief and likes to (try to) run the branch the same way he ran the Polícia Militar back in the day, thought it was a little out of the ordinary, but the branch loved it. So we´re making a little noise here in Guarapuava, and getting things running the way they ought to be :)

That´s all we´ve got time for today, but next week I´ll make sure to write a nice little email home!


Elder House

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bonsucesso Semana 3

Alrighty! Muita muita coisa...

So... That Monday when I got here, it got very very cold (for Brazilian standards) and everyone started talking in hushed whispers... será que vai nevar? I was doubting that we would really see the white stuff, considering that the last time it snowed here was over 30 years ago... but even with my doubting heart, it snowed... and i mean snowed. In about a half hour we got over an inch! It came down like crazy and abruptly stopped, but at some point in the middle of the night, it snowed even more, leaving us with a very white july afternoon! It was one of the coolest (no pun intended) things that has happened whilst I´ve been here. Imagine trying to plan for the next day when the desk of your Brazilian companion faces a very large window and snow is falling #failure. In Minas Gerais and Manaus, they don´t get much snow... in fact my companion (the Minero named Elder Gomes), and another missionary in the house (from Manaus named Elder Luan) had never seen it. Needless to say, the next morning was spent watching Brazilians play in the snow! Something I won´t forget anytime soon.

Being cold, every stayed home, which was great for us, because every single house we passed by had people at home :) The only trial of our faith was that boots were ruled out as a shoe option in our mission on the day of snowfall... so we walked all the way to District Meeting in our little shiny mission shoes. (Luckily President Fernandes thought better of it, and called us the next day to authorize the use of boots again :)  )

These weeks were full of teaching and we have several people on the brink of baptism.They have testimonies of the Book of Mormon, but each one has something that is holding them back. I think this week will be a week of miracles for us.

I don´t know how to express how much I love getting letters, even when I´m a total slacker and don´t have time to write back. We have been looking for a new house because ours is very old and yucky, and as a Zone Leader over 6 sisters who are also looking for houses, things get busy... and then take out two days for a jumbo conference in Curitiba (5 hours by bus) and the week gets going. But I´m happy and ready to work.

Off to approve a house for a trio!


Elder House