Saturday, November 2, 2013

Agua Verde Semana 3

Bom Dia dos Mortos!
(or Dia de los Muertos like they call it in all the spanish speaking communites)
Just to clear up any misunderstanding, Dia dos Mortos has NOTHING to do with Halloween. It´s basically Memorial day on steroids.

Today we had an incredible experience... yeah, it´s p-day, but when you´re in the mission office, if there´s work to be done, we do it. So... in the largest cemetery in Curitiba and the little public square outside, we showed up with about 5000 liahona magazines, 400 Livro de Mormon, 300 Restoration pamphlets, 800 Plan of Salvation pamphlets, 2000 pass-along cards, 600 DVD´s, and a few of these same materials in English. So we show up in the spot that the city gave us to put up a little tent and it´s right in front of the HUGE Catholic church that was setting up to have Mass... but there are SO many people that go to Mass on November 2nd, that they hold it outdoors concert style with a big bandstand that the city sets up for them. If  you´ve never been to Brasil you really can´t understand what the Catholic church is here... In the US (and everywhere else in the world) the services seem to be very ceremonial and reverent, but here, they are a big concert... lights, smoke, special effects, all of the Padres have professional showman training, instead of reading the passages of scripture and what not to a calm music, you need to imagine full out Lady Gaga rock band set up complete with electric guitar, saxaphone solo, and drumset... and the city put us in the middle of where all of the people would stand to watch :). It was pretty awesome. Two zones of missionaries running around giving people church material, mixed in with the little ladies in yellow jackets giving out the little ´Santa Seia` wafers being accompanied by dudes holding umbrellas (no it wasn´t raining, I think it was just to indicate where they were at), and everyone coming up to ask us about the church and the Book of Mormon, and how they could get a copy. During the week, I designed a few banners to be put up in front of our stand that a brother from the ward sent to be printed (really fancy!), and everyone wanted to know about what the pictures meant, giving us chances to talk about genealogy, eternal families, temples, the Atonement, etc. Our little tent was being swarmed by people wanting to know more and the missionaries frantically scribbling down addresses and giving out material. Elder Rocha and I grabbed a bunch of material and starting walking around all of the grave sites (grave sites here are super nifty... they are usually about 10ft. tall with several members of the family put into these vertically stacking coffin boxes, usually have a little space on the base to put candles, a little box on top to put live flowers, a little glass case to put pictures of the deceased and figurines of `Nossa Senhora da Aparecida`) talking to people about the Plan of Salvation and helping people cope with the loss of their loved ones. Almost everyone we talked to has friends who are members of the church and were very receptive. The Japanese weren´t too friendly with us (until we found a Liahona with the front page being a cute little picture of an Asian-ish father teaching his daughter... they liked that one :)  ). Today we Hastened. Our mission literally ran out of materials with one huge activity. We showed up at 6:00h with a mountain of materials thinking that it would never run out, and before noon it was ALL gone. We returned to the mission office with a few Liahona in English, and a half pack of pass-along cards.
Next year we are gonna do this in EVERY cemetery in the mission. That´s how we do it in Curitiba South.

Pictures will come soon :)
Elder House

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