Bryan has new mailing instructions posted to the right...he really appreciates your cards & letters and asks you to please, please write. He will truly appreciate a Christmas Card with a picture this Christmas...even if it's late.
...Ok, so the story for the week. As I said, Elder Martins is my trainer. He is Brazilian and is from Minas (sp?). Pretty cool elder. Speaks very good english so that helps me out a lot. I am still struggling with the language a bit. Things are different than in the CTM. People just speak so fast here, and then there are all the fun idiomatic phrases that just make no sense when you translate them in your head...but Elder Martins is always there to rescue me when I just get completely overwhelmed.
Teaching is crazy. Every first lesson that we give is about five minutes long. Then we invite to read the Book of Mormon and also invite to baptism. I wasnt sure how I felt about it at first, because I am here to help people, not sell the church. but now i think i kind of like it. it is a good way to guage how interested a person really is before really starting to teach them about the gospel. I am walking sooo much. Luckily this town is pretty flat overall, but still, walking soo much. My feet are killing haha! Blisters and aches galore..but it is all worth it, especially when you find someone that needs to hear the message of the restoration, that needs the gospel in their life. it is just crazy being here, being an instrument in the Lords hands. You never now how He is going to use you, how he has prepared people.
For instance, on Monday we were making a visit to someone that we had met on the streets. However, it was either a fake address or they werent there, but someone else came to greet us. This man, named Luiz, is incredible. He was so excited during the first lesson, and has such great faith in Christ. He has committed to be baptized near the end of the month and to go to church with us this week. So exciting. Also, God works miracles with us. We were visiting one of our investigators, but she was not home. So, we began talking to this lady next to her house, and it turned out to be her mother (named Maria). Maria was a sad old lady. During our lesson she was crying a lot and talking about some things that were going on in her family, etc. So, we offered to give her a priesthood blessing of comfort. It was the first blessing that I have really been able to participate in. After the blessing she stopped crying. She said that she had goosebumps and that she was just happy! The power of God is a wonderful thing. Over the rest of the lesson a lot of her family came in, and we were able to teach them all. Maria may go to church with us as well. Just so exciting! This is the best part of the work, when you can see the blessings coming into peoples lives.
It rained sooo hard yesterday! Felt like I was in a hurricane. Of course we were out working, but gosh, it was just crazy! I got absolutely soaked! Oh, thats one thing I need, a rain tie, or a tie that can get soaked and not be ruined haha. Ok, I love you all! Please keep writing me.
Family, I miss you sooo so much, I love being able to communicate with you this way. I miss you! I love you!
Amy, Ankit, Katrine: I will do my best to reply to your emails in letter, thanks for thinking of me! ...
Some more info that I forgot. There is a way bomb ice cream place here. Basically its called the ice cream palace (translated). Pretty decent ice cream for wayyyyy way cheap. In fact, I am going to go get some ice cream when we are done here. Pday is just as amazing out here as it was in the CTM. Such a relaxing day, even though we did have to clean the apartment and start laundry and all that stuff. The hardest part about being here in Brazil is the inability to drink the tap water, and the lack of a washer and dryer! Was not expecting that. Oh well, I can survive. I do like it here a lot though. We are just in a little branch of about 30 active members. There is a big inactive list that we are working with and definitely we have a lot of work to do. We need to get families into the church. Families that can support themselves as they make this drastic change in their lifestyles.
Boituva has such a crazy dichotomy. There are some amazingly nice houses, with shiny cars and the works. But then the adjacent neighborhood all the houses are...not really houses. I dont know how to explain it. But it is amazing how some of these people live with absolutely nothing! And then they have a sony flat panel tv...just strange. I love the brazilian people though. They are all so nice. I cant wait until my companion and I start really seeing success here. Elder Martins is an excellent missionary, and I think we will be able to work miracles. Here are some pictures (See posted below)
6 years ago