Not that I'm keeping track or anything, but: 1/5 of the way done!
HI! So this week has been much better than the last couple weeks!
1) we reached our goal exactly on visits! Here in Trindade, its extremely difficult to have more than 35 visits a week, and this week he had 54! Last night we had our last visit at 8:45, which lasted about 10 minutes. When we arrived at home I made milkshakes out of our homemade Ice cream! That was definitely good!
2) We've got some great investigators right now who've been receiving answers to prayers. (One, very similar to Joseph Smith's first vision.) She said she felt scared and awful and dark before praying, but when she finally managed to say it, she felt "weightless" and said that she cried and cried and cried when she knew that the Book of Mormon was true. Another had a dream where he felt very dirty, saw lots of blue water, then felt clean and the water had turned dirty. He said after that he wanted to be baptized.
3) We were starving one day, because we're extremely poor since our mission's budget was sliced in half, and while walking in the street we found 2 reais (dollars)! So considering it a gift from god we bought bread and ate pretty much all of it in 2 minutes.
Some other interesting things that happened this week, I found my first atheist. That was fun. And Elder Rodrigues had no idea how to react, but in moments like this, Im glad to be American, where people exercise their God-given right to not believe in God, because I knew exactly how to handle it. She still doesn’t believe, but she IS trying, so that’s good.
We have a rule that we cant baptize kids under the age of 14 without another member of their family. BUT, we did get permission from President to baptize a 12-year-old girl this Sunday! So woohoo! I'm teaching English every Tuesday (don’t remember if ive already said that) and I'm getting skinnier every day. Seriously. I've already lost 6 Kilos 0.0 [13lbs]
Parabéns Mãe por fazendo quarenta anos! Feliz aniversario! Eu estou escrevendo isso em essa idioma, esperando que vocês não consigam traduzir! Más tanto faz, parabéns!
Anywho! Things are getting better here. This area is inferno, but we're working at it. Oh, and that video where I wrote "hi mom" was a meeting with the Branch Secretary/temporary president. We weren’t teaching him if that wasn't clear :) But whatever! I love you guys like crazy and can’t wait to Skype you guys in 4 weeks!
It rained on us like crazy (which never happens in Trindade) and so we took refuge in the church.
I took pictures while we waited.
5 months and Batman!
This is Bruna. Her brother wants to baptized
next week, so we were like, OK!
This next week, we've got another baptism set for a 76-year-old war veteran named Milton. He was in the Brazilian Marines as a pilot, and crashed, breaking off a part of his skull! But he’s here still, so that’s cool! We were really worried he wouldn’t except the word of wisdom or come to church, but he did both with enthusiasm, and afterwards said that he found his church! He's crazy cool!
We've also had a long-time member move from a neighboring city to Trindade! He’s a little GH (Gloria dos Homens/ proud) but it’ll be nice to have a old man with a big Mormon family in the branch.
The last President (before Elder Young) fell away from the church completely. And we had talked with him a bunch trying to get him to come back (he fell away about 6 months ago). But 2 weeks ago we FINALLY hit a spiritual nerve with him, and he’s attended church 2 weeks in a row now with his family!
I told you we like Coke. We like to freeze it and make slushies.
Oh boy those are good!
Anyways, me and Elder Rodrigues are best friends. Like, we poke at each other, call each other trunky, joke around, and are even planning on making a movie! (spoiler alert, its a slender man movie). I told him about slender man, and now we’re trying to scare the other one! Its fun!
When I started my mission I thought, "Sweet! Im gonna walk every day, only eat a big lunch, always work out in the mornings, I'm gonna be in such good shape!" But... because we walk all day, we burn off all of lunch after about 2 hours, and we don’t really eat dinner. It doesn’t really exist here. So 1) we're always starving, and because were poor we cant buy very much food, and 2) were always exhausted. In the MTC, I was doing 30, then 40, then 50 pushups every morning. But now, after 3 I’ve already exhausted half the days energy. But this is something that we're suffering together, and I know that when Im old and fat, I'll look back and remember with fondness!
Oh, Batman! So one night, we'd worked all day and were tired, and at 10:25ish were getting ready for bed, when on the floor upstairs against the wall we see... a baby bat. Dead. And with all the doors and windows closed this means that there’s gotta be a family living IN OUR HOUSE right now. AND! When we went to get the dead bat, it totally wasn’t dead! I screamed, but E Rodrigues screamed louder, and not wanting to leave or kill this baby bat, we decided to throw it in the attic where its family probably is living. So after about 30 minutes of trial and error, I finally got it and returned it. Elder Rodrigues was to scared to do anything, so he picked up my camera and recorded this whole thing. But you'll have to wait to watch it, its pretty long and I don’t think I can send it.
But anyways, that was my week. Pretty good, pretty exciting! I'll try to send pictures if I have time. OH! And in 3 weeks, I will be able to Skype you guys for 45 minutes! I'm not sure what hour or how or whatever, but Skype! Yeah!
I love you guys more than movies,
Miracles DO happen!
Elder Rodrigues and I with Milton. People in Brazil don’t
smile for photos, but he’s actually super excited right here.
So this week we baptized again! That old veteran Milton! He was super excited to be baptized and everything went perfectly! The whole Branch was there, it was super cool! Ill attach a pic!
Other than the baptism, our week was pretty normal. We were crushed when one of our investigators (who received an incredible answer to her prayers) cut us. But I'll explain why and how. After 3 or 4 visits, she was progressing SO fast that we asked President if we could baptize her on the spot. He said no, but that was ok. We had also taught one of her 9 siblings Carol (14 years old), who was the same, super good. Accepted baptism and everything. Then one day we had FHE planned with them but she wasn’t home. Her neighbor informed us that one of her siblings was on a motorcycle and was hit by a drunk driver. We asked which sibling and she said Carol. She suffered two hits to she head and right now is in the same condition as Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry. She’s been healing miraculously fast, but because of this, Jeane (our investigator) has been gone all day every day. We finally caught up with her and she said that she didn’t want more RIGHT NOW, and that shell find us when she’s ready. But no one has ever done this, so we've essentially been cut. We almost cried, it was so bad. BUT! Good news followed! Another investigator, Wedya, has been wanting to be baptized for months now, but cant because her boyfriend doesn’t want to get married. But she finally said, "I need to be baptized, we will marry now or I will leave!" He said yes! And they’re finally gonna be married and baptized! After this our feelings about the week took a total 180!
This is the stake center in Fortaleza!
THREE FRIGGAN STORIES!!!
Right now I'm writing this in Fortaleza, because tomorrow an Apostle will talk to the Fortaleza and Fortaleza East missions! I repeat, AN APOSTLE will talk to us Amanha! Elder Christopherson! We're all crazy excited!
Anyways, aside from this, the Branch is starting to grow again, this new family that moved in is already helping incredibly, and I and Elder Rodrigues are still good friends. I'm super scared that next week, one or both of us will be transferred. But we'll see...