WHAT?? My companion is from Utah and she was just telling me that Provo got hit really bad by the storm. I´m glad everyone´s okay. The world really is ending. I guess there´s this talk by President Hinckley where he says that soon more Sisters are going to be going on missions, not because they can´t get married or don´t want to, but because the next generation will be raised by two returned missionaries! You guys should try to find out what talk that was from lds.org. It´s a pretty prophetic statement, probably because it´s from a prophet. The Sisters in my generation are the future mothers of the stripling warriors!! By the end of this year there will be 100,000 missionaries serving. WOW
Anyway, it´s been an awesome week. I really have no complaints about Brasil. Dad, I just barely got a Vitamina. Yours are better ;) But oh man, THE FOOD HERE. I don´t know what Joel was talking about, because every Almoco I´ve had here has been the best thing I´ve ever eaten. Better than that restaurant we went to. And they always have dessert. Yesterday it was these little balls of crumbled cake mixed with condensed milk, frozen and dipped in chocolate. I think you need to learn how to make that. The members are so cool here. We went street contacting with this awesome 16-year-old, Eliseangela (no idea how it´s spelled). She goes with the missionaries twice a week for at least 3 hours and she is just the best little missionary. She knows quite a lot of English and knows a lot of American songs, like she loves Taylor Swift. She even quoted the Smelly Cat song from friends. LOVE her.
Speaking of cats, there are SO many cats here. And dogs. They are all really sad looking and they all love me because I´m the only person who doesn´t kick them. Sometimes I get really sad because I can´t hug every cat :( People don´t neuter their pets here so they´re just everywhere but I´m amazed at how cute and not dirty they are. I´m pretty much in heaven haha
My roommate Sister Johnson played basketball at Utah State and she says she knows Todd and Kimiko! First name Nichole. Super weird. She´s so funny and it´s weird how old she is compared to all the new Sisters. She´s also 6´2´´ so she calls me midge and I call her Amazona. She´s great. My companion has a boyfriend on a mission in Korea and she started her papers in between sessions of the conference the change was announced... yeah....
The work here is a whole different game than the rest of the world. An investigator only counts if they accept baptism on the first contact. Every single person here will let you into their home and every single person will say they´ll come to church but no one ever does. Those people are called ``moles`´ (moleys) Just really flakey people. We invited like 20 people to church and had about 7 we were felt really good about and only two came. One of them we actually had dropped the night before because he was yelling at us and said he definitely didn´t want to get baptized. Then he just showed up.. Everyone here loves to talk about Jesus so it´s just hard to find the ones who actually will be good members. We´re seeing one guy Eduardo who got baptized a couple of weeks ago and is already drinking and not coming to church. The weird thing is he´s TEACHING his friends the gospel, which worries us a lot. It´s so cool though when you do find a really good contact. I have yet to see a big change in anyones life but I know all of our members really are just like any other latter-day-saints and I know they are all a lot better off. We have one really good family who could be baptized but only the Grandma came because the Mom didn´t have any church clothes. We got to teach her eight year old daughter the restoration which was really fun.
Being on a mission in Brasil, you really don´t have to worry about whether you´ll baptize or not, because you will. But it is still SO much work and you have to juggle SO many people and make decisions about who to actually contact again. Most of the time is spent walking across our area just to be blown off for the millionth time. We had a whole day with nothing but that. Numbers are also really important. I want to be obedient, but I´m still trying to see how having a baptism EACH week is more important than making sure people are ready. My companion and I are alike in that we both don´t like initially talking to people. Finding the elect is hard. We like talking to people who are just out in the street not doing anything, and a lot of those people are really mole. We talk to a lot of gross old Catholic men who don´t understand what we´re talking about at all. It´s just so weird, I don´t think in any other place in the world I would be able to just go up to people and explain why their church is wrong. But it works here. The majority of people, after you explain imersion, not baptizing infants, and the priesthood, will tell you they want to be baptized the same way Jesus was. But then you never see them again.
Brasil in general is just really interesting. The homes are all very simple and small but usually very clean. People have some pretty nice things, most people have flat screen tv´s, nice cars and smart phones, xbox´s, especially members. Almoco is the big meal at noon and we don´t eat again until right before bed and it´s always just a little snack. It´s hot here but overall I´ve been fine because it gets dark really early and there´s a breeze. Someday I really do want to go to the beach here. It just feels like a beach but I´ve only barely seen the ocean.
So I´ve pretty much been nothing but blessed. I love this work and I love feeling tired at the end of the day because I really DID something. I really am just trying to be patient as I learn the language and start to understand all that people are saying. I can´t believe how much I´ve learned about faith. I love you all so much!!!! Ate mais!