The past week has definitely flown by! Last Monday, we didn’t have P-Day. We got an hour to email and then a normal day. Tuesday was P-Day da Missâo where everyone in the whole mission got together. We went to the botanical gardens in São Paulo, which is about 1.5 hours (by bus) from my area. At first, I was skeptical…going to a big garden sounded really boring. But, it actually turned out to be really awesome. Because of all the trees and plants, the air was fresh and clean unlike the trash/feces/alcohol/smog-scented air I normally breathe. It was also cool to meet some of the other missionaries and talk with some of the others from the MTC. We were there all day. We played games and it was really fun!
The rest of the week nothing terribly exciting happened. We have a couple of investigators that are progressing well. One should be getting baptized this week! We’re currently teaching 20 plus people, probably closer to 30. The people here are fairly receptive to us. A lot of them say, “I already have my religion” or “I already know Jesus”. But, a lot of them also agree to talk to us.
One day this week, we walked in excess of 30 km (I’m not sure what that is in miles). Days like that make me very grateful for the shoes I bought. I believe it was Wednesday. First thing that morning, we had a district meeting about 45 minutes away. When it was over we walked 45 minutes back and then an additional 45 minutes each way to lunch. We ate with a member who lives well outside our area. I’m starting to get used to the normal routine of walking a lot, but that was excessive.
We had one pretty crummy experience this week. A girl we had been talking to for several weeks half way called it quits on us. When we were asking some of the baptismal interview questions, she completely denied that we have a prophet which is completely opposite of what she said in the lesson: “Really? That’s so awesome! Have you ever seen him?” So, that stunk. But hopefully, we’ll be able to guide her back. Ironically right after that happened, the bottom decided to drop out of the sky and an absolute torrential downpour began. That really helped the mood.
Other than that, we had one…interesting…experience this week. Late one evening, we were walking down a viela (a narrow bath between houses) on our way to see an investigator. There were some people having a churasco (barbecue) in this tiny viela. Naturally, they were playing music and drinking. As we squeezed past, one of the women grabbed our hands and tried to dance with us. We managed to skate by and get to the investigator’s house untarnished. On the return trip, she did the same thing and even attempted to kiss my companion. The path is so small, there was no way to escape them. They tried to get us to stay with them, but we managed to get around them and walk away. I can only imagine what she had on her mind. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that!
My mission is going awesome and I’m enjoying experiencing a different culture. There are good and bad parts to it, but it’s still pretty awesome. I hope everyone at home is doing well!! I miss home a lot, but I know I’m where I need to be right now.
Love you all!
A FEW OTHER EXCERPTS FROM HIS EMAIL TODAY…
I’m doing well! I have nothing to complain about. Today I went to McDonalds – about a 25-minute walk away. I called President this morning to ask if we could go. It’s slightly outside of our area in a mall. He said yes before he could ask why we wanted to go to the mall. He also asked me how I was doing. It was the first time I had the chance to talk to just him. We had a conversation for a few minutes. He seems like a really nice guy. He’s very lax, kind of like Dad. I wanted a cheeseburger and I bought Raulino a sub at Subway. It was a nice treat! Both those places are expensive here, too. Imagine our prices in their dollars ($1/R$4,01). He was really pleased.
I’m doing well with the language. I can say most of what I want to say and I’m learning more every day.
Sleep is well. I crash at night and wake up in the morning. It’s very satisfying.
I’m eating PLENTY. I ate a ton this week and I only lost like a pound. Normally we have a big lunch, and snack a little throughout the day. But I did a LOT of snacking this week.
I’m happy and getting along with Raulino. He’s really awesome! I try to look for ways to make him happy. He’s very energetic and happy all the time. For the first few weeks he was on his mission, his family wouldn’t respond to his letters. But they are now, so I think he’s doing better with it. It’s a real testimony builder for me.
Spiritually, I’m learning a lot too. I try to make progress in something every day. I’m starting to realize the importance of the scriptures and what an awesome opportunity it is that we have living apostles and prophets.
It’s been two months since I left today. For me, it doesn’t seem that long. But at the same time, it does. I’ve done a lot in two months. The end of this transfer will be 1/8 of the mission down. The whole thing is roughly 16 transfers. It will fly by!