These past two weeks have flown by! We’ve had a bunch of crazy stuff come up in the office and have been working really hard both inside and outside of our nice little air-conditioned box.
A couple of the crazy things:
- Last week I was with President at the hospital visiting an Elder that was there recovering from being pretty sick. As we were leaving (it was about 10:30 at night), we had to walk down the street a bit to get to his car. As I opened my door, I noticed that a strange shiny substance was all over the seat. When I looked closer, I realized that it was glass. The car had been broken into. The guys that broke in left a bit of blood on the back seat (having broken the glass by hand) and had taken the radio and the spare tire, as well as damaging a bunch of other stuff. All-in-all, it was about $5K in damage. Yikes!
- Brazil is celebrating Carnaval right now. That means that since Friday of last week until Thursday of this week almost nobody was working. They do holidays a little bit different here. There’s the official day of the holiday, as well as 1/2 days before and after that nobody will work. They just kind of turn it into a holi-week. The official days for Carnaval were Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday is holiday too because they all have to let their livers and brains get accustomed to being sober before they can go back to work Thursday. Around the holidays it seems like everyone travels to be with friends and family, so there was almost nobody in the streets or at home for us to talk to. That part wasn’t all that fun!
- We had an elder get ticked off at his companion and left him. He was missing all night and the better part of the morning the second day. When he was found, he was brought to the mission office where he stayed for about 25 minutes before we put him on a plane back home. It’s been interesting to see how some missionaries have the desire to serve and do the right things and others do not.
I had a cool experience yesterday as we were teaching a woman in a member’s house. We were talking to her about the importance of praying about whether or not our message is true. We explained to her how she could gain her own testimony and have a certainty for herself of the truthfulness of the Gospel. We also stressed that it is super important that she gains her own personal testimony so that she could have something to rely on when things get rough. Everything we taught just seemed to flow perfectly. Elder Viana and I switched talking in between the two of us at what seemed like the perfect moments. We meshed our thoughts and words together like we had planned every second of it. As we were drawing near the end, I could start to feel the Spirit touch me a little bit. When it was my last turn to talk, I said, “as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as His Representative, I promise for you that if you’ll pray and ask your Father about the truthfulness of His teachings, he will give you your response. This response will change your life forever for the better and will have an incredible effect on your family as well. I testify that the things we’re teaching you are true. I know that Christ lives and that He loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet. I know that Christ suffered for our sins so that we could continually become better and more like Him. I know that what we’re teaching can help you do just that.” As I closed my testimony, I almost felt enveloped by the Spirit. I felt assurance of the words that I was speaking and felt confirmation that they were indeed true. I LOVE what I’m doing here. It’s really hard sometimes, but I know that it’s all worth it. I’m glad that I chose to serve a mission and that I’ve been designated bring the light of Christ into the lives of these people. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to do what I can to become better every day.
I love y’all!
Elder Chapman Tew