Monday, March 30, 2015

Mission Adventures This Week

So in the week to come we'll likely have a baptism who was happily found by the elders of the area next door. And with the exception with a few of the commandments, they taught about all she needed to know. We robbed them of one baptism, but they had one last week, so it's all good. We are also trying to use the members more in the ward to teach. We had two splits this week to help us teach the increasing number of people that we've found are only at home at night. 

We also used the split to avoid making us go crazy: The never ending humor of my companion and I continually bantering about what we're going to do to each other when we get back. He's given me a lot of teasing this transfer, so as agreed, he will visit the States, I will destroy him in fencing, he will try to destroy me in paintball, and we'll be friends after that.

I have a confession to make. I can get places I had no intention of visiting without even walking 5 blocks. Here's the story: I got up a few days ago, and all was well and right with the world. Studied,
exercised, and got a phone call from my companion who was visiting a different area to help the elders there out. "Go to the terminal at 10:30," he said "we'll wait for you". SOOO, we got to the point of the bus, grabbed a bus and were happily on our way to the terminal when the bus suddenly had a desire to fly off to the center of Curitiba. An hour and a little after getting on the bus, we arrived at the terminal of Campo Comprido where my companion was waiting, I got to tell him
that the OTHER mission has some pretty areas and that they have restaurants that are better than our area. But in the end we just laughed that I managed to get lost in the center of Curitiba after 5
months in the same area.

Elder A. Smith

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Lovely Life, and Running from Dogs‏

Olá! I can't really say that I'm the happiest man alive, primarily because I'm so tired. I'll explain shortly.

My whole week has been defined by three things, Running, dogs, and pessoas estranhos... mais do que Estados Unidos [strange people … more than in the United States]. So here’s the fun part: dogs.
We have spent the best of our time trying to work and get everything to match the goals this week and we had some fun doing it. First, on a split, we made a contact with a person with a Saint Bernard hanging out at the gate. Quite literally this dog was bigger than I was, could have easily jumped the gate and made lunch-meat out of this gringo. Thank heavens he didn't. The next fun encounter was "knocking" a gate and the dog that came to "greet" us (or rather bark at us until our ears rang) was a little too excited and at a dead sprint hit the gate. More or less, it sprinted, slid for 3 meters, then face planted into the gate.  Needless to say, we couldn't quite make the contact as we were laughing so hard. We had two occasions of running from dogs, in the home of one investigator we encountered not one, but two PINK dogs (you read right, pink), and dogs doing weird things on top of walls, sticking their heads out of tiny holes in the walls and jumping over walls a lot taller than me and my companion combined.

We had a good amount of running this week, not counting the dogs, but I had to bribe my companion a little to do it. 

Today I was really excited to learn that we could participate in a large group (zone) activity. Sisters, Elders and that weird returned missionary visiting for the day. Generally, just the elders or just the sisters are there as a general rule. But our president gave us special permission as our zone is on fire [with the work] this transfer. We had a Curitibano churrasco (meat well-cooked over a fire and pão [bread]) and lots of games. I'm tired at the moment. I played Frisbee, basketball, and Uno (mais um brincadeira que eu concei [another joke I conceptualize]). I ran a lot! Somos quebrado [We are broken]!

And weird people. We encountered a woman who said we (my companion and I) pode ser igual Jesus Cristo [may be the same Jesus Christ]. If you don't understand, send me a letter and I'll explain in detail! And people in general doing things completely without shame. (I'm not going to explain that in detail, and don't try to imagine.) 

Other than that, the church is true, if you'd like to find out for yourself, read that blue book with gold lettering [Book of Mormon] and afterword ask God about it. Seriously, the biggest difference in our investigators is only this. Read and pray, or no. Baptism or no, respectively. 

We have two batismos [baptisms] in the weeks to come. 

Elder A. Smith

Monday, March 16, 2015

I got stuck in the rain again this week... Brasil‏

Yep, nothing new there. Just having fun figuring out what I can and can't do to get my companion to call me a fubeca [?]. The pictures are kind of bad, sorry. The long story short is there's something wrong with the lens and I'm working on it.

So, we got to have some real fun here in Brasil again. "Knocking" on every gate that had a window open. We have some great people here, but we have a few road blocks. Gabriel has been an investigator since I got here, and his dad (who doesn't even live with him) hasn't given his permission to let him be baptized. Andre has a head full of ideas that he wants to be a god and create his own plan and have his free agency now. He's not progressing, in case you were wondering. And the others are relatively new, so we don't know how the cards will play out with them yet. But I have to tell you, every time I open my mouth I know one more time that the Church is true, we have a prophet living, we have a power that exceeds anything on earth given to us, and we aren't here to live and die. But to get all the blessings in the end, we have a few steps we need to take. John 3:5 [“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”]

We found a fun little place to work every now and again. We found literally 3 buracos de Narnia [“holes of Narnia”] this week to work. And we have eleitos [elect] there!!! But we still have to be careful as these places are poor and have a ton of shoes on the power lines. Meaning drug dealers or armed gangs usually. Fun stuff.

Shout out to those of you sending letters: Thanks for thinking of me! I'm still struggling with the new culture and everything and it's nice to have something to read every once in a while.

So the pictures are of eating pizza in the house, waiting for the rain to pass with Elder Matos, and a party in the house of Deise our recent convert that I baptized.

Elder A. Smith