Monday, July 20, 2015
THIS IS BRASIL!!
Hey guys, this last week about took me out of the running just from laughing and walking until we couldn't feel our toes. Those will be fun stories to tell. But I do have some things to tell you: The photos I'll be sending you this week are of fun things you shouldn't do as a missionary and then do it in Brasil.
I'm glad to tell you all that I'm still in Mafra and Rio Negro (which the locals here sometimes call Rio Mafra) and enjoying my greatest fear every day: heights and water. I joke about it but I can't help but feeling that I will fall, and then pleasantly drown every afternoon when I cross the bridges to get to our area of work. That said, we are working with an amazing group of people. And the fact that we have to walk a minimum of 27 minutes to get to the closest of them just makes the work that much rewarding. So the stories, as I'm sure you’re all dying to hear:
First, after much debate and even more laughing, we have come up with the Disney characters that [represent each] of the missionaries in our apartment. I have claimed the name of Dr. Dilbert Doppler from Treasure Planet; my companion, Elder Egan, is at the moment Flounder from the Little Mermaid; Elder Chase is Aladin ... or Peter Pan, he still has to find a beautiful girlfriend. And then there is Elder Matos ... what he is we still have yet to decide, I'm leaning towards King Neptune, but I also have a little bit of sway for the Beast. We'll let you know how that works out. The back story on this is that one fine day, we all woke up, and my companion (cuidado o gringo) woke up and started to do his morning workout, but you know that funny pushup kids do when they stick their butts up in the air? Yep that's the one. I then started to coach him a little, and Elder Chase helped him shortly after. We then had a conversation of who we'd like to be in a Disney film, which then turned into who would you be as a Disney character. So that's been the running joke of the week.
I then have had the great experience of having a person ready for baptism fall out of the sky ... we were teaching a family that ... well, didn't seem like they were going to progress too much, then arrived Filipe. He's a friend of the family and he isn't "married". YES!!! We went back two days later, after teaching him only the first lesson and not even presenting the Book of Mormon for him, and he already knew the message we left was true, the Book of Mormon was true, and he needed to follow up on the answer he got. The only thing that was missing was he didn't get to church yesterday.
One more funny one, then I have to get off. We were teaching a wonderful family of Nine. Yep, nine. And our greatest challenge was to figure out how to get this couple married when they accepted the baptism idea. Alright, the wife, Zenilda, accepted, consequently her husband accepted, but then arose the problem, marriage. For starters, Zenilda has a phobia of the word. But we had a really funny experience this last lesson, Elder Matos was with me on a split. Zenilda told Elder Matos and I that if she stopped smoking, she'd marry and be baptized. ON THE SPOT, with no outside prompting by us, Josmar, the husband, proposed and asked it like this: “Let's get married then?” She flinched at the word, she repeated her earlier statement: “If I stop smoking, I'll get married and baptized.” I quickly wrote it down on a sheet in my planner and had her sign it. The rest of the time we ate little cake things and drank this wonderful Brazilian tea.
Hope you have a great week, enjoy the exercise photos!!
Elder Joel A. Smith