Monday, November 30, 2015

Brasil, Gaúcho, and That Thing ...

So, after one more week of being on the mission I've come to a rather sad conclusion: I'm not in the USA. The events of the last week have rather shaken me. I'm still happy at work and all, but we have a really humbling circumstance we're working with [related to the impoverished circumstances of the people], and it's rather throwing me. But, all in all, it's been a good week.

For starters, we had a few days of sun, a few of rain and a few that I'm not sure what Mother Earth was planning, but it was rather scary [see picture of storm below]. 

My friend, Elder Grabski, has been a ball of fun this week. We taught one lesson that could have gone very bad, but he managed to save it. And he can't sleep unless he reads for 30 minutes before he lies down. I'll put more in about him next Monday, IF I don't end up getting transferred. 

That was my week, Until the next one!

Elder Joel A. Smith

The Bottomed-Out Bike

Sandstorm Guarapuava, the last photo I took before we had to dive for cover!

Oh Brasil, and CRAZY!!!

From 11/23/15

Family, Friends, and my various other relations, this week we almost lost contact with Elder Joel Smith. But he's still alive, so no one panic.

This past week of work with Elder Grabski has been an adventure to say the least, and I've come to appreciate the help that he's been giving me. To start, I almost got sick this past Wednesday, almost got lost on a bus, and almost caught a cold due to the rain. But in the end I lived. So we're all good.

Fun stories of the week started segunda feira (Friday). We found a crazy lady. It was raining lightly, and we were in a hurry to get to lunch, which is far more important than dinner here, when she called us from under an overhang. That's all well and good. She turned out to be the aunt of a missionary of the branch, was a catholic missionary, and wanted to help us, so we all walked to the nearest bus stop (I had to escort her). Then after we got on the bus she wouldn't stop talking, she yelled (yes, yelled) from the front of the bus when we got on the back that there was space in front to sit, and then we finally got to lunch. But it doesn't end there:  we found her street and she just had to say hello. SUPER AWKWARD!!!! Then she gave me a cup of water that came out of a hole in the ground, it was pure, but the day was so hot that I still had a dehydration spell. We blamed it on the water from the crazy lady. 

On the other hand of adventures, this rain has been a blast. We are still trying to get around the whole ordeal of getting wet. But faith is more powerful than rain. So we get wet, [but we are] happy. And people let us in!

Other than the normal teaching experiences, I have nothing to tell you all other than my Ponderize scripture of the week. Isaías 45:22-23

Have a good week!

Elder Joel A. Smith

Guarapuava from Xarquinho

we found this random macina - Elder Grabski


BRASIL and What Not

From 11/16/15:

Fun stuff this week, I got a new companion, Elder Grabski. Spelling that is fun, saying it is even worse! He's my second companion Gaúcho [explanation: he is from Rio Grande do Sul, which is the LAST state of Brazil, and if you're from there you're called a cowboy or Gaúcho. Elder Grabski is from a farming family so he is literally Gaúcho], so I'm really excited. But we may only be together one transfer, depending on me.

The adventures of the week: Truckers are still on strike. So food may be fun to shop for in about three weeks. Christmas might be an adventure to tell here soon. But this week we had a blast with RANDOM RAIN. So we're in that season when it's hot, muggy, then out of nowhere, it turns into a powerful thunderstorm. That happened twice this week, and one of them almost knocked out the power in sacrament meeting. I'm glad to say no one got hurt ... that we heard about. But we all escaped in good health.

We have a marriage announcement, next week, on sexta-feira [Friday], our pair of determined investigators will be married. Sabido [Saturday] baptism, domingo [Sunday] confirmation. So we're happy. See you all next week! Time got cut short today!

Elder A. Smith