This is how NOT to play "torta na cara" (from 12-21-09 blog)
Another great week in Brazil! I realized not long ago that for speaking MOST sentences in Portuguese, I don’t have to translate them in my head first. I don’t know how it works, but it’s cool. Same thing with hearing it.
Our “trio” has had its difficulties. Some times I feel like the 3rd wheel, other times, it's good. One thing that is different with us is the presence of the Holy Ghost in our companionship. With Elder da Silva we never had it, because we didn’t like each other. What converts people is not the things we say, or the logic we share, but the feelings put in their hearts by the spirit we bring, and when there is contention with us, the Spirit is not there. In 3 Nephi 11:29 it says, "...he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." Consequently, we never found anybody solid. Now that we have the Spirit with us, we are finding people like crazy! I briefly mentioned the family of Fernando last week. They´re nuts! Man, some of the most spiritual experiences so far on my mission have been with them. Fernando, the dad, Margareth, his wife, and their kids: Jeferson, 17, Fernanda, 13, and Graciela 10. They are going to get baptized this Sunday!!! The mom, Margareth, was initially hardhearted in her Catholic ways, with many questions like worshipping Mary and the Saints, and reciting the Lord’s Prayer, but we got her to pray one day and it was way good. She thanked the Lord for the presence of the elders and the change that had happened in her family. Bam!
We are teaching a 17-year-old girl, too, named Bruna. Her boyfriend is a member in Londrina. She will get baptized too. Maybe this week, maybe next week.
So what happened to everyone else? It starts with them saying they will go to church and then not going. Then they become harder and harder to find, and then we have to cut them from our list and stop going there. What makes the difference? Prayer. Pure and simple. Of course, mostly on their part. First praying, and second, really asking to know if this is the true Church of Jesus Christ; third recognizing an answer when it comes. 99% of people can’t do this. Why? I don’t know yet.
So we’re all super nervous about transfers this next Tuesday or Wednesday. 11 elders will leave this week and 4 will arrive, so we’re thinking that only 1 companionship will stay in Ibipora. In which case, I have a 66% chance of getting transferred. On the other hand, we’re baptizing here, which is something that the mission as a whole, is not doing. Last week, the entire mission (all 133 elders) baptized 8 people. That’s bad for Brazil. Londrina is already one of the least baptizing missions in all of the Brazilian missions because southern Brazil is more rich. That is pretty bad. The northern missions can sometimes have more than 200 a week.
Where was this kind of fun when I was a kid?
So, we decided to go on a little hike in the jungle just outside the city borders. HOLY SPIDER!!! This thing has fangs! Although it doesn’t appear so, its body is about as big as a caterpillar, and the legs fill out the rest of your hand.
Isn't he cute? (go in closer and check out the fangs!)
Have a great week!!!