Monday, November 11, 2013

11 November 2013

Dearest Family and Friends,

Hello! I am writing from São José do Norte, a little island off the shores of southern Brazil. It is a 20 minute bus ride and a 30 minute boat ride from my area. We are having a pday with a bunch of the missionaries from our zone. 

Yesterday it was raining so hard and we got completely soaked, but it was super fun and we were laughing the whole time because our umbrellas kept flipping inside out and pulling us around and stuff. Basically no one is on the streets during the rain, but we were really fortunate and got to teach a lesson to one of our investigators, Wagner. He lives alone so we aren´t supposed to go into his house, so we stood outside with our umbrellas and he stood in the doorway and we taught about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He has accepted baptism, and we are really excited to teach him. He smokes, so we are going to have to work with him on stopping, but he is really receptive and kind and it was kind of miraculous that he let us teach him in the rain, because people here are pretty wary of the rain. Everyone stays inside and gets angry at the rain. It´s kind of funny. 

That afternoon, we also visited two less active members, Irmã Gisela and Irmão João Artur. They wish that they could come to church, but João Artur is confined to a wheelchair and has to get his blood replaced every couple days so he is really struggling healthwise and Gisela has to get up at 4:30 every morning to take him to the hospital. They are so charitable and loving. João Artur is really sad because he is unable to do his home teaching. Gisela gave me a capa de chuva (kind of like a thin raincoat) because all I had brought that day was a sweater and umbrella and with the wind you need basically full body protection. In their hearts, they want to do everything they can to help and serve the Lord. They are a great example of pure hearts. 

We had 5 investigators at church! Lucas, a 14 year old boy from the Bahía, has a lot of questions! He used to be a Jehovah´s Witness so he has studied a lot, but we are able to talk with him, answer his questions, and hopefully help him gain a testimony. He has a hard family situation, so he could use everyone´s prayers. This week, we will talk to his parents about letting him get baptized (he accepted baptism at FHE this week)

Erik and Eduard are the sons of a less active member. They came to church this sunday even though their mom didn´t go and are going to activities, but they are really really shy. They are super nice though. We are hoping to start teaching them this week and hoping that they are able to make a lot of friendships at the activities. 

It is funny because I have been asked if I am Italian and German, I think because a lot of people here have ancestry of immigrants from Italy or Germany. Someone said I kind of have an Italian accent, which I guess is a step closer to portuguese than an American accent haha. 

So the word for afro in portuguese is black power, said with a portuguese accent (blahck powah). We were at a member´s house for lunch and he was describing someone who had an afro and he kind of mimed what it looked like and said black power and I almost started laughing. It is really funny how people describe other people here. Like one time someone was describing a child and said something along the lines of, oh yeah, that little fat kid. But it is all said in love. I hope. 

I am starting to get used to the bus system. One of the first times I rode, I had white knuckles afterward because I was so afraid of falling down. The busses are crazy. They go super fast so everyone bounces way up and down on the bumps.

Our mission president told us to study 1 Ne 10:17 this week. It is a great scriptures and teaches a lot. For me, it helped me understand better how to receive personal revelation. One part that stuck out to me was ´diligently seek.´ We have to diligently seek, which insinuates that it doesn´t just happen immediately. We must work hard and sometimes wait to know or receive what we want, but I know Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers. 

Have an excellent week!


Sister Smith

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