This weekend, until Tuesday or Wednesday Brasil is going through Carnival! It's like a small time of holidays for everyone. There are lots of parades in the bigger cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and lots of samba dancers performing as well, but here in Penha, the only real difference is that more shops are closed and more people are drunk or playing loud music on the streets.
Funny story. Elder C. Souza, who is getting trained by Elder Longi, was talking with the president last week with the 4 of us elders there and the president asked "how's the mission Elder C. Souza?" And he responded "Yeah things are going good but I just can't manage these hills (ladeiras in Portuguese) here in São Paulo! They sure are big!!" (translate to English of course) and we all laugh a bit because we know how it is. After a couple seconds, when the laughter dies off, we all hear President Andrew say "geladeiras" which means refrigerator!! So we're all laughing about the hills in São Paulo and President Andrew understood ladeira(hill) as geladeira(refrigerator) which are very similar! That was funny. Now, whenever we're laughing and the laughter dies off, we say geladeira or refrigerator and start laughing all over again :)
Yesterday, at church, one of the older men of the ward was giving a talk, and he starts talking and it's kind of a slower talk, almost without a purpose that I could tell, he starts talking about things being nonstandard or not the standard. And then he says that when a woman goes to church in pants, it's nonstandard or against the standards.....man I got really worried and a bit annoyed "Why does he have to say that?!?" my companion just leaned his head on my shoulder like "whyyyy?" as if in despair. We were sitting next to a sister who was using pants and I told her "don't worry about it, that doesn't have anything to do with it" and our investigator was there (Josi) wearing pants and the woman behind was wearing pants. About 5 seconds after he said that, the woman behind us got up and left the chapel, I saw that she had left and I went after her, I got to her after she had already left the chapel gate and managed to convince her to come back. She's a less active that hardly comes to church, I was really worried that that would be the last straw for her. And when I got back, I went and explained to Josi that she's okay and that there's nothing wrong with her or her clothes and she was fine. But man that was close, I got really worried.
I think you must have been a hungry missionary to be able to knock a door off its hinges with a couple of hits!!
The sister had already removed the pins so that made it easier
Were they able to get the broken key out of the lock?
I...don't know, I imagine that now they've fixed it all up.
Do you eat at different homes every day?
Yes, every day of the month we eat with someone different, except for p-day when we eat alone :´( It's very delicious :)
Speaking of lunch with the sisters, I had a very very strange experience yesterday.....we sat down at the table to eat right? And I sit down, I see the pasta, the chicken and the juice, but I don't see rice or beans so I think 'the sister probably just left it on the stove for us to get over there' which is totally normal here! So I asked "and the rice and beans" And the sister responded "there is none" "................." Mouth agape...more silence "that's weirddddd" and for her not to feel bad about it, I explained that it was the first time in over a year that I've been on my mission that I didn't eat rice or beans at the sisters' house....that was so weird. But I told her that I'm not Brazilian and I don't need it and ate it very happily but I felt as if my plate was missing something the whole time, it was very weird, but an interesting experience.
So I googled the sock tie. I think Dad used to have one like that! Cool! It’s knit, right?? Not a literal sock??
No, it's not like a literal sock, it's just knitted awesomeness! I think it's original, and pretty, and cool :)
Dad and I heard Portuguese on the TV this week and it sounded beautiful!! Very melodic! Is that what you sound like?
I hope so! That'd make it easy to swue my future wife! Just kiddingg, but really, I don't know...you'll have to wait and see on mother’s day or when I get home. I don't have a Lot of accent, I speak almost like a brasiliean. I like the accent from the north of Brasil
How was your week?
Good! We had a better week this week than past weeks. We did a division/splits with the assistants to the president and that was good because they were able to help us and our zone out. I was able to receive some nice counsels from the assistant that was with me as well. He was in the army before the mission so he was a good bit more direct and one time I said something to which he "burned" me (like I said something that wasn't right and he corrected me very bluntly) and I was like "Ouch! Eita! I just got burned! Adriele (the sister that gave us lunch that day) do you have some burn cream?" "No elder, why?" "Because I just got burneddd!!!" haha it was kinda funny, everyone laughed, even the assistant.
I met another rower in Brasil this week! The young men's president rowed before he moved to Penha! How cool is that! That's the first time I've met a rower in Brasil. And for the record, I've also never seen anyone taller than me here. I've seen some that are like 6'6" but not as tall as me.
Did you travel much?
We walked a lot but we didn't take a lot of buses
How often do you have zone meetings?
1 a month, after the leadership counsel with the mission
Do you have all Elders in your zone or some sisters?
We have 14 elders and 8 sisters, we had 12 and 10 sisters but we lost a pair :/ I love sisters, they're awesome. Some of our elders, like 4 of them, are being a bit rebellious, in our last meeting they weren't paying attention and we could tell that they were there because they had to be there and not because they wanted to learn anything. I got a bit said when I saw that but we're trying to plan on how we're going to help them out. Elder Rockwood and I think it might have to do with them just not liking us, because Elder Rockwood and I don't have the best reputations on the mission because a good amount of people talk bad about us. Not because we deserve it but just because we had some companion that didn't like us and went and told everyone how bad we were and what not. In my case, it would be Cosme, he told a lot of people. Thankfully, a Lot of people that didn't like me are dead or dying! (mission slang which means that they've gone home or are going home.) But there are still a few stragglers.
Who are you teaching?
We are going to baptize Wilson and Josi this week! I say that more with faith than with a perfect knowledge, because it'll be difficult, because she needs to stop smoking still but we believe that it's possible and we're going to do everything we can to make it happen!
What brought joy to you this week?
I like helping people, so this past week, we were able to help about 5 or 6 less actives decide to come back to church and we got many referrals in the process which always makes me happy :) I love talking with members at church and getting things done and increasing friendships and gaining trust and confidence of the members
Katie Tantillo (your cousin) got to go to Boston for a mini mission and worked with sisters (not Bonnie) but at the end of the week got to see Bonnie too. I haven’t heard the full report yet, but I’m sure it was an amazing experience for her!
That's interesting, I hadn't even heard of this thing of mini mission before I came here to my mission. Is Katie old enough already to do a mini misison?.....it's so weird thinking of my younger cousins as old, like Jacqueline that's on her mission, that's so weird!
Well that's about it, I hope you guys like my letters, they're pretty big, I try to make them fun :) They're a lot bigger than a lot of missionary letters I've already seen!
I love you all! Don't get trunky Just yet, you guys can get trunky when I'm on the plane home. That’s when I'll get trunky.