Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 11: Elephant Graveyard

May 26, 2014


Happy P-day/Memorial Day to you all! Ha-ha I forgot that the holiday even existed... But Every Monday is a holiday for the missionaries! 

Today I HAD to buy a jacket so that’s why I spent 35 reais on my card...  I don't want to spend much and I was really reluctant to buy a jacket but it has been COLD at night and at least it’s a cute jacket... but I don’t like spending much. I am trying to save money now and it's hard sometimes. I might not have enough for next week's groceries (the prices are spiking up) but that’s OK we can work it out over here. 

The super potential Gabriel didn’t get baptized this weekend. He talked to his dad in São Paulo and he told him to wait it out and so he decided he didn’t want to get baptized this weekend. Which you know, was pretty tough news but what could I do? His agency.  

This week has been really rough to be honest. My foot is better and all, and so is my health :) but lemme tell you in greater detail: 

Monday night was FUNNY! We taught the Gabriels the 10 Commandments and I pretended to be Moses so I used my white lace scarf and used a deep voice to teach the lesson. It was funny and spiritual so it kept things interesting. 

Tuesday we played Neville's favorite birthday game: walk in circles (Potter Puppet Pals, Neville's Birthday). LITERALLY felt like that! We had lunch VERY far from our house and stayed there too long so our lesson with Lara took longer. She understands EVERYTHING and feels the spirit but she needs "more". More feelings, stronger faith, etc. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED IF YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE?! It's hard but we aren’t giving up without a fight. She's going to Utah because her aunt has a very good friend who lives there and is staying in Campo Grande for a while so when she goes back to Utah, Lara is tagging along. We taught Gabriel and Gabriel again at night after an afternoon of unsuccessful tracking. After that lesson, we went to Rosangela's house since we heard she goin to rehab with her friend Amy Winehouse (haha kidding) but she was SO drunk and touchy with me and we decided to just sing a hymn of encouragement and split because things were getting creepy. So we sang and she started crying. No, not "tears-in-my-eyes" crying but BALLING and WAILING type crying and we tried to leave as fast as we can... and we did. Wow we know she is never gonna progress so we aren’t going back there. 

Wednesday was okay. District meeting was nice, all of the elders ended up eating lunch with us and there was mashed potatoes made with "leite sem lactose" so I didn’t get sick. We taught three students we met and they didn't seem interested, which was sort of sad, but what can you do at this point? A bit discouraging but you gotta find those who accept the message. Plus I told myself "Gabriel is getting baptized why are you upset?" (before he cancelled). 

Thursday was AMAZING. Very hot, humid and the rains began, thank goodness! We taught a 19 year old named Fernanda who DID accept our message and baptismal invite! It was wonderful except she lives in the Elder's area and was just visiting her sister/babysitting! Augh! she is SO elect and so far from us... but we are on the same team as the elders so I want to see her get baptized and hopefully they have visited her. Unfortunately after that amazing visit we heard the news of our Gabriel not wanting to get baptized on Saturday; it was SO heart-breaking and the Zone Leaders came all the way from the other end of town in the stormy weather! But they gave us some really good advice, telling us to visit him the next day and to talk to him and his mom and step-dad and help encourage him because we KNEW the enemy worked with him. I then called him to ask why and he told the reason with his dad in São Paulo and he is following what his dad wants from him. I then asked "what does your father in heaven want from you?" and he didn’t have an answer. After giving him some encouragement we went to eat pastel to take away some of the sadness and it sure didn't help and I don’t want to eat pastel EVER again! Seriously it's just grossed me out at this point and it isn’t even good for me. Never thought I'd say that. 

Friday we went through the ends of the earth for lunch and to find Gabriel. We had to take a bus for lunch since the family lived off the map and Gabriel lives in the Elders' area so with Elder Pinheiro and Mayolo's permission (ZL's names) we embarked on a harsh journey to the end of Rua Ponto Porã. It was the first day of "cold season" here and the rains and the winds showed no mercy for us sisters. We continued on and went to his house only to find that he wasn't home. Only his step-father. We talked to him and he was happy with our visit and told us how Gabriel was. He studies the scriptures (Book of Mormon) regularly and really likes it, according to him. But sadly none of his family members encourage him to be baptized now :( we haven’t heard from Gabriel since he didn’t go to church this Sunday. We can’t get a hold of him either. 

Saturday the cold continues and we worked SUPER hard! We taught many less-actives, new people, and invited Yasmine (recent convert girl who stopped going to church) to go to the BAILE COUNTRY! (Country dance!). She went with us and the three of us endured more rain and wind. Despite the conditions, we were happy to work.

Sunday was COLD and MORE rainy than ever! So church attendance was super poor due to the cold. Many people who usually go didn't show up and we were colder inside than outside. We had to walk a LOT to teach a lesson and we also had to walk in a lot of rain. Man there is nothing worse than wet tights! Wet socks, wet everything! After the lesson we walked to the FHE with Lara, Guilherme (member friend) and had an enjoyable lesson on conversion.  

Wanna know how I am combating the cold? So miraculously the blankets didn’t stink when we took them out again so I am using those blankets a lot. Also, we dug through the "cemitério" (cemetery, old missionary clothes) or as I like to call it, the "Elephant Graveyard" because most of the clothes could fit an elephant or be used as a tent for someone the size of me. But I found a few things I could use for sleep and on the road. Also, I love to boil water to put in my Camelbak bottle and drink it during the day (and to keep my hands warm) and at night, I boil more to keep me warm at night. I also grab one of the two liter bottles we have at home and put hot water inside and put it by my feet to keep me warm all night! It is the funniest and best advice. I am also thinking of putting plastic bags on my feet before putting on my tights so my feet won’t get too wet. I am full of funny ideas that will help me survive! 

I am happy to hear the news at home as always! I am sorry if I am horrible at responding to questions but I get so excited that my mind wanders all over the place! I hope you all enjoy my little email this week. It was rough but the little miracles are keeping me alive. One night while I was praying some of the neighbors were BLASTING certaneja (Brazilian country) which was REALLY distracting. I said "I am sorry Father, this music is distracting me and I want to talk to you!!" and right after I said it, they turned down the music! Also the cold. It is cold for us here, which is unusual but I love it because it reminds me of home a LOT! The rain, the wind, and even though I am not made for the "Northwest-like weather", I am enjoying every minute of it :) 

I miss you all SO much! I loved the news and everything! 
Love you!


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