January 6, 2014
Ola from 6 degrees from the equator!
It was hotter than Hades this week. I think I’ve already used that expression, but it’s the best description I can think of so I'll keep using it. But even though we’re melting here, every time I see pictures of the snow you guys are getting, I repent of all complaints and enjoy the heat, haha.
Our New Year wasn’t too exciting. We worked during the day as much as we could on New Year’s Eve. Almost everyone was out of town, or celebrating, or drunk. But we visited with Rosa and Roberta, the mom and daughter who lost their husband/father last week. We talked with them for a while. Rosa is amazing. When we arrived, she was reading D&C 137 (I think?) the vision of Joseph Smith about eternal families. She had highlighted the entire section. She is grieving, but is so glad to be a member of the church and know that because of this gospel, she will see her husband again. We brought with us the ingredients to something we call Bananas do Ceu, or Bananas of Heaven. If you want I can send you the recipe, it’s super duper easy. But we made Bananas do Ceu with her, and talked some more, and also brought photos to show her of our families and mission and such. And by the time we left, she was laughing and smiling, and Roberta too. Words cannot describe how much I love that family.
After that we had to be back home before 6 p.m., (rule from Presidente for New Year’s Eve for safety reasons). There’s not much to do as a missionary stuck in your apartment. I wrote in my journal, we made goals, played a couple games, and then went to bed at 10:30, but I woke up again at midnight because of 8 bajiliion fireworks. The Sea World kind. From the next street over. Fireworks are not necessarily more beautiful up close, but they are more annoying! I gave up trying to sleep and watched the fireworks for a few minutes until they stopped.
New Years Day, Gravatá was a ghost town. Seriously. NO one was in the streets. All it was missing was a tumbleweed and the theme from The Good The Bad and The Ugly. The whole world was dead. All of our appointments fell through. Bleahh.
After that it got better though. Our investigator, Larisa is amazing!!!! She already knows the church is true and is reading the Book of Mormon, and wants to serve a mission! She’s 17. She loves church, but her mom won’t let her go. We thought it was because of some false things she heard from neighbors or something, and we visited with her to see if we could clear up any misunderstandings she had. But it wasn’t just a neighbor; it was one of our members. He said some stupid false things about our church and ripped her Bible and threw it on the ground. We were shocked when we heard. We told her we were very very sorry that had happened, and cleared up all misunderstandings about our church (number one being we love the Bible!!!!) and some other questions she had, and she was much better when we left. But still, the whole family won’t let Larisa go to church. So we met with her and told her to keep praying, and show her family the difference the gospel is making in her life, and that it’s important to her. We hope her mom will at least allow us to keep meeting with her. We’re praying and fasting for her to have strength, and for her family’s hearts to be softened. She’s amazing!
I have much more to write but don't have time, but real quick, Mom and Dad, we had an activity in the church to integrate members and investigators and we were in charge of the games, and I taught them the Thimble Game. They loved it. Hahaha! The Thimble Game is now being passed around in Brazil. [Editor's Explanation. The Thimble Game: Get a thimble, or bottlecap, or squirt bottle set on Spray. One person is It. They think of a Category, like Colors for example. And then the person thinks of a specific thing from that category, like Pink if Colors was their category. Then they go around the room standing in front of each person one at a time and each person has to guess something in that category. If they guess what It was thinking of, they get a thimble/bottlecap/squirt of water on them. Some families insist that It writes down what they're thinking of to insure no cheating. Our family has the No Water in the Face Rule--it's followed most of the time. Then whoever guessed the right word is now It and a new category is chosen by the new It. Our Stake President in San Diego taught us this game.]
Love you all and hope you’re staying warm!
P.S. Next Monday is transfers, so I won’t be able to write until Tuesday I think. Or maybe still Monday, but not at the regular time. We’re expecting that Sister Roig will be transferred, and that I will be training, but we won’t find out until Sunday night. Monday we have to travel to Recife for the transfer meeting. So if you don’t hear from me, that’s why. We won’t have time for the temple [in Recife], but I will pick up packages. Sister Remy will probably be transferred too. She has been here 7 months and Sister Roig has been here 5 months. Sis. Rodrigues arrived with me in this area.
Alrighty I have to go now. Sorry I didn’t have time to send pictures again. I’ll try to send some next week. I love you! Stay warm!!!! Hugs and kisses to everyone!!!!