HI everyone, hope all is well with all of you.
I will try to talk a little more about the specific, day to day things that are going on here per request of the Poppa.
So, here was the week:
After the temple, we headed home and spent about 30 seconds resting and then it was back to work. We then headed onto the street to do some good ol contacting. Every day we need to talk to at least 30 new people and gain at least 10 addresses to find them later on and start teaching them. This is always a little interesting, and the first contact of the day is always hardest. Anyway, we contacted for a while and then it was off to the Amaral´s to teach their son. They are all active members, and the only reason we´re teaching Vítor Amaral is because the dad is a very big supporter of missionary work and wanted his son to receive the Palestras (discussions, more or less) before baptism. The only problem is they live a million miles away. Luckily, Elder Brown is a genious and scheduled for him to pick us up, thus saving the tender and easily bruised rear-end of Elder Duarte. We got there and taught his about the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. He is a freakin smart little kid and reads better than almost all of our adult investigators – his parents are great.
At the end of each day, we plan for the next day (about 30 minutes), I update the area book (very nicely and organized, unlike some of the schloobs here) and Elder Duarte calls the District to see if they died during the day. None have been lost so far. We also write in our journals, shower, and get ready for bed, maybe read Jesus o Cristo a little. Then it´s bedtime 10:30!
The one thing that has frustrated me here is the simple fact that some Elders just don´t understand how to be completely obedient. When it says to wake up at 6:30, you don´t wake up ], say your prayer, and hit the pillow again. You GET UP! I have resisted the urge to do loud Ukranian grunts during my daily pushups to wake some of the others up, but it´s hard sometimes to be the only one keeping all the rules. I shall not falter – I shall continue – I shall baptize weekly. Anyway, that was Wednesday (quarta-feira).
Thursdays (quinta-feira) E.D. has a meeting with the LZ´s ( in their area, in the center of Curitiba – Ala 2 (Second Ward)) and I get to practice teaching lessons and stuff with the other Junior companions. We got a new Elder in our zone, Elder McLoughlin. I´m not the newest Elder anymore! He came from Provo and his Portuguese is...not fluent yet. It´s nice to know how far I´ve been able to come in just a few short months. Thank you Gif t of Tongues! After the meeting we returned to Santa and had lunch on the other side of town. Unfortunately, she didn´t have any food and just gave us a few Reals to buy some ourselves. This always stinks, and happens quite often. So we went to the store, bought some food, and went home and ate. After, we taught Fátima (an old lady that lives on our street) the 3rd lesson, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We tried to teach some of our neighbors whose addresses we got from contacting, but no one was home. We then hiked it to Boa Vista (about a 30 minute walk in the freezing 100 degree, 80% humidity, rain on/rainoff weather. Yeah, the weather is nuts here. More about that later.) Taught Jackeline (a 16 year old girl who lives in a very humble house with her brothers, Claudecir and another brother, sister, Daiane, and mom, Teresina. They all have problems with the Word of Wisdom and going to church, but they are great and will be baptized)and also taught Bete´s family about the Word of Wisdom, which was ok but they are a little attached to their coffee and cigs (for now...muahahaha). We then taught Vítor Amaral again at his house, and then went home after contacting some more. A hard day, with not many people home, but ok nonetheless – we worked hard.
Sexta-Feira (Friday) was ok. Had a meeting with Irmão Rafaél, our awesome ward mission leader, about our investigators. Then had the weekly planning session – always a million laughs – then lunch in Irmã Daysi´s house! Taught Marina ( a blind lady who lives with her 2 kids; very awesome) about Alma 32 and after that, went to Ala 4, area of the Sisters in our Distict (Sister Pond and Sister Nickel). They are both new to our district and they rock – I got to sing with Sister Pond in a few solos during the Christmas concert. Anyway, they live veeery far away and the interviews, though really awesome for a really awesome family, meant that we returned home at 11:30 pm (or 23:30 here...weird, I know.). Not fun to lose sleep, but I´d lose more sleep for a baptism.
Sábado was very completely wet and insane. We had a lot of interviews to do and we had a split with the LZs, which was great. In the end, we had only 3 baptisms on Sunday, but the other three really will happen.
I don´t have much more time, so here´s the sum-up of the rest. Sunday Felipe, Cirlane, and Yannick were baptized! They aren´t a family, but they´re familys will follow and they will be very strong in the church. Felipe was a perfect investigator – a free baptism, as it were. Yannick was the guy who stopped us on the street and asked to be baptized, and Cirlane has been na inv. For a long time, but her and her husband, Edson, just got married and she just quit smoking – truly two miracles. Edson will hopefully baptized this week and hopefully we will have 4 baptisms this week!
Other than that, the last couple days have been very wet and hard. Lots of rain in short periods of time. BUT, we´re working and loving it very much a lot.
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the mission is EXACTLY where I need to be, and that there isn´t anything else on Earth I´d rather be doing. Baptizing is awesome! I plan on doing it a little more, say another 200 times, on my mission. I know that the numbers don´t mean everything.
Love you all, and hope the pictures came through. For all those who wrote, know that I did read and love your letters, but can´t specifically respond to each one. Thanks for all that all of you do, and know that I will continue to do my best for all of you, for the people here, and for the Lord.
Elder Brown, Curitiba Brasil