Saturday, July 24, 2010

uma semana mais louca = whew...

This was easily the craziest week of my entire life. Let me explain:

So, as we all know, I am with Elder Stoddard for the next week and then he goes to the office to be the financial secretary. Then, I will train an American (Elder Marx!!!! I´m so excited! We´ll convert a whole church!) for the rest of the transfer. After, I don´t know. But anyway, this week: on Thursday, we have our leadership meetings, and, because the LZ´s area changed, it was waaay far from our house, in Timbú. On the way (on the bus), I dropped/lost our cell phone. After we got off, I noticed that it was gone and freaked out. We ran to catch the bus but it had already left and gone to a garage in Quatro Barras (which is reeeeeeaally far from our house). We called the garage and found out that the phone was there. After the meeting, we went even further outside of Curitiba to get the darn phone. Miraculously, we found the garage and got the phone. Mission accomplished, right? Wrong! In order to get home, we would´ve had to get 2 busses. I, being stubborn, wanted to just pay for one bus, and so when it was time to get off and walk to the other terminal, we stayed on to see where we could go. We ended up going waay far into the Centro - outside of our District and Zone. I said to myself many times: crap. Dang it. So, then began the rest of the fun. I knew that there were a few busses in the center of the city that went to Pilarzinho, so we started looking for a Praça (Square) called Tiradentes (basically, Take-out-your-teeth Square. Yeah. Brasil.). This was when I discovered for myself how bad Brasilians are at giving directions. Even if they have no clue where something is, they´ll tell you to walk really far in a certain direction and then ask someone else. After about an hour of walking at break-neck speed, in the rain, without umbrellas, tired, frustrated, outside of our Zone, breaking the rules, etc., we decided to say a prayer. We stopped and said it and immediately we felt better. The first person we asked ended up being from Pilarzinho and told us exactly where the stop was. It was a miracle, and at about 3 oclock we arrived at lunch - 3 hours late, raining cats and dogs outside. But, fortunately, the members were amazing and understanding and we feasted on rice, beans, a meat stew type thing, salad, and juice. It was great.

So that was basically the craziest thing that happened this week. It rained the whole week, which meant that no one (NO ONE) was on the street and no one wanted to hear a message that would change their lives. We worked hard, but didn´t get much results. But we felt good about our effort and we know that that´s what actually matters.

Now, the interviews and weekend: (that´s right, folks; there´s more!) on Thursday (the same day as the cell phone situation), the Elders in Boa Vista had a baptismal interview, so I went there to interview Josepha, a 50 year-old lady who is really cool. She was very ready to be baptized, and we felt a pleasant and calming Spirit as we conversed. I felt really good - after all the craziness that had happened that afternoon, it was a pleasant change. Right after the interview, we decided to stay in their area to watch her baptism. It was a little crazy and last-minute (all the irmãs that were there helped us to know that we had to do things, and then didn´t do anything to help. Yay.), but it all worked out and was very spiritual. We (Elder Stoddard and I) sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light as a special musical number and it was really good.

The next day, Friday, we had a pretty good day of work with a couple of lessons, then at night we had to have 2 more interviews in Boa Vista, so we headed over to help them out. We did a split and I went with Elder Lima (Elder Stoddard went with Elder Soares, a verdinho Brasileiro) to do the interviews. Unfortunately, this being the craziest week, we weren´t able to do either one of the interviews. Consequently, we stayed at their house (which isn´t made to sleep 4 people) that night, feasting on pizza. I let my comp. use the other mattress and I slept on the floor with a blanket. Not the most comfortable night, but it all worked out. The next day (Saturday), we went to do one interview - she wasn´t home in the morning. We had a meeting with their WML and then went to lunch. Elder Stoddard and the greenie (who don´t know anything in our area) went to our area to suffer a little more, and we stayed to do the interviews. In the end and after almost a whole day of walking and waiting, we got both of the interviews done and they baptized that night. Both times I had to call Presidente Cordon about some problems that each one had. It was really funny because, after I had finished explaining what their problems and history were, and what my own opinion was, he asked me to repeat everything in English. We laughed, we cried, we baptized.

More fun: after this whole situation, we hadn´t taught very many lessons or followed up with our investigators to invite them to church. Then, after calling Camilla (our baptism) and visiting her daily to see if she was ready for baptism, we went to get her at her house and she said she didn´t want to get out of bed. Her brother said something like "why are you guys so persistent? Can´t you get a clue?". I almost punched him in the face, but instead of getting a restraining order and getting sent home from my mission, we explained about the baptism and that the night before we had called, etc. At the end of it all, she wasn´t baptized. The worst part of this was the reason why: Elder Barbosa. She loves him and wrote him a mushy note when he left. Then, every time I went by, she made a face and didn´t want to listen. Life is great.

So yeah, that was our crazy week. So far this week has been much better. We had an excellent training with the mission leaders and Presidente about a few tecniques that the Apostles and the Prophet want us to practice more from Preach My Gospel. It was 2 days long and it was extremely helpful - we could put the things we learned into practice and I saw the difference that it made - it was really cool! We´ll have another training on the 2nd and the 3rd.

We went to Parque Tanguá this morning with our District (just us and Boa Vista) and it was really fun. I´ll try to attach some of the pictures.

In short, the Church is true and Jesus is the Christ. I love you all and hope you understand and I know that all we believe is true, because I live it every day. It is impressive to see the miracles that happen - daily. The Plan of Salvation is true and real.

Thanks for everything, and special thanks to the Young Women from the Canby 2nd Ward! The care package was great!

A really big hug, and a side order of fries,
Elder Brown

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