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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
There will be exactly one subject in this letter: Augostinho.
We showed up at church on Sunday - a normal day, nothing different - and started getting everything ready for the meeting. Calls, designations, making sure the people who were going to be confirmed were there, saying hi to everything that moves, etc. It all started during the announcements, and I heard it. A man´s voice coming from the back of the chapel, shouting stuff that didn´t really make sense. Stuff like "eu consigo!" (I can do it), "____ em meu coração" , "sai diabo, sai de mim", "mai, porque não me ama", stuff like that. It started to get out of control and I was receiving many a glancing eye from the Bishopric, the relief society President, the little girl in front of me eating her brother´s hair, etc. I decided to go back and sit by him. When I got back there, I saw a sight. A lot of people were slowly inching away from a very disturbed-looking young man, about 18 years old. His hair looked like it had been badly chopped by a dull lawnmower blade and he had bloodshot eyes, and was sweating profusely. Now I´m no messer of drugs and the like, but I think that after some , ahem, hangin out in the ghetto, I know the type a little better. He was going through some pretty severe withdrawals, and even is Spirit wanted to get outta there. I tried to get him quiet, ask who he was (I had no idea who he was - I had done a contact with him a month previous but completely forgot) and find out what he needed. He didn´t use his inside voice very well, or maybe his outside voice is a bellowing foghorn, and as we conversed - me whispering, him half-screaming, all the members looked in half admiration, half disgust, and half confusion at us. Finally, after a while, my efforts were starting to run short and e decided to take matters into his own hands. After having told me that he wanted to be baptized right then and there by the bishop, he got up from the back and walked with a purpose up to the front of the chapel. Right as Bishop was about to confirm Millena a member of the church. In front of the whole ward.
Yeah, I might have been a little tense. He then proceeded to sit down in the chair that was for Millena, and she looked more than a little confused. Bishop handled things very well and brought the guy to sit down next to him afterwards. After more persuasion and more looks of confusion from the members, he came back and sat next to me again, all the while talking about how he wanted to be baptized and "receive the Spirits". He sat down next to me and asked if I would read him some of the hymns. As I whispered still in the middle of sacrament meeting), he started crying and freaking out even more. I then decided that it was time for drugman to go byebye. I asked him if he wanted to go outside and talk, and we went. I then talked to him a little, then started to teach the 2nd lesson (Plan of Salvation). It actually went pretty well, and Elder Marx became hip to the situation soon and ran outside to meet us. I thought we were ok, and right as we came in, it was time for closing prayer. We made it through the meeting! Just two more hours to go!
Then: Gospel Principles. It was about tithing, and, naturally, he felt a large urge to pay his tithing, and tried to give Elder Marx 40 reais. Continued controlled chaos.
Then: the meeting about missionary work with the whole ward. With us in front, with him - the both of us on his both sides. He tried to answer to every question and almost got them right (but not when he said that the Spirit feels like Satan. That was bad). We then brought him out again and he talked to a member of the Bishopric for a while, which was better. After 3 long hours, he finally left, muttering to himself. I feel a lot like Mormon, only able to write a 100th part of the history, but I´ll leave that to your imaginations.
Oh, and it gets better. The next day, during District Meeting, Bishop calls and tells me not to visit him (we had it marked for 8 oclock on Monday)...because right after church he shot and killed someone. Yeah. Let´s just say that the mission is insane. And yes, Mom, we´re ok and still protected by God.
Agostinho. Hope he´s ok.
The church is true. Love ya´ll.