Monday, November 7, 2016

Progress in November

Hello everyone,

     First off this week went by so fast. We have some solid investigators and lots of different names to contact that just make the days fly by. I am starting to see the gospel really change some lives. I will break the usual format and just start with some investigators. 

     Pedro is an older man that we encountered in his one room house that is injured and cant walk. The first two lessons we had with him he didn't really talk, we had to repeat lots of things, but he said we could come back. The third lesson he was talkative, said he would go to church, and was beginning to be able to walk. We arranged for a car to pick him up to church, but when we went to get him he said he had pain in his back and would ride his bike to the church later. If he made it to the church it would have been a miracle. He wasn't at church, so we will return there again. 

     We met a guy named Jardel who is about 24 years old and is going to college here. It took a few tries to find his house, but once we did it was great. He lives there with his mom, dad, and grandpa. Everyone in Brazil seems to live with their parents for a long time after finishing high school. Anyway, they are tentatively Spirituals and believe in essence and the like, but were open to discussion. All of them are way cool and the mom, Jane, is studying the Book of Mormon and said that she believes that it is true. Albeit because two young kids are doing good and preaching about god when others are doing things really bad, but it is a start. She is a little apprehensive about leaving the Catholic church though. Yeah their beliefs are weird, they are Catholics as well. One day we went there and they had all gotten cuts of healing in different parts of their bodies to invite good essence to heal them. Minus this little detail they are progressing.

     We met another familly of Lyla, Nyla, and Lysla. Lyla and Lysla are 19 year old twins and literally look the same and have the same quiet personality. They are really open about wanting to learn more and that they don't really understand the scriptures. We taught the Restoration and left a book of Mormon with them. We tried to go back but they are traveling, but the mom was there and said that they had been studying so that is a good sign. 

This last week i stepped over a homeless man in the street and kept on walking. I didn't think anything of it. Then he chase after us and was yelling and grabbed my arm and wouldn't let go. He was drunk and had a orange bracelet and kept saying Do you know who i am, and this is my mark. I didn't know the rest that he was saying but he wouldn't let me go. My trainer tried talking to him and he eventually stopped, but said that we can't leave. We just walked away and he chased a little more until someone else in the street stopped him. There are a few sketchy areas to go at night that we avoid, but really that is it.

     I think it was Tuesday that was day of the dead here. For day of the dead we set up a little booth with a banner of Christ, lots of handouts, and pamphlets of the Plan of Salvation. For 3 and a half hours we just talked to people about eternal families. It was a cool experience. We closed that session off with singing a few hymns, which was a little strange to me. In the end it was a good experience and we got to comfort some families.

     Wednesday we had a zone meeting. The zone leader saw another zone wear baptismal clothing for it and so we did it as well. It was kind of weird seeing everyone just wearing white, but it was cool at the same time. A small reminder of our eternal purpose here. I got to see some good friends and we got 7 new missionaries in the zone.

     Sunday was fast Sunday so we had the fast and testimony meeting. It was good, this branch doesn't have big awkward silences. We had 3 investigators in church again which was good. After church we made the long hike to Nelmas house for lunch and it was delicious. After lunch we visited some investigators and made contacts for 2 hours. Then we had Branch council meeting which is a little bit of a mess, but we got some good input in and made plans to work with the members more. The mission is starting to move a little faster, and the Portuguese is coming along ever so slowly. Till next week.

-Elder Smith

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