Tuesday, May 16, 2017

P-day, Mother's Day Skype, and upcoming mission tour 05.16.2017

Hey everyone, 

     Sorry for not writing an email last week. I was a little short on time. But just know it was a good p-day where we got to go fishing and take pictures at a Christo Redentor looking statue near there. My mom was a little worried that no one had heard about this place, but I swear I didn't go to RIo :) It is located in a city called Eloi Mendes for those that still doubt me. There is also a Majestic Pigeon statue that I thought was an eagle that I took a picture of. It was great.

     This last week we have been working a lot. We had another activity Thursday at the church where we had a Mother's day activity. We had some games where we had the moms of two branches compete against each other. A race of who could pick up 10 beans with just a spoon(it is harder than you think) and put a cookie on your eye and try to mess with your face to eat the cookie without it falling. It was a great success. 

     This week we also got a killer reference from a Member called Robson. He brought his sister and her daughter to church and then we were able to teach them. They are called Luciana and Julia. Luciana is the mom and she said she had prayed before going to church and said if this church is true help me get a job and after she went the next day she got a job interview. They called her and now she has a job. She is really excited about going to church and has a baptism date set for 2 weeks. 

     Skype call Sunday was really good. We went to Antonio Carlos´s house to skype and had all 4 of us there so the call dropped a few times but it went well. Shoutout to the fam and to Austin who cut his hair after we talked!! It was a long time waiting. It seems like not much has changed since I left which is good. 

     Yesterday we had a FHE with the president of the other Branch. We got a little lost going there, but it all worked out. There elder Messias shared a message about the importance of going to church. When he was 5 years old his dad discovered that he had a disease that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He was stuck in the hospital for a whole year for surgeries and tests and Elder Messias wasn't able to see him much. His dad couldn't even write, but his mom would tell him what his dad said and it was always good things with a reminder to go to church. His dad thought I can either cry and be sad for the rest of my life or be happy with the little things in life. Right now his dad is out of the hospital and doing physical therapy and has some of his functions back, and is always happy. I had the opportunity to talk to him really briefly on mothers day*(Elder Messias and I switched families for 3 minutes) and he was always smiling and laughing even though he has lots of reasons to be sad. We can control what we think about our circumstances, and we should never fault going to church. His dad had to have 4 people lift him up to help him get in the car after he left the hospital but he still went. 

     This week is going to be really busy. We have p-day today because of the transfer that was moved to Monday. It switched with p-day because we have a mission tour tomorrow. I will be taking a van with 29 other missionaries for 5 hours leaving here at 7:30 in the morning for Juiz de Fora. The first day apparently will be a fireside with Elder Basset, and then the next day will be the actual mission tour. So yeah this week will be crazy. I heard that it will be the mission together in one session, so I should probably see everyone which is going to be awesome. 

What city was the Christ the Redeemer statue in?

Eloi Mendes I think that is how you spell it.

Describe grocery shopping.  What is it like?  How is it different from shopping here? What sort of things do you buy when you go shopping for food?

Shopping is normal. The only difference is that cookies like oreo and crackers are huge here. I have to go talk with people in the bakery and they cut the ham and cheese in front of me and then weigh it for the price. Almost everything is sold by the kilo. So sometimes it is hard to determine what the price would be if you just want a little. I usually just buy ham, cheese, bread, ramen, and hamburger. I eat pretty much the same thing every time.

Is getting married expensive in Brazil?  I mean, do people put off getting married?  Or do they marry young?  How is marriage viewed in your area?

Many people don't get married because for them it is expensive. I think the whole process is 175$. But for them that is a fortune. So most people just live together, but it is rare to see people married young. They almost always live with their parents until they have 25 or 30 years. 

What treat do you miss that you can't find there?  (Not that it's expensive, but that you just can't find)

Cheesecake, goldfish, taquitos. I don't really remember what I snacked on. I think it was usually Wendys or McDonalds :)

Is your camera card full?  Any pictures you want printed and sent to you?

I don't know if my camera is full. I think that it isn't. I have 800 photos with some videos. I have never checked to be honest.

Are there flowers and pretty yards in Vargihna?  How do people keep their yards?

There aren't yards at all. Only the rich people have a little grass and maybe a few potted plants.

Do you use Mormon messages in your teaching?  Have you even seen some lately?

I haven't used or seen a Mormon message since I left the MTC

Do you dream in Portuguese now?

Well, I don't even dream so that makes it a bit harder. Like I think I have had 5 dreams in the last 9 months. And I don't even remember what happened in them, so I can't answer that.

Until next week!
-Elder Smith

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