Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Miracles are Coming... (Feb. 4)

...hopefully I'll still be here when they arrive =]

Well, I cant.....
So, about my week.
It was another week trying to work hard and do lots of stuff and having almost everything go wrong........... Okay, so not everything, so we are improving here. =]
Oh and my shoes have all officially died now..... The black ones I brought from home died a whilleeee back, and the ones that i bought here in august have holes all the way through, so when it rains, they let water in from above AND beneath my feet.... hahaha. SO, since I´m pretty much just walking on the ground, my feet were starting to really hurt this week..... so guess what i dug out of my suitcase??? Those ugly sandals that I hadnt even used yet!!! hahah. And I´m using them now!! Hurt my feet the first day, but, getting used to them and now I´m gonna use them to work when we dont have to go to meetings or anything important. My companion laughed at me cause they´re pretty funny looking, but then she told me that if they sold them here she would buy some too just to match with me so I wouldnt feel alone in my ugly-shoeness. hahah.
And we are going into downtown campinas today, so I might buy some other shoes to use on the days that we actually have to go somewhere and look nice..... or nice-ish.
English class is starting to really stress me out. How is it that I dont even know how english works????????!!! Yeah. My students keep asking questions that I have NO IDEA how to answer.... For example, is there a rule to explain when you have to use "do" in a question and when you dont have to??? Luckily, the students help eachother out with these kind of questions, so whenever I am standing there stumped trying to remember a word or figure out some dumb grammar rule, they are busy looking it up in the dictionary or answering their own questions. PHEWWWW. English is so confusing. aggggh.
well, we´ve been working a lot with severall families of recent converts and less actives for the last several weeks. And we´re starting to see some real success with them! I´ve been visiting a mom and son since I got to this area (about 2 months) and I love these guys! Joana Darc and Rodrigo are from Rio de Janeiro and Rodrigo got baptized there. He was super strong there, planning to go on a mission, but when they moved here, he stopped coming to church. Now, he´s past the mission age, but Joana got baptized over the summer and they started coming back to church with the elders that baptized her..... But when I got here, they had stopped coming again for a while....  They had been promising us for WEEKS that they would come back, but every sunday there was an excuse. Sunday before last, i was really dissappointed because I was SURE that Rodrigo would go.... Turns out, he got to the gate of the church and then turned around and went home cause he felt awkward going in in street clothes..... Its been so long that he hasnt gone to church, that he didnt have any church clothes anymore!! So this week, he went and bought church slacks and a white shirt, and we brought his mom- Joana Darc a skirt. (Okay mom, I may or may not have given away one of those skirts you gave me..... But it's for a good cause! and it looks way better on her than on me!) SO, Sunday, he PROMISED us that he would be there, and to wait for him in the entry-way. 9 am Sunday, we were waiting there, and HE CAME!!! Woooooo!! in his new slacks and shirt and tie!! YEAH! Joana Darc didnt make it cause she had to go pick up her grandson that arrived from Rio, but next sunday she has no excuse!!! hahah. I was so excited. AH.
Besides Joana and Rodrigo, almost all the recent converts and less actives that we are visiting every week are coming to church now! WOOO! I´m really happy about that.
This week we also found some really cool new investigators that I am excited to start working with. Sunday afternoon, we went to find the house of a contact we had made a couple weeks ago. Luckily, she was actually at home and had time to talk to us, and let us in. Her name is Eunice and she is about 50 and is a crazy smart philosophy and theology teacher.... She has her masters in theology and is studying for her doctorate I think.... (not sure if what she said in portuguese is exactly the same thing.... gonna ask about that.). When we came in she started talking about how much she loves religion and about buddhism and hinduism and brought out her GIANT catholic bible (which is different from the bible most other christian churches use BTW..)  and just going on and on about a ton of stuff that was way over my head..... Needless to say, I got a little overwhelmed and nervous to try to teach her. hahah. When we had talked with her the first time, she mentioned that she had already studied about our church a little and knew more or less what we believe..... so after her ranting about just about everything, we tried to ask her some questions to bring back the conversation and try to teach her. It was really interesting to talk with her and cool to see her SUPER STRONG belief and faith in God and Jesus Christ.... somewhere in the conversation, my rockstar companion was able to steer the conversation to the book of mormon just with a simple question. Turns out, she really hadnt ever studied about our religion. She didnt really know what the book of mormon is and had never heard of joseph smith. So, we took advantage of the moment to explain to her. It was really cool explaining to her about the book of mormon and about Joseph Smith because I was able to go into a lot more depth and use more examples from the scriptures, cause she was actually interested, and she has studied SO MUCH and has a background to understand about the Jews and a family leaving jerusalem and all that.
It was also fairly intimidating.... haha. She was sitting RIGHT beside me and staring straight into my eyes the entire time. I guess I´m so used to trying to teach people that dont care and arent paying attention that it really weirds me out now when someone actually wants to understand.... She was really intrigued with the book of mormon, and excited about the story of Joseph Smith and how we have a prophet and 12 apostles on the earth today.... she was like "wow, I didnt know that......... I had no idea........" She told us that we have to come invite her when it is time for General Conference again. haha. And we left the book of mormon with her and she promised that she would read.... She was like "Dont worry, I really will read. I am really curious!" Way cool. Now I just hope she really does read, and pray, and that the Spirit will testify to her that it is true.
Another cool experience from the week-
There is a guy that always comes to English class and was taught a little bit by the elders that were here back last summer/fall... His name is Robson (think HOBSON) and he speaks english really well, and just comes to english class to practice talking english with me afterwards as we are cleaning up and ask questions about pronunciation. I always feel a little awkward because he comes up after EVERY class, just to talk to me in English, and nobody else around understands, so it is basically like we are alone, talking there in english. But, no worries, my companion is great and wont desert me even if she doesnt understand a word! haha. So, we decided not to try to teach him unless he actually showed more interest and came to church. WELL. last week, after english class, he started talking to me, so I just asked him how his week was.... turned out his dad died in an accident at work the saturday before and he was pretty messed up and sad about it. It was 9:15 at night and we were closing up the chapel, so there wasnt really any good way to talk with him and try to help him out, so we just invited him, AGAIN, to come to church, and promised that it would help. Sunday, when we went to gospel principles class, he was sitting there!! AH. He actually came! YIKES. Throughout the meetings, I tried to talk to him and see how we could help him. He is super sad about his dad passing away.... especially because it was so sudden. His dad fell from one of those scaffolding things working contstruction. He said that its hard because he "wont ever see his dad again" and asked if I have a dad still, and to make sure and tell him that I love him every day. ( Oh hey dad, I love you, dont forget!! =] ). He said he isnt sure if he believes that he will see his dad again..... I told him that he will. He already has the book of mormon (in english and in portuguese.... ahaha), and so I told him to read Alma 40 (link) that talks about resurrection. After sacrament, that just happened to be fast and testimony meeting, he came up to me and asked (in english--- the punk only wants to talk in english with me.... aghhh) what we mean when we say that we know this is the "right church". And he was like "cause my dad was a good man, but he wasnt a member of this church....". DONT WORRY! WE CAN EXPLAIN!!! Unfortunately, it was the worst timing and we had to hurry to go have our first meeting with our new ward mission leader and the bishop, so I told him that we would explain it all better for him this week. Tonight, we are going to his house to teach him and his mom and possibly his brothers. I hope that it all goes well, and that he doesnt expect us to teach him in English.... aghhh. Did I mention that whenever I try to talk in English with people now, portuguese just comes out??? its a disaster. BUT, we are really hoping that right now is Robson´s "moment" to accept the gospel.
Also, we are still working with Kesia and family............... Its gotten pretty hard to actually meet with her because she is so busy.... Also, we cant go to her house anymore because she lives at her mom´s house and her mom is from the church Assembleia, and is gettting offended with us coming there.... uh oh. BUT, Kesia is going to church every week, and Michael will go to the stake youth campout this weekend! WOOO!! It´ll be really good. And one of these saturday´s, we´re gonna actually be able to have EVERYTHING work out, and go to the temple with Kesia. It´s gonna be awesome.
Ps--for the first time on my mission, we found a family of buddhists. WOW. didnt know that that existed in brasil. You can learn new things everyday!
Me and my companion when we gave in to tempation one night and called for pizza from a family in our ward that owns a pizzaria. MMMMMMM!
Our study room. Guess which desk is mine??? Yep. Thats right. The messy one. hahahaha.
Did I mention that we have a TON of volkswagon bugs in our area???? Like a MILLION. When I got here, Sister Paixão was practically giving me a bruise from how much she would hit me everyday for all the "fuscas" (slug bug). But, I learned and finally got good enough at it that I would beat her to it! Then when Sister Moraes got here, she was on the losing end! hahah. BUT SOMEHOW, she has gotton really smart with the slug bugs over the last couple weeks and if she actually hit me hard, I would really be hurting!
OH and remember how I told you that I was sleep talking in Portuguese a couple weeks ago???? well it gets better.... now I am teaching the first lesson, in portuguese, in my sleep..... OH BROTHER. Sister Moraes woke up to me sleep-teaching about the restoration and repeating over and over "DID YOU UNDERSTAND???Did you understanddd????"  
Such a joke.
Love you all!!
hope you all have the best week!!!
Sister Ward

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