Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015: "Oh Ann, You Beautiful Tropical Fish"

In case you missed the Parks and Rec’s reference, this sums up how I feel when i walk around here everyday. I wish for one day people would quit staring at me like i have a big piece of food stuck in my teeth!!

But hey people!
This week was busy but we didnt get as many lessons in as i wanted to. I hear thats how it goes around here most of the time. We are working hard because we have a big branch conference this sunday and the mish prez is comin and everything. if we have enough people turn out for that then we´ll be able to have a chapel built here!! woohoo! This week I learned about how to use my exoticness to my advantage. That sounds sketchy but let me explain. When we meet someone on the street or are teaching them for the first time we introduce ourselves and tell a little bit about what a mission is. And i found out that when i tell them that i left my family and everyone i love and my schooling way back home in America to come here and share this message with them because i know its true, they can tell its serious and they listen. Its cool.

Okay so we work with a lot of less active members here. Theres a tonnnn. They make me sad inside to hear about when they were active or to have them talk to me about the things they know to be true, but then i dont understand if they know these things are true, why they arent living up to them. Theres one 14 yr old boy who was baptized just before i got here named Gabriel and he is a rockstar (phrase coined by syd). He is so spiritually in tune and would study the scriptures everyday and tell me about the chapters in the book of mormon hes reading. but this week he told us he doesnt want to go to church anymore.... that just about broke my heart. so we´re working with him. he asked me if i had a $1 bill from america and i said yes and he could have it if he goes to church. boom. missionary work at its finest. people always want to see american money, and i can pretty much live on $1 a day which is apparently 6 reis here now so theres that. Another somewhat sad story is my friend Fabihno who is also a recent convert. He is 18 and never wears shoes but is very faithful. But he also said he doesnt want to go to church anymore. Sister Barbosa and I were talking and talking to him, trying to figure out why not, and finally we found out it was because the last time he went to church, someone had made some offhand joke about his clothes because he was wearing bermuda shorts, but turns out those were the only clothes he had to wear :( makes me think about all the dumb comments ive made to people that probably werent very nice...)

This week we had divisão with the sister training leaders which i was wicked nervous about but was really fun. and turns out i can actually speak a little portuguese! i got paired with the sister who was asked by the mish prez to extend her misssion here for a month so you can say shes a pretty awesome missionary. but the people we went to teach actually understood me and respected me as being the lead missionary for that one day. i had been praying and praying that they would and then it turned out! prayer works people. 

Also this week we helped with this ´´Dinner for Married Couples´´ we had at the branch for all the married couples (i guess that explanation wasnt needed but still). There arent very many married couples, and even fewer who are both active but we had about 20 couples there. The missionaries all were serving the plates and the people would get up and give little love shoutouts to their spouse, it was so adorable. we even had 2 young men put on bowties and serve drinks #classy. And idk who was in charge of the music but at one point complicated by avril lavine was playing so you better believe i was jamming out. (and repenting afterwards). 

speaking of repenting, all 4 of us went to an evangelical church last night because one of the other sister’s investigators said he wouldnt go to our church til they went to his. it was pretty legit, it was like an efy rock concert and everyone was swaying back and forth and yelling amen and hallelujah. i wont lie i snuck in a few of my own in there while i could. but the pastor was like the hypnotist at the puyallup fair with the cheesy music and a headset and everything. but i couldnt help but feel a little sad for all these people who were honestly searching for christ and to follow him and could be so much happier if they had the whole complete truth. maybe we´ll proselityze near there this week...

Brasil is funny, people will come up to us in the streets and ask us to pray for them. Also its the best, if you dont have money for food, you just go to a members house and ask if you can have something to eat and its totally normal. One of the members we were at this week for lunch said that like we have families at home, they were our family while we were here. the people here are so good to me :) 

Other than that, Im doin okay. Missions are fun! who knew? portuguese comes a little at a time and depends on the day/how much i pray that the spirit will be with me and ill have the words to speak. 

one really cool thing this week was that we were in a lesson with 2 women from the ward teaching a less active. and brazilian women like to talk. holy cow they like to talk. and they pretty much talked the poor woman to death and i kept feeling prompted to say this one thing and kept feeling prompted but they were talking so finally i cut them off and said ´´as a representative of jesus christ i promise you that if you pray for strength you will feel the desire to return to church.´´ and it got really quiet and she said that she would go this week. the lord is good.

thank you for all your emails and pics, i love being updated on the world out there! i love you so much and miss you guys! have a super week

xoxo sister walker

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