Thursday, April 7, 2016

Another Brazilian Week

Week of March 28-April 3rd

(28) SEGUNDA (Monday):  So, remember that box of 80 Easter eggs you sent me?  Well, a couple of the eggs opened in the box or broke, so the chocolate at the bottom was a mess.  We took out all the good eggs to do the hunt, but there was chocolate and a few unwrapped sweets at the bottom we left.  This morning, we threw that box out.  When we were leaving at 6 to teach a lesson, I saw a man who was there with his family, and he was with that box, scraping out the sweets to eat, then put the card board in their big cart they were pulling.  They go through all the trash to recycle the boxes, and earn a little money.  But seeing him eating the chocolate out of the trash to recycle the box tore my heart out.  I walked away feeling so spoiled.  I felt gross.
            We had a very good lesson with Jefferson and Angelica.  It was our second time there, we taught the plan of salvation. They’re a young couple, with 3 kids, very young.  Jefferson loves the messages, and he held onto every word of this one.  I see a lot of potential with them.  I want SO BAD to baptize a family young like them.  Where the kids will grow up in the church and in 12 years I get an email from them on their mission.  Angelica isn’t baptized in any church, so we’re going to roll with that
            Today was day 265 of my mission.
(29) TERCA (Tuesday):  today was an incredible day.  First off, yesterday I decided I had had enough of trying to fry eggs on the pan we have which is HORRIBLE!  So, I spent $7.00 and bought 2 non-stick pans and a spatula.  Today I made omelets for everyone.  At night they asked for another.  They all loved my omelets. 
            We had a lot of great lessons today.  I’ll just tell about my favorite.  A woman names Tatiane.  We were walking and knocked on her door.  She lives with her 12-year-old son.  This lesson we the first time someone I was teaching felt the spirit strong enough to cry.  When we shared the first vision, her eyes got watery.  Elder Martins asked what she was feeling, and as she was trying to explain she started crying. I was feeling the spirit super strong, also.  We used this spirit to present the Book of Mormon.  Elder Martins asked, after we explained what it was, “What would change in your life if you knew this book was true?”  She said, “Well, I think I would have to switch my religion.”  This lesson was INCREDIBLE.  She had doubts for which this lesson seemed to be written!  We also explained the General Conference, and she really wants to go.
            We also found a man named Rodrigo knocking doors.  He showed a lot of interest and desire to go to General Conference, also.  Today was VERY GOOD!  I am very happy with our work today.  Then I decided to try what Sister Parrela said, and make natural juice.  So, I spent 10 reais to buy pineapple, then cut off the outside, blended it with water, ice, and we didn’t have sugar so I used honey.  It was almost good, while you drank but when you stopped drinking, and the taste hit you, it wasn’t really that good.  But, I didn’t want to throw my 10 reais and 20 minutes of work out, so I drank all 2 liters.
            Lunch today was with a woman named Celia.  She’s a member for 30 years.  She has a notebook, which since the first lunch with the missionaries she’s had them write a message, with name, date, and address.  It has A LOT of entries.  Very cool.  A lot of Americans from Utah, and one just wrote, in English, “You’ll be eating government cheese in a van down by the river!” Chris Farley, SNL.  Ha-ha-ha.  I died laughing.  I tried to explain it to the others but it wasn’t too funny for them. 
            Today was day 266 of my mission.  38 weeks.
(30) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Today was very hard to stay positive.  I know that everything that happens is part of God’s will, but today was a hard day for me.
            We went in the morning to Stefani and Juliano, excited as always.  When we got there, she comes out and says she doesn’t want to study with us anymore, neither Juliano.  She didn’t want to explain why, or really talk to us at all.  We gave her an invite to General Conference, bearing testimony of the Prophet, and that it’s the perfect place to receive answers if they have some doubt.  Then we walked back to the house, not quite as happy as before.  My mind was going crazy, thinking of everything we could have done better with them or what we could have said.
            Then, later we passed by Jose and Salora, a young couple with a daughter that we found knocking doors that had already talked with the missionaries.  They showed a lot of potential in the first lesson and I was very excited about them.  When we passed they said they had decided to stick with the Jehovah Witness’ missionaries, and they didn’t want our visits.  We left them with a scripture from John 14 about the commandments, then the spirit and how we can identify the truth through prayer.
            Then we were on our way to the house of Welerson.  He’s been pretty flaky lately, but we had a commitment with him at 7:00.  6:55 we were walking to his house and pass a park, where he is at with his friends.  When he saw us, he tried to hide.  So, this and how he isn’t any more keeping commitments or plans, we decided to stop passing and leave his record in the area book, the section of ‘former investigators’.  Now it’s there next to the record of Juliano and Stefani.
            I know that all that God does is to help us strengthen our faith and help us learn. But at the moment I'm missing the lesson.  Maybe I’ll get it at General Conference.  These people are SO CLOSE to the truth, yet they don’t recognize it.        Also, while I was walking a spider hanging from a tree hit me in the face. You can guess how I reacted to that.  I almost did a back flip 360 in all my jumping.  There’s my day.  Today was day 267 of my mission.
(31) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today was a division!  I was in another city with Elder Manaham, from Pennsylvania.  It was definitely a day I’ll never forget, more details in other journal.  Today everything fell.  Plan A’s, B’s, C’s.  But we met some cool people and found one lady who showed a lot of interest.  But yea, I’m not really feeling like writing today.  See other journal.  Today was day 268 of my mission.

(1) SEXTA (Friday):  So, I got a call today, an emergency transfer.  Elder Banks, the assistant, just left yesterday.  He just grabbed his stuff and went to the bus stop to try and go home.  I’m being called as the new assistant to take his place!
            APRIL FOOL’S!  It’s all good and normal.  I returned home normal.  Elder Manaham gave me a new American pen that’s way cool, so all is well. 
            So, the other Elders here in Sao Luiz stopped by the post office, and there was a box there for everyone from my dearest mother.  I had one too, but they left it in the post office, which is fine because I don’t like to take out the mail on any day but P-day.  They LOVED the ties and belts and candy.  Thank you mom!  You’re the best!
            We taught one woman today who joined Assembly 2ish months ago.  It’s crazy how many people we have the chance to talk to.  I realize today how many lives we touch in some way.
            Today was really a lot of bus.  Tonight the elders grabbed my pictures again and were looking at them asking questions.  I was explaining and Elder Martins said, “This guy is MacGyver, he does everything!  Ha-ha, it was funny.  Today was day 269 of my mission.
(2) SABADO (Saturday):  General Conference!  Man, I loved today!  One talk that really stood out to me was M. Russell Ballard, Very Strong talk about families.  I remembered the ‘interviews’ we used to do with mom and dad.  I LOVED those.  It was my chance to talk with mom and dad even if I really had nothing to say.  There were some times that I really needed that.  I like that he gave that suggestion, and then added that we start with a prayer.  I think that would be cool.  Do interviews with mom and dad, someone says a prayer, someone else shares a good scripture, and a thought on it.  I think with that spirit it would invite it would be a lot easier to talk freely.  I'm excited to have another ‘interview’ with mom and dad after the mission.  
             I thought it was interesting that President Monson didn’t speak today.  Maybe he’s waiting for until we have investigators there to watch, because today all of ours fell though.

            BUT!  We found a new family!  And they are GREAT!  Fernando and his girlfriend, Jeovana, their 2 year old daughter, Maria Fernada, and Fernando’s mom, Tereza.  What a great lesson it was.  They all paid good attention, answered questions like a team of champs.  We’re going to call them tomorrow to see if they can go to the conference at 5:00 pm. 
            With the broadcast they had trouble for a little getting it in Portuguese.  So when the guy came to list off the stats, what everyone wanted, I translated.  Stated the first talk and the Portuguese came back.  But for a minute or two people were taking notes to my translation.  Ha-ha.
            Today was day 270 of my mission.
(3) DOMINGO (Sunday): I loved the talks of Elders Oaks and Elder Holland today. Those two talks answered all the questions I had gone with.  It was like I had just asked them to their faces.
            None of our investigators could come today.  We called people, used the 2 hours in between walking to their houses, but we didn’t have anybody there with us.  I can’t stand not having investigators at church.
            This week was slower, with P-day, division, and 2 days of conference, we had 2-3 days of real work.  It was a hard week for me.  We lost Welerson, Stefani and Juliano, a few others.  BUT!  The church is true, so all is well.  I’ll press forward.  Today was day 271 of my mission!
Until Next Week!  Love, Elder McKee

 Elder Alveranga, Elder Passao de Silva, Elder Martins, Jake

 Jake and Elder Martins, switched clothes and Jake said he was trying to smile like him.

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