Monday, May 16, 2016

Frogs of Rubber

Week of May 9-15, 2016
(9) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today was a good p-day.  I printed a bunch of pictures.  We cleaned the house.  I bought a Spanish to Portuguese dictionary. Yep, it’s all good in the hood.
            We visited 2 less active families today.  They were good spiritual lessons.  We marked other days to visit. And they gave us referrals to teach.  Woot Woot.  Then I cut my hair, and yea, there’s my day.
            Today and yesterday I felt a huge sense of love and appreciation for my family, and also all my friends that are supporting me and helping me through emails, letters, and prayers.  I’m very spoiled with blessings for all I have and the amazing people in my life.  Even if I could, I don’t think I would change a singe thing.  I’m grateful for all the Lord has given me, and this chance to be on the mission and come in contact with so many people, even if they don’t always accept us.  I love my family; my mom, my dad, sister, and 2 brothers.  I’m very grateful for parents, who taught me how to work hard and play hard as well, and the great priesthood examples I have to follow.  I’m just super happy to be where I am doing what I’m doing.  Today was day 307 of my mission.
(10) TERCA (Tuesday):  So, I forgot to write this yesterday, but you know the package you sent last week with all the candy you sent to Elder Bezerra and you also sent that frog of rubber?  He thought it was candy too, and tried biting the leg for a few seconds before he saw the picture of it as a balloon.  Ha-ha.  I laughed so hard.  He loved the Laffy taffy’s.  He’s never seen so much candy at once.  Thanks mom!
            Today was a good day.  Simora will go on Thursday to do the stuff for the marriage.  And she’s already planning her baptism.  She wants Thiago, her son, to baptize her, and then Igor will do the confirmation with Elder Bezerra and I in the circle with him.  Marcos really wants it too, especially because Simora says she wants everyone of her family in the church.  We just have to schedule around his work.
            Today was also the district meeting.  We have to travel for an hour to the area of the sisters, the other elders too, but from the other direction.  They get up at 5:00 am to go and get there at about 7:00.  The meeting starts at 10:00.  We get there at 9:00.  So today, I knew they were with hunger, so I bought a bunch of stuff and came with a picnic.  It was all-good.  Today was day 308 of my mission.
(11)QUARTA (Wednesday):  Today was very slow.  A lot fell through, which happens.  I got a package today from Lauren Pinson, an awesome calendar with the birthdays of everyone in the family.
                        So, at the house of Irene…Imagine the sweet old lady saying this, “Oh my sons.  I’m trying so hard to not drink coffee.  I made a thick soup of erva (The stuff they use for chimarrao) to try and stop the urge to drink coffee.”  Then she clenched her teeth and her fists and said, “But I will not fall!  SACRIFICE!”  Ha-ha, it was awesome.  She also said that when she was shopping, she was buying tea, but when she saw the black tea (which is the kind we can’t drink) she said she looked at it, then hid it behind the others so others wouldn’t buy it.  Ha-ha-ha.  Man, I love this old lady.  Today was a little cold and when she saw us enter, she said she was going to buy us coats and sweaters because we didn’t have any.  After we convinced her that was unnecessary, that we weren’t cold, she went and made us a hot soup to eat.  Ha-ha, she’s like a grandmother to us.  And she loves the handkerchief from Grandma.  She keeps it in her Book of Mormon.  She never learned how to really read very well, and she said that sometimes she’d just open her book and look at the beautiful handkerchief.  Today was day 309 of my mission.
(12) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today was good.  We had a very good lesson with Samuel and Mateus and their mom was there, too.  She gave us soup also.  It was very good.  We did an awesome activity with the nails, where you have to balance 12 on top on one.  I remembered it from scout camp.  So, today I bought 2 pounds of nails.  We did the message in 3 different houses, and every time they loved it and wanted to keep the nails.  Now, all the young men in the ward will want nails.  And the message is a very good one.  Today was day 310 of my mission.
(13) SEXTA (Friday): So, we did a family home evening with a few families today, which went great!  2 of them are in/less active, and the other is the ward mission leaders’ family.  It was small and simple, but it was very good.
            The rest of the day was pretty normal to be honest.  This morning was very cold.  And I didn’t want to leave the bed.  So, I left, but I took my warm blankets with me, and ran in place to warm up.  Nothing really new today.  Today was day 311 of my mission.
(14) SABADO (Saturday): We’re having very few lessons this week, but the ones we are having are awesome.  At Pedro’s house, we shared a message, and then helped him clean his house because it was FILTHY!   He’s 14 and trying to return to the church.  His brother Igor is doing his mission papers.  He smokes and drinks.  He’s a good kid, just on the wrong path. We have a very good relationship with him, especially after today.  He said we’re the best elders that have passed by.  His dad spends days to weeks away from home working.  His mom works from morning until late at night.  It’s very difficult for him and Igor, but they’re both amazing.  Pedro is super funny.   Simara, who lives in front of his house is like his 2nd mother, and now she’s pushing him to go to church.  She said she’d wait in the road in front of his house to walk with him to church, even if she has to wait all day.  And she would!  We’re planning a big BBQ with everyone for a p-day.  It will be good.  Pedro today grabbed a little pepper, the kind that are SUPER hot.  He said, “Hey McKee, eat this, and I said, “Ok, but then you have to go to church this Sunday.”  We shook on it, I grabbed the pepper, and Pedro said, “Just wait, I’ll get a glass of water ready for you.”  I think put it in my mouth and swallowed it whole as fast as I could.  It still left my tongue burning, and I needed the water.  He said I cheated because I didn’t chew it, but he will still go to church.           
            Today was good.  A new investigator with LOADS of potential.  Today was day 312 of my mission.
(15) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Today was cold and raining, and few people went to church.  But today was still awesome.  One of the lessons of today was with a man named Eduardo, and his wife Camila.  Camila was born into the church, baptized with 8 years.  Eduardo is her husband who is not baptized.  They grew up together, dated for 15 years, have been married for 3 years, and have the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen, who is a few months old.  They go to church EVERY WEEK, without fail.  I don’t know why the past elders haven’t already baptized him.  So, we went to Camila a few weeks ago and said, “Irma Camila, we want to baptize your husband so you guys can have an eternal family.”  It’s just that he only gets work off once a week, but we are teaching him, and today was a lesson INCREDIBLE.  He accepted to be baptized and Camila was so happy.  She looked like she was ready to cry.
            Then, after it was almost dark, and Simara calls us and asks us to pass by.  She didn’t go to church today because of the rain, but she is reading a lot of the Book of Mormon.  When we got there, the house was lit with candles, because their electricity was cut because they couldn’t pay it.  I felt the urge to cry when I saw that she and Marcos had bought and were preparing a dinner for us, in candlelight.  Marcos then had to leave to work, also he didn’t even get to eat with us.  He works a LOT, with very few days off, for about $250.00 a month.  It was hard for me to accept the dinner I knew they had sacrificed to prepare, but I also knew how much it meant to them.  They’ll go on Tuesday to do the papers for the marriage. 
            This week was slow, but very good with the progress of everything.  Today was day 313 of my mission.
Thanks for all your support and love.
Love you, Elder McKee
"I'm holding a fly because I'm a Ninja and caught it!"
Elder Bezerra and Jake
It must be getting cold, he has 2 sweatshirts on and his blanket.

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