HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! We are wearing the socks right now. :) And Mom, EVERYONE wears socks with sandals down here. It's ok!
Everything is going great!! A lot of progress was made this week. No baptisms as of yet, but everything is great. New president, who I will meet on Thursday. I got Andy’s letter today, and I got a little freaked out with the pictures of Josh as a little man, with the hair of a little girl. ;) hahaha I’m doing so great. I’m happy and fat and healthy. Today we went into a store of the army, with a bunch of knives and bb guns (they cant have guns here, so everyone freaks out over bb guns and pocket knives. They’re all really cheap, like what we get when we turn 8. everyone gets shocked when I tell them about our adventures.) They had a butterfly knife, and when I saw it, I asked him if I could see it. He pulled it out for me, and I remembered the hours I spent trying to learn it, and cutting my self 32 times in one day learning, and how i got super good. I sat there thinking ´I’m going to show these Brazilians how it’s done. Then something in me said ´you idiot. You haven’t touched one for over a year, and you know Satan will grab that knife out of the air and it will fall and stab your foot´ so I gave it back to the man. I think it was the spirit talking to me.
Week of June 27th-July 3rd, 2016
(27) SEGUNDA (Monday): Today was pretty sad for me. We got a call from Thiago saying that his mother Simara had returned to smoking. She had been smoking 2 per day, and we cut it down to one to finish it off and yesterday she had fought with Marcos, who has managed to stop. She smoked 9. Marcos has been 4 days now with out smoking and he says when he thinks about the cigarette he gets a disgusting feeling. WOOT WOOT! But we went there after p-day and we had a very good message with Simara and Marcos. I gave them all the hymns in English to listen to in the house. Next p-day I’ll print a big picture of the temple and another of Christ for them to put up in their house.
Simara started crying, talking about how much she wants to stop smoking and be baptized. That she honestly is trying. We 4 are going to do a fast for her tomorrow after lunch. W e also gave her a blessing. I have no doubt that she’ll get it. They’re still reading and watching videos and Mormon messages that I left them. Today was day 356 of my mission.
(28) TERCA (Tuesday): We did a division today, and I went to Palmeiras with Elder Gutierrez. In Panambi after the district meeting we picked a ton of tangerines behind the church. The ones on the bottom had already been picked, so I climbed the tree, standing on a thin branch to bend it into the reach of Gutierrez on the ground and reaching for the higher ones. In about 5 minutes we filled 3 big sacks.
The division went well. Their house is above the chapel, and the secretary had left the TV out, so at night we watched some Mormon messages I have on the pen drive. Today was day 357 of my mission.
(29) QUARTA (Wednesday): Today I returned to Cruz Alta. A lot fell through today, but we found an awesome new family, who loved the Plan of Salvation and asked us to come back tomorrow! Ha-ha WOOT WOOT! Their names are Luciara and Elson, and they have an 11-year-old daughter. I’m pretty excited about hem.
I forgot to write about a contact yesterday. We knocked on the door, and the woman came out and said, “I know you guys, you’re the Mormons.” We said yes and explained a little of our message. She said, “And you guys don’t keep the 10 commandments.” We said, “Um, yes we do.” She said, “No you don’t. You only keep 2 of them.” She then went on to explain how the Lord’s day is on Saturday as it was in the time of Mosies (Jake’s spelling) That the law of Mosies is still in effect, so those who don’t keep it are sinners. I didn’t tell her that the law of Mosies also includes keeping the 7th month, and every 7th year. Not that anyone who lit a fire or cooked food on the Sabbath was put to death.. We tried to explain why Sunday is the Sabbath, but it’s hard because in Portuguese the word for Saturday is the same as Sabbath. We showed scriptures showing how the Apostles held the sacrament and meetings on Sunday after Christ’s resurrection, but she wanting nothing of the truth.
There was another person in the house behind her, and several times she would say something that’s in the scriptures then turn around and ask the person the reference or what it said, or some date for when some pastor Catholic changed the bible . Then she would say, “See. I know these things. I study.” We just bore our testimonies of her wrongness and left. Today was day 358 of my mission.
(30) QUINTA (Thursday): We finally were able to meet with a family today that we have been trying to meet with for weeks now. Carlos and Regina are the parents, and their 16-year-old daughter, Ester. THEY ARE AMAZING! They all paid close attention and they loved the idea of eternal families. They had a lot of questions, and they made us late for the next lesson. But it was incredible. Carlos loved it all, and said everything was new for him. He’s never thought about prophets or apostles as necessary. He asked for more, and we gave him the church’s site. They invited us to eat with them after, but we had to go. They marked for next Wednesday, and told us not to mark any other commitments because they want to make Churrasco for us. WOOT WOOT!
I’m super excited about his family, and I could write a few more pages about them, but I’m super tired and have a huge headache since this morning because when I flushed the toilet I got a huge shock. (I forgot to turn off the breaker. There’s a short in the wall or something. Tomorrow I’m going to call the secretary about it.) But all is well, and we’re happy.
Also! We passed by Simara and Marcos today! The fast and the blessing worked! Marcos is now 5 days without smoking, and Simara has smoked 2 in the last 3 days. This si a miracles!! They’ll go do all the marriage stuff this week also! It’s one miracles after another with them. Today she asked about forgiveness, and how it’s hard to forgive. She asked if she was required to forgive the 3 men who killed her brother-in-law, sister, and 7 year old nephew. I guess her Brother-in-law, sister and nephew lived in the USA, Nebraska. In 2010, a man who worked for her bro-in-law was stealing from him, so he fired him. A few weeks later the man knocked on his door with 2 other men. They pulled him out of the house and killed him with a baseball bat. Then grabbed his wife and child, and hung them, then threw the three in the river, All involved were Brazilian. The police caught them because one grabbed his bankcards and was using all the money. When the card got cancelled, he got mad and fought with the cashier, which called the police when they came to the store. This Brazilian who understood no English taught he was being arrested or the murder, and told everything. He’s in jail for 20 years, the other in jail for life, and the third escaped back to Brazil and is a free man. Simara learned all of this one day when she saw her sister’s picture on the news.
How do you explain to her that she should forgive? It was a spiritual lesson, talking about forgiveness. She said, “I’ll work on forgiving them, after I quit smoking. I’ll overcome one sin at a time.”
Today was day 359 of my mission.
(1) SEXTA (Friday): Today was very good, and I want to share it all. Our first lesson was right after lunch with an old lady named Maria. A very old lady, but she was probably the happiest person I’ve ever met. The next lesson was the opposite. This lady was miserable it seemed. Her house was filthy, and very, very sad. I made a goal to always look at the good things. Getting to know the old lady, she ONLY talked about how good everything was, hoe beautiful everything was. The other talked only of her sicknesses, the bad weather, broken TV; only negative.
We also passed by the house of Nathaniel. His friend was over, so we taught them both. He’s doing great, and he’ll be staying here in this house. His friend is going to go to church with him and start going to seminary. Nathaniel asked when he could receive the priesthood, so we explained, then we taught the plan of salvation and he talked about going to the temple to do the baptism for his mom.
Also, something happened to Simara today where a nerve in her back got pinched, so she was in a lot of pain and had to go get a bunch of meds. When I heard I got scared that this would lead her to fall again with smoking. But when I managed to call her, she said, No, I only smoked one today. It was hard, but only one.” HA! Nice try Satan!!! He won’t be messing up our work, NO!
Another cool thing is that we passed by the house of the grandma of Igor, the young man who’s waiting for his call now. She let us in, and we started teaching her as Igor had asked us. To our surprise, her and Igor’s aunt loved the message, and they both want to go to church with us! Igor had said he didn’t know if they would show much interest. We want to surprise Igor, coming to church with his grandma. That would be Great!
So, we used to visit this one family of less-actives, but they didn’t go to church so we stopped. Today I learned why it was so hard to get them to church. The man, when his wife got pregnant and left him for a little, went crazy, bought a gun, and killed a few people, one of which was the guy his wife head left him for. They got back together, and now they’re a family. But it’s crazy. I mean, we helped them move into their new house! Crazy, Crazy! There’s a lot more, but I won’t share.
Today was day 360 of my mission.
(2) SABADO (Saturday): Today there was a woman’s party thing that’s similar to a baby shower, but it’s for when the woman buys a new house. There was a TON of good food, and seeing how we helped set up this morning, we passed by to leave a message and also look at all the food because we are fasting for fast Sunday. But tomorrow we’ll pass by her house to eat all the leftovers. WOOT WOOT!
Then after we got home I cut my hair. I’m getting good at cutting my own hair. Not much to report today because all the rest fell through. Today was day 361 of my mission.
(3) DOMINGO (Sunday): Today was interesting. So, my comp and I had made a goal of a certain number of addresses that we wanted to get this week. Last night, the last day of the week, we were short. So we were running around talking with literally EVERYONE. When all of the sudden a drunk comes running up the hill, yelling for us to wait. We wait, and he comes, staggering, out of breath, and that strong stench of beer. He comes, and starts saying the weirdest things. He started out “I’m two things: I’m a drunk, and I’m a prophet. And I had a vision of 2 white prophets, climbing a hill quickly, peaching. I was told to tell you guys that your faith is very real, but what you’re teaching is not. Your church is false. The true church is in São Paulo, and is called Fullness. I don’t know if this church exists, but its what God told me.” HAHAHAHAHAH and the whole while he’s almost falling down, and he’d yell some things, then whisper others. After I said ´you’ve been drinking a lot, haven’t you?´ he said ´no, not at all.... alright a little. I said I’m a drunk. But I’m also a prophet.´ Then he started shaking a lot, and yelling in a weird language, and I’m very convinced that he was actually possessed. He would speak in a deep scratchy voice and hit himself, then suddenly switch to normal, not remembering anything. We said we had to leave, and he said he was going to the same way, all normal. So, we go walking, and we cross to the other side of the street. He said ´see ya later! And don’t forget my prophecy!´ then as we were entering, he started shaking, stopped, then slowly turned his head to look at us, then had the strong look of hate on his face I’ve ever seen, then extended his hand at us, then started running to us, as fast as any drunk can run. I thought for a quick second ´wait for him, then when he gets here punch him in the nose as hard as you can´ then I thought better not do that no. So we entered the house super fast, and shut the door. Then, just as the door shut, he started rattling the door knob. Like classic scary movie scene!! hahahaha it was CRAZY!!! Then I sat there thinking all night. I’ve already expelled demons in my mission, why didn’t I do it again this time? I don’t know, but the thought didn’t even come to my mind.
Simara called us, saying that she had watched 17 miracles, and she had one question. Why weren’t there any black people with them? Wow, I don’t even know how to respond to that. This week was good. I’m happy and healthy. Today was day 362 of my mission.
Love you all. Elder McKee
"it´s super good. That drink isn't the real stuff they use. its coconut, with milk that we heat with condensed milk. its not the real thing no, and until the let us drink the real thing I'll be with this fake one thats super good. :)"