Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Gift of Tongues

Hello all!

I have had an AMAZING week and I have a lot to write about but first off I hope you know I love you!

Things I have learned after a month in Brazil:
1.     Cock roaches can survive in microwaves.
2.     Cock roaches can fly if they are big enough
3.     Mice can climb in suitcases
4.     Having more than 100 bug bites is possible
5.     Brazil makes pre-existing skin problems worse
6.     Brazil gives skin problems you never knew existed
7.     Blisters the size of golf balls are only cool when Robbie Crossett has them!

Ok so I have some amazing stories to tell this week.  First why I want all mail sent to the mission home... a missionary had his mail sent to the apt and then got transferred and Brazilians don’t really have a sense of privacy so naturally it got opened and it was a wedding announcement from his girlfriend! Well we had a good laugh at that but I want to open my dear john first! I don’t want someone else opening it!

In our area we have this crazy lady that like to sing to you as you walk by... one time we saw her sitting on a rock with a microphone she made out of trash!  Another time we walked by and she started following us singing to us. I asked my comp if he knew what she was saying and he said he had no idea. Weird!

Well last week at church I had an amazing experience!   I was standing there and a man came up and started talking to me! And I understood everything perfectly! And I responded perfectly!  I was getting so excited that I had the gift of tongues and then it hit me: we were speaking English.

So one day we were teaching a lesson and this BABY wasn’t listening to his mom and in the middle of the lesson she whipped him with a belt!!! I don’t even think a bull trainer could have done it harder.  And then another day we were walking and in Brazil the sidewalks drop a foot at a time when you go downhill it isn’t gradual and these girls were running down behind a stroller that had a baby in it and he was just bouncing around like an earthquake! It was crazy and so sad to see!

Well Friday was my comps year mark and I wanted to celebrate right so we went out and bought fireworks! Now fireworks here aren’t the same as in the states... there they are pretty and colorful here they are loud just loud.  so I didn’t know this and I bought ten reais worth (that buys a lot here) and we were back at the apt setting them off because we have a side yard that you can do that in and we had one that looked like one of the flower ones from the states so we lit it and threw it expecting a nice flower thing 3...2...1.... BOOOOM the loudest explosion I have ever heard happened right there in front of me I was so scared I dropped the cup that was in my hand!  I was freaking out thinking the cops would come and my comp was like what are you worrying about they don’t come because of a loud noise.  We went the next day to see what was left and there was just a black mark and no evidence that a fire cracker ever went off it just vanished it was crazy. Well moral of the story we have five left and have purchases 5 different types of fruits. :)

On Sunday we took the sacrament to an older women who was sick and she took me by the hand and pulled me close and said (imagine old woman scary voice here), "you will pay for your sins here in Petrolia"  well I just about started crying. That is the scariest thing you can imagine for a new missionary!!!

This week I had some amazing experiences.  Some of the most beautiful things you will ever see is:  an investigator on her porch reading the Book of Mormon, a Dad sit up to read scriptures with dignity in front of his family, a 12 year old boys eyes light up as you teach about the priesthood that he could hold, or a 10 year girl grin ear to ear and nod her head as you ask her if she wants to be baptized.

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and we had ten investigators come it was amazing!  And the even more amazing part was that one got up and gave his testimony!!  He talked about how he knew this church was true because when he walked in he felt good and he didn’t see any priests casting out devils it was pretty funny but also pretty exciting!

Yesterday was zone conference and I understood everything it was the coolest thing ever! I had the chance to give my testimony and I got a ton of compliments about how my accent and Portuguese was really good. Members this week have also been telling me that, so I’m getting really excited about everything my mission seems to be going perfect!  I cannot wait until I am fluent but I know with time and effort it will all come together.

Well, I have one quote I want to share with you it is by President Hinckley and a missionary left it above my desk and it helps me every day as I read it. I really love it a ton! "Anyone who imagines bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. the fact is most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most job are more often dull then otherwise... life is like an old time rail journey-delays, side tracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally but beautiful vista and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

I hope you understand the truth and hope this quote gives!

Elder Mender
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