beans (sometimes with squash, kale, or meat, but often just beans)
spaghetti with a little bit of tomato sauce
one or two kinds of meat, often chicken
(frequently without sauce, but sometimes with)
vegetable salad/some cooked kale/a plate of sliced tomatoes/possibly fruit
Fruit juice and/or soda. (It´s not normal here to drink water or milk with dinner. Coca-cola is very popular — I’ve had a lot more Coke so far than Guarana. Lemon-lime and orange soda are also popular. The fruit juices are amazing. )
Cake or pudding for dessert!
The food here is good. Most people don´t eat very spicy food.
The pineapple here is amazing! It is less yellow and more translucent here, super sweet, and extremely delicious. Papaya and mango are also possible. There are lots of fruit vendors with carts in the city center. They have bananas (often green and sweeter), mangoes, grapes, watermelon, coconuts, pineapple, papaya, sometimes nuts, corn, and several fruits I don´t know the name of (graveola, aceola?, etc). I also tried a jackfruit otter pop/popsicle-ish thing the other day. That was super fun. I use shredded canned unripe jackfruit at home to make barbecue-style tacos, but I’ve never tried a ripe, sweet jackfruit. It didn’t taste super strongly of anything, but it was good.
This week was very special. We met the mother of the young woman I told you about last week (parents forbid her to see us, come to church, get baptized) on the street. She lifted all the restrictions, said it was a misunderstanding and she didn’t have anything against us, and apologized. Then her daughter came to the baptisms we had this week and went to the dance afterwards! So it looks like we’re going to be able to teach her again. Our prayers that her parents’ hearts would be softened were answered!
I didn’t go to the dance of course (not really a missionary-approved activity! We´re supposed to listen to church and classical music and eschew all romance-related activities so we can focus on helping people get closer to our Savior), but some less-active members, investigators, and recent converts did and everybody was excited about it. Hopefully we can figure out how to have those dances more often.
Right after we met the first mother on the street we met a mother of one of our other investigators. The day before she said he couldn’t get baptized last week because he needed to be 18 and spend many months learning about the church before making that decision. We were concerned — he has a strong testimony, has learned all the lessons we’ve given him by heart, and we felt strongly that he should be baptized on the date we had chosen. The discussion was going badly when I suddenly had the idea to share the story of Peter and the other fishermen who immediately left their nets and followed Christ’s invitation “follow me” (Matthew 4:18-22
). It was a little tough because I couldn’t remember the exact word for fisherman and “follow me´´ is a little hard to conjugate on the fly! But I got close enough that my companion could correct me, and I think the sister understood. Then she agreed to allow him to get baptized! It was a little miracle. The other young man who got baptized this week also had trouble with parents’ permission and we were worried he wouldn’t be able to make it to sacrament meeting to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,
but everything worked out in the end.