The day before transfers, Tuesday, it rained a lot. I felt the tiniest bit cold, which was a strange sensation. Sister Broadbent wanted hot chocolate, but that’s not very easy to find. Instead, we ate munguza (sweet coconut milk with pieces of corn and cinnamon on top) which people sell on the street corners. It was a cool moment — we were walking through tons of rain eating munguza. It seemed very Brazilian! Little did we know that our adventures were just beginning!
We leave at 10:30 am and return at 9 pm every day — we never return home during the day. But Sister Centeio bought a suitcase during our dinner time so we went home to leave the suitcase there. Sister Centeio walked up the stairs and said “Uh-oh, there’s water in the house Sister!” Then she walked into the room where we keep our suitcases and clothes and said “There is a lot of water!!” One day before transfers all the suitcases got wet! There was about a quarter inch of water in that room! It was a little miracle that we went home during dinner instead of waiting five more hours–it made a difference for the suitcases. One book was ruined and some papers and letters got wet as well, as well as all of my clothes, but luckily the easily ruinable things were mostly in other rooms. We had to spend some time taking all the stuff out of the room, throwing away wet boxes, and setting up the fans to try and dry out the suitcases, and using a “roda” to push all the water out the balcony. A roda is a huge squeegee that you can use to push out water or cover with a rag and use as a mop.
Luckily the suitcases were mostly dry by the next day. I rode in a car with some other people to the metro, then took the metro to a bus station, and then rode to a different road where I got off and walked to the mission office. I was late because my area is far away, and the buses and cars only leave so early. But it didn’t turn out to be a problem because some missionaries who lived super close were quite late–there was a protest with a fire and someone stole the copper cables from the metro! It didn’t end up affecting my travel but a lot of missionaries had to get taxis and figure out other ways to get to the right places. Pretty crazy for the day of transfers!
My new companion is Sister M. Ribeiro. She is awesome. She is from
São Paulo, is 19 years old, and likes to take pictures. She speaks English because she spent a few months in the U.S. with her sister, so we are switching off practicing English and Portuguese pronunciation at home. Maybe I’ll get home with a Paulista accent!
Almost all of our people with dates marked for baptism had problems this week and the three baptisms we thought might happen fell through! We have a couple people who have decided to break the law of chastity even though they know it is wrong, some people who moved to other cities, some people who got new jobs and can’t go to church on Sundays, and some people who just don’t want to get baptized right now. But we are all set to have David’s baptism this coming Sunday between sessions of General Conference and it should be great! He said that after going to church for five years, he finally decided to get baptized because of a member’s testimony last Sunday. Your talks and testimonies can be powerful, folks!
I like a scripture in Alma 4:19: “And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.”
It was sad to lose people we were so excited about, but I felt the spirit in several of those lessons. Sometimes you teach with the spirit and authority but people choose not to change their lives for the better.
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.2 Nephi 2:27
It’s sad, because sometimes you see people choosing to follow the devil and be miserable. We have one investigator who always said he wanted to be happy. He told us how happy he was when he prayed about the Book of Mormon, when he went to church, when he stopped drinking coffee. But he decided not to follow the commandments and he won’t have the chance to feel the divine happiness people can experience on the gospel path.
I’m excited for this week working with Sister Ribeiro. The good thing about when things fall through is that you have a clean slate to find lots of new people.
I am also super excited for General Conference! We have told some of our investigators that the prophet has promised that if we write down our questions before conference, and then prayerfully attend, we can receive answers to our questions and guidance for our doubts. I know this promise is true–I definitely felt that last conference. Sometimes we don’t get the answer we want–maybe the answer is “wait” or “that doesn’t matter right now”–but we will get the answers we need, and our testimonies can be strengthened. Don’t miss out this week!