So much stuff I want to say, I guess I’ll start with the big thing.
Yesterday was our first day of proselyting, so naturally there were lots of prayers for the 4 hours before. We were given 3 hours, 4 Books of Mormon, and told to stay within the boundaries. Elder Long and I were a bit scared at first. But we needed have feared. All of our copies were gone in the first 45 minutes and we got several numbers for the missionaries. We ran into two other groups of Elders who weren’t having as much luck, snatched a copy off of each, and both were gone within 15 minutes. The Lord was behind us and we were protected from all manner of harm.
Three quick stories: My favorite was with our 5th copy of the Book of Mormon. We found a woman on the side of the street, and so it was my turn to lead the discussion. She happened to be reading a small copy of the Bible (In Isaiah 20 something). Her name was Erika and she was a baptist. We talked for a little bit and I answered her few questions. She kept saying that it was an interesting book. She asked what “Mormon” meant and I told her about the ancient prophet. She graciously accepted the book and wrote her number. (I felt pretty awesome!)
The other two had nothing to do with handing out the books. We walked a man to his car and he talked about our church vs. Evangelists (He already had a copy of the book) and said “Go in peace” when we left. The other involved a man who spoke the softest Portuguese. We met him in the city square and he delivered a 5 minute sermon about “the beauty of the land” and “The Sacred Bible”. Neither of us understood much beyond that and it didn’t matter. He bore us no ill will and we just listened to the man and exchanged smiles and small hugs of departure. Can you say “feed my lambs?”
We took pictures of ourselves in front of the temple, and hopefully the next time I talk to you I’ll be able to upload the pictures. We ran into a few people we knew from the South mission of Sao Paulo. One was an Elder Woodroff who I got to know and respect. He was way excited and had been out for a month. You should have seen the grin on his face and he ran past us. Today, Sister Jardim and Brother Romeu (our two instructors) took us out to a big meat buffet for lunch. I literally could have died happy in that place. (There isn’t many people I know who can say that they have had chicken’s heart. It really is pretty good.) The rest of this week has been fine.
Typical missionary stuff. I got a 5 page letter (from a certain girl in Rexburg this week) that smelled like coconuts. Naturally, the other Elders were on me for that one, but I didn’t care. I also got the letter that included Cora’s letter. Mostly Cora, it’s not too terribly different. Except a lot of meat with a lot of rice and beans. I’ve also been reduced to drinking orange soda rather than the customary Root Beer. I also played a golden investigator for a pair of sister missionaries belonging to our favorite American district here. They are only a few weeks behind us, and so we were pretty much on the same page in terms of language.
We (finally) had our baptism for Tane this week, and once again, it was glorious. A lot of us here are so sick of the CTM, but I for one will miss the atmosphere here. It has a spirit that isn’t really rivaled, and though you may have to listen hard, it is there.
I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to say something next P-Day, so hopefully a letter for someone will come through and you’ll still be able to update. I’ll email you an address for sending letters, but I should now be open to receiving other emails. Like always, I can’t guarantee I’ll respond, but I will read them. (BTW, Joe. Check under the bed if you haven’t found it yet.) I love you guys so much and miss you like crazy. Remember, a 12th of the mission is already done and over with.
Eu amo vocês!