Once again, another crazy week here in Alcântara. I´m happy to hear all about your adventures going on at home! Thumbs up to Michael for still being creative in his visits home. Maybe I´ll be able to do something cool like that, but I´ve got about 22 months to whip up something creative. I got a letter from Jeff this week which was really cool! I love being able to hear about everyone´s life at home and hearing from him was really great, except the part where BYU stunk in their season opener. I´ll have to keep them in my prayers, I guess.
I NEED PICTURES. Like, seriously. If you could send me a letter with a bunch of pictures of family, friends, whatever, that would be fantastic. The only way I can show anyone who my family looks like is the two photos I have on my camera that I took the day you dropped me off at the airport. Dig in my Facebook a bit, maybe, and send me some of my close friends and family? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE that. Pretty much every member and investigator and hobo I run into asks about my friends and family and I feel stupid for not having any way to show them what you all look like. I´ll make my Christmas package extra awesome, pinky swear.
So this week was pretty difficult compared to the first one, but still good. Somehow, during my first few days here last week, we were able to have success in meeting with people who we had contacted in order to teach them lessons and challenge them to make committments. Unfortunately, infelizmente, this week was not quite the same. Elder Grow and I do a pretty good job at making our goal of doing 30 street contacts every day, with usually close to 10-15 giving us addresses to visit. However, during this week, many houses we went to were either not where people said they were or people weren´t home. We have a few investigators who are really close to or have agreed to be baptized, but now we´re struggling to find new people to teach. We try our best to encourage ward members to talk with people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not much has resulted, unfortunately. My portuguese is.... well, I think it´s improving. There´s so many different accents here that at times it feels like people are speaking different languages, especially the older population here. Be sure to keep me in your prayers to help me learn this language, because it hasn´t been too easy so far.
This week, we followed up with Isolda after asking her if she´d pray to be baptized. She has been devotely Catholic her whole life, but has really accepted our messages and believes them to be true. The only things we are stuggling to help her understand is the importance of baptism by the Authority that our Heavely Father has bestowed upon Joseph SMith and those who have followed him. She believes that there are ´´inspired people people´´ who can feel closer with God than others, but hasn´t understood yet that God calls phophets to lead us in these latter-days. Hopefully she´ll be able to have her prayers answered this week and know of the love that our Father in Heaven has for her.
Some goofy stuff I can think of.... I saw a giant pig eating a pile of trash yesterday. Twas kinda comical. Also, at least in this area, there´s a lot of places that sell stuff called Açai. It´s a kind of berry, and they sell in in what they call a sorvete, which is like ice cream but it´s not really milk. Elder Grow and I like to grab a cup whenevr we do contacts for a long time or we bring a priest with us for a few hours. It´s only around 2.5 to 3 reais for a cup the size of a small blizzard, which is only a little more than a dollar! They have lots of toppings like a froyo place in the states. Sooooo good!! Elder Grow and I also ate at a subway that was only a few miles from our place closer to the more developed part of Alcântara. It was nice to eat something american. We eat rice and beans with meat for seriously every meal, but I haven´t gotten very sick of it... yet :) The subway, I think, almost tasted better than one in the states, and I even think it maight have been cheaper. But they didn´t have free refills. No place here does.
So that about sums up my week. I love you all, and am thoughtfully trying to come up with a delightful Christmas package already. We´ll see what I can whip up. Good luck to all those returning back to School and have a great week!
I posted a few pictures. I think it´s the first time I´ve been able to since I was in Provo. You´re welcome!
Alcantara, Brazil - Elder Brauns' first area
The Elder Holland quote in Elder Braun's apartment
Elder Braun enjoying Acai
Elder Braun's trainer, Elder Grow