Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup and Politics

Elder Carvalho, Me, Elder Inácio (My Comp), and Elder Heidenreich. 
Just making miracles in the wonderful land of Maricá.

Hey Family!

No, I didn´t fall in any rivers this week, but as far as I know, there were no infections or diseases contracted from last week. Some members here say I got really lucky and ws really blessed about that, so I´m counting my blessings. The World cup is.... NOW. EVERYONE is watching every game in the world cup, rooting for Brazil and against Argentina. We´re still working like normal, except the days that Brazil plays. On the opening game, last Thursday, we cleaned our house hardcore, we did weekly planning, and we played a ton of Uno in our house. When Brasil plays, everything closes. EVERYTHING. Even the emergency rooms and health centers (not hospitals, thank goodness). And everyone watches the game. You can imagine how tough it would be a missionary, diligently trying to share a brief message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when everyone is at home watching the game. Luckily, since we live far away from Rio, we can still work on the days where there´s a game in Rio. Many missionaries don´t have that same priveledge, because there are lots of people on strike, because of the money the government spent on the cup. Lame.

Now that Winter is starting here, I´m not sweating all the time! WOO! It´s still pretty hot, like 30 degrees celcius, but it´s better than melting like a popsicle like we do in the summer. Congratulations to Bryan and Holly for the wonderful news and new baby! Also to dad for the new calling as ordinance worker in the temple. Ever since I´ve started my mission, learned more about temple ordinances, and now that I CAN´T go to the temple whenever I want, I´ve thought a lot about how awesome it would be to have that calling.

This week had many ups and downs, but overall was pretty good. We´ve started teaching a lady named Vanda who recognized the spirit immediately and has been progressing super well! Although she wasn´t able to go to church yesterday (We´re still not sure why, we´re gonna visit her today to find out), so that was tough since we´ll have to remark her planned date for baptism. She works for the PDT in Maricá, which is like a member of the house of representatives for the state of Rio, at least that´s what I understood from what my companion told me. She´s his secretary, and she invited us to say a prayer at their correlation meeting (Two thumbs up for Brasil. No separation between church and state!). There´s no way I´d deny an offer like that! So we got to meet the PDT in Maricá as well as his campaign group, we said a prayer and invited everyone to learn about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! I mean, if Júlio Carolino joined the church, that´d be cool. I wouldn´t complain. He was really nice and showed a lot of gratitude for our work and we thanked him for caring about this wonderful people of Rio and Maricá. It was a group of about 15-20 people, and I definitely wrote about that in my journal :)

I had an opportunity to meet a family in my first area, Alcãntara, that has been prepared for baptism. As district leader, I did their baptismal interview, and I´ve loved working with them these past few weeks. Their names are Benedito and Elizabeth, and they were baptised last saturday and confirmed yesterday! I´ve loved working with the missionaries there, helping them work with the members and recent converts that I grew so close to while I was serving there.

Another crazy week in the books here in Rio! I´m not sure how the World Cup is doing, all I know is that Brazil won, based on the fireworks, cheering, and horns we heard that day. Plus everyone (including the members) have been talking about it. But like I said last week, It´s the WORLD CUP (or translated from Portuguese, Cup of the World). As representatives of Jesus Christ we should be seperated from the world. I love you all and don´t forget to root for Brasil for me!

Elder Braun

One of the million decorated houses in spirit of the World Cup

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