Aug. 22

Today I want to talk a little about the word Esparar. In Portugues ‘Esparar’ has two meanings:’To Hope’ and ‘To Wait’. It is used interchangably. When we hope for something, we wait for it and when we wait for something, we hope for it. Sometimes atchieving our dreams and our desires takes patience. Patiently pressing forward and waiting for the time when all our dreams will be realized is a manifestation of our hope. As we keep pressing forward, clinging to the iron rod, we develope a strength and faith through our hope that makes the wait peaceful. 🙂

There is a saying here that means something like ” Only those with Force, go to the North.” The Missions in Northern Brazil are famous for being difficult because of the climate, but I think it gets easier every week.  Sister Prado told me about her friend’s reactions when she got her call and we both laughed pretty hard about it. Sister Prado is incredible. She had barely been a member for one year when she recieved her call for this mission. Her father left her family when she was a baby, and things haven’t always been easy for her family, but she teaches with insights and lives the commandments with a integrity that would make you thing she’d known these things her whole life. She is a living testimony that one year is enough time for absolutley anyone to prepare to be an incredible missionary. If ye have a desire to serve, ye are called to the work. With that desire and faith in the Lord, everything else works itself out.

The Elders in Brazil are called to serve at 18. Brazil is working really hard to have enough missionaries to be self sufficient and have enough Brasilian missinaries to teach the people. The Lord really needs missionaries right now, but He waits for people to have the desire to serve before He lets them fully realize it. Missionaries are certainly not perfect, but I know our efforts are consecrated as we keep pressing forward in faith.

We are teaching a realy neat family right now. The father sharpens knifes for a living, and preaches out of the Bible for his friends but doesn’t frequent any other church. Two of his children, Sara and Elias go to different churches. Religion is a very social part of the culture here and so it is not uncommon for everyone in the family to have their own church that they are dedicated to and go to. Many churches are open throughout the week and have night time sermons and sessions. So far we have only taught Sara, and her twelve year old son Solomon and her Brother and his wife (Elias and Elielma).

The other day, we were teaching the third lesson to them and suddenly there was this really loud rap music outside the door. Sara opened the window shudder and it was just a man peddling pop corn down the street. He had a really fancy sound system hooked up to get people’s attention I guess. It was pretty funny. This family has a couple giant pet turtles that they let us take pictures with the other day and it was really fun. They also have a parrot that they keep in a upside down laundry hamper. Elias and Solomon came to church with us this last week. Sara is waiting for a testimony of the Book of Mormon I think.

The Buses here are a crazy adventure! We get on one every week to arrive in the right place for our District meeting. We pay our 2 Reis as we step on and hope that there is an empty seat. The bus fits as many people as want to get on and so, when the seats are full, we just hold on to the ceiling bars. The buses go really fast around corners and drive crazy so everyone holds on with both hands. The closest thing I can compare it to is a roller coaster.

Açai fruit is really an experience here! It is a small berry that people roll and juice and so the product that we eat looks like (and if you eat it plain, tastes like) dark mauve paint. It is 5 dollars (Reis) for a liter and comes in bags. We pour it in bowls and eat it (like you would cereal and milk) with a little sugar and tiny puffed tapioca cernals.

There is also a pastry here called “Pastel” here that is really good. The other week, Sister Prado and I had a rough day when almost all of our appointments fell though and so we stopped and bough Pastels in a Restaurant. The pastels we chose were filled with cheese, chocolate and bananas. The salty and sweet combination was actually delicious!

As far as other unique foods, there is a grain called farinha (looks and tastes like millet seeds) that people pour liberally over all their food, but for the most part, rice and beans, plain spagetti noodles and lasagnas are the staple for what people like to eat for lunch here.
That and guarrena soda, and Cervada. A lot of members drink a warm barley drink called Cervada in place of coffee.

The other day, one of our investigators (Claudia) offered us popcyles and Sister Prado was really exited that she had the flavor “Milho”. I was exited too thinking that it must be some exautic fruit…. it was corn. But the popcycle was actually quite yummy and tasted just like buttered popcorn jelly bellys!

There is one part of our area where the houses are very close together and a little bit falling apart. Everyone likes to listen to their own music at the same time, but the walls are thin and so they crank it up as loud as possible to drown out the houses around them. I’m quite impressed with the quality sound systems but I’ll admit that it makes teaching a little tricky. As I am sitting here in the Internet cafe, I am surrounded by kids right off school who come here to watch anime and play Runescape. It is very nostolgic. 🙂

I love you all, have a good Semana! (week)

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