Monday, August 3, 2015

Normal Week

Carta semanal:

Normal week, just work as always. Last week, we had another companionship exchange with the Zone Leaders, which was pretty good. I stuck with an Elder G. Santos that day in their area (for the 4th time), and we just walked around to appointments, everything normal. I enjoyed myself that day because the other companionship in their huge house is Elder Teles and Elder Adams. Elder Adams is an American with the same time as me, and we got around to talking a little in English about things. I´ve come to realize that my English is actually pretty normal. Occasionally, I start my sentences in Portuguese without thinking, but other than that, I´m still good. I can tell it helped Elder Adams to relax a little. He´s struggling here and there with the language, especially because he´s had a few American companions and the Brazilians he had also spoke English. Now that he´s with a Brazilian that doesn´t speak, it´s gotten him to learn a lot more. We also had pizza that night (as well as Ramirez and Mitton in our area). I made a joke that in the Missionary Handbook where it talks about the rules for exchanges that if there isn´t a pizza that night, it wasn´t a real companionship exchange. 

Last pday was another simple one. I was lazy beyond belief and didn´t want to go to downtown Petrolina, so everyone stuck at home again. I grabbed a recipe for Apple Dumplings and gave it a try. A while ago, Elder Mitton gave me a little bottle of imitation maple syrup extract so I also made some of that and poured it on the dumplings. They turned out pretty good, but nothing like Uncle Jay makes. 

This week, I was remembering some of my older stories that I had forgotten to tell you guys about. So those green corn guys are still in full force selling their delicious creamy munguzá and all sorts of good stuff. Almost every time they pass, I buy some and often I buy some for Elder Ramirez too. We got to talking about them, and I asked Elder Ramirez how it is that they make Munguzá so good. We got around to making theories and stuff like that about what they put into it. It´s kind of funny, because nobody knows where it is that these guys come from. They just show up. I told Ramirez that when the day begins, they descend from the heavens to start their shift. Elder Ramirez got a laugh out of it and said that at the end of the day, they don´t have a house that they live in. They just ascend toward the heavens again until the next day. It´s weird though, because it´s just random when they come. Some days they do, sometimes they don´t. One time we made the theory that they´re Adventists, the church that believes that Saturday is the Sabbath and that you can´t work on that day. So when Saturday came around, we payed special attention to see if they would work that day and they did. I don´t know, just a few funny things we talk about. 

I remember in the beginning of this transfer, we started contacting those boys that we passed by when we were practicing english together and started teaching a boy of about 11 years old and his mom. The boy´s name was Eduardo, and the kid was a borderline genius and really REALLY into his church, the Adventist Church of the 7th day. I think I talked about him a while ago, but anyway, one day we returned to try and meet with them again. To be honest, they weren´t progressing very much and never went to church (even though they said they wanted to), but the boy was doing quite a bit. He brought the book of Mormon with him to school and read a bunch. He even filled out a bunch of information on the pamphlet we gave him on the restauration, without us even asking him to. So we had some pretty big hopes for them. Like I was saying, we showed up to try and teach them some more to some pretty sad news that the Mom´s son who lives in Brasilia had gotten into a car accident of sorts and died. They were moving away from Petrolina from what they had said to go the funeral services and to live there. The Mom was in tears and Eduardo had gotten emotional when we had showed up, but the mom wouldn´t see us. So Ramirez, Eduardo, and I sat down at the front of Eduardo´s house, and we testified of the Plan of Salvation with him and told him that he´ll see his brother again. It was some pretty quiet moments that we had passed with him. I told him to look for missionaries in Brasilia because there´s always missionaries in every location. He thanked us for spending a little time to comfort him and we said goodbye to him. Honestly, I don´t think that when he gets there that he´ll be baptized, let alone go to church or even talk with the missionaries, but I did feel better that we comforted someone in need, regardless of the time we had passed trying to get them to do such. It was a good experience, and it opened my eyes a little more about caring more for serving others than for thoughtlessly striving for more church attendance.

I suppose that that´s really it. A couple of other things, I´ll know the results of the transfer on August 15th, if I leave or stay. Should be good! Also, this week is a Zone Conference in a city called Feira de Santana that our Zone and a few others will be going to which is closeby Salvador. I´m excited, because I´ll see other missionaries (including Elder Sterling who´s now in Juazeiro just across the bridge) and I heard that we´ll be hearing a General Authority as well. I´m pretty excited for it. Also, my chimirrão came :P I´ll send pictures when I can. 

Love you guys! 

-Elder Skinner

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