Huzzah, moves week is over and I can finally email! (Sorry, Howard!) Right, so if I can gather my thoughts, this is what's happened in the last week:
-Lora brought a friend named Jacob to watch conference. He loved it.
-We taught Lina all week.
-We met a less-active named Dracula (we went with the district leader and his companion, as well as a member). Her referred himself for a Book of Mormon and hasn't been to church for a couple of decades. With a name like Dracula, Noreen's daughter was appalled that we cute sisters were going to speak to him at all. So we gathered the army, the elders ascertained that it was okay, and they left to go back to
We surveyed Drac's elbow-length black hair, nails filed to points, his 2.5
thousand DVDs, and his relatively gentle manner. Drugs are bad. He's been clean
for a few years, but the results of poor mental condition remains. It was very uncomfortable.
When we left, the elders came from their hiding place to escort us safely out
of there. I love our district. The elders had a feeling to stick around and
make sure we were okay and they listened in at the door to make sure he wasn't
attacking us or anything. :) All is well, and we shan't visit again. Hamble River
-Lina passed her interview!
fed us chicken foot soup. Chicken feet. With nails and everything. (Howard,
this could be a staple in Brazil,
I don't know.) You have to suck off the skin and spit out the bones like cherry
pips. The soup was nice, but it was very difficult to not imagine all the hens
-Jacob asked us during our chapel tour how he could go about getting baptized. That's the second person this moves who've asked us to be baptised. Amazing. His background is rough--drugs and such, family together barely--but he wants to give it all up. Teaching him is a joy. The problem is that he isn't eighteen until next month, and his family is definitely against Mormonism, so when he goes back to study in Bournemouth, the elders will teach him and he will come back to be baptised here. Amazing.
-Ewan is a superstar. I am amazed by everything he says: Things like, "I don't believe yet, but I'm working on it" and "Why does everyone say the standards are hard to live? You just do the right thing or you don't." Man, I feel THIS big next to him (holds finger and thumb a millimeter apart) because the Spirit is so strong and the truth is all there.
-Lina totally got baptized on Friday and like 40 people came! The font (which was empty at thirty till) filled at a miraculous pace. She brought bags of food for the party afterwards, programs were made, the talks were amazing, everything was done right the first time, the zone leaders came with Chinese Liahonas (Ensigns) for her, Jacob came and loved it, Lynda came (which is the first time she's been in a chapel for years and years) and everything was so wonderful. I wish I could post pictures home. I'll be able to as soon as I get a CD.
-Brother Hamilton took my ukulele off me, bought new strings and restrung it. For free. It sounds spectacular! The best part is that in the children's songbook, there are tabs for guitar. I'm totally going to learn Popcorn Popping and Once there was a Snowman.
-At church on Sunday, Sister Hutber brought two of her friends. We were planning to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Finding Faith in Christ, but I had given away the last DVD to Drac and the VCR refused to work. So we all got to sit in Gospel Principles and watch the Restoration instead. The Spirit was so powerful--lots of tears and testimonies and I've never been so pleased that we brought the wrong DVD in my life. Both her friends want to learn more.
-Jacob was being closely monitored by Lora and Karolina--he'd cut back from 40+ fags a day to two, but he was struggling with the last two. When he finally did escape outside, they all gathered around for support and he tossed the last of his baccy into the drain. Since then (today is Wednesday) he hasn't smoked. Incredible, incredible kid. I hope he goes on a mission.
-Most amazing dinner party yesterday--the
Hamiltons invited their neighbor, a recent
convert, Jacob, and us. It was amazing! Maria asked if we could come round
again, and we are so excited to do so ;) Jacob is bearing testimony to his
family and his mates about the Book of Mormon, talking about how it's like a
seed and you have to plant it...he's amazing. I hope his parents will see that
he's changing for good.
-Moves calls: we're staying. No surprises there. Elder Farnsworth is leaving
Guernsey after seven and
a half months, and leaving nine families--they've quadrupled the primary, and
if everyone comes to church like they said they would, it will be more
investigators than members. Jacob 5 and the allegory of the olive tree comes to
mind. Apparently the entire mission is on fire, crazy success happening
everywhere. I'm so glad. It's true that the Lord of the harvest gives the
increase...He will hasten the work in His time, and He will make sure we learn
and grow exactly as we should in the meantime. I'm glad that President Shamo
will go out on a high note (Christmas was bleak). Sisters Housley, Kernek,
Christensen, Gregson and Jonutz have all flown home today. I'm an orphan. It's
very strange. Rumor has it that 7 sisters are coming in over the next two moves,
so there will be ample opportunity to train. I hope everything goes well.
Whew! I think I've got everything said that I need to. It's been the craziest week and a half ever. Miracles coming out of our ears. I hope the Lord will pour out more blessings on you all at home because of the work done here. I don't know about you, but I feel more tired when I wake up and for the entire morning than I do going to bed at night. I guess your body just starts to shut down after a while. Mad.
Elder Willard, we are praying for you to get outta there! (If it makes you feel better, a lot of my roommates and classmates didn't like the MTC in Sao Paolo much. Not sure why.) At least you get to see General Authorities all the time, that's well cool ;)
Hope the summer is amazing and that you are all enjoying life to the fullest ;) Remember to say thank you in your prayers, even for the things that aren't fun, and you'll get loads more blessings (or just recognize loads more). Love you all!