Monday, September 26, 2016

a long overdue email

Alright. Let me tell you things.

First of all, I realized that I never told you guys about how sucky our house is, which is hilarious. It REAKS (is that how you spell that?) of dog pee because the lady that lives under us does not clean ever aparently, and like, everything only kind of works, you know? So it already was horrible-with our shower that sprayed mist that was so hot it burned and a bathroom that the light didnt work and our oven that doesnt have the shelve things inside so we have to cook everything right in the fire (cookies dont turn out that great like that btw) and then, to make matters worse, our ceiling fell. that was a great day. Literally, everyone was so done like, the four of us came out and just stared, and there was a good 30 seconds of silence before we all just sighed and left the house anyway.

So then someone came to fix everything and we had the best week of our life, taking warm showers with slight water pressure and we all felt so clean and so happy

And then the shower broke again. Now we take cold showers with like, one stream of water. Awesome. Actually we're heating up water in the microwave and taking showers with a cup and a bucket. #thisisthelife

BUT we found a new house and President already approved it! So if I stay here next week (transfers already...I'll probably never see this house) we're moving to THE BEST MISSIONARY HOME I HAVE EVER SEEN. Big, well ventilated, WITH A BALCONY (it took me so long to remember this word , president made fun of me a lot)

so. yeah. Then there's the political situation in São Miguel. In brazil, the election for mayor is like, a huge thing? All the canditates have their own music which is ALWAYS PLAYING REALLY LOUD IN THE STREET ALL THE TIME. I don't even know how to explain this to you guys but its like a WAR OF THE MAYORS. Every day during our study freaking jó clemente parks in front of our house with his speakers on max playing "jó clemente é 12, jó clemente é 12, eu também sou 12 todo mundo aqui é 12!" and it could not be more annoying. Thank goodness the election is this week. His face is everywhere. Its terrifying.

We're trying a million new things this week to find investigators. Since there are like 2 members living in our area, its really hard for the ward to help us and talking to people in the street is just not working, like, they all already know us and hide because all of them are very strong members of the Assembly of God (is that a real church in the us, I'm translating the name but like, someone told me they served a mission for the assembly in the us? idk I've never heard of this church before brazil but its EVERYWHERE HERE)

I think thats it? This week was rather uneventful. Actually this month as a whole. But yeah. love you all?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wow. This week NO ONE WANTED TO TALK TO US. Like, usually people are at least nice about it but this week everyone was like "yeah leave. bye bye." 

So me and Sister Brito were kind of sad by the end of the week, but we got to church and who was passing the sacrement? Rafael-the kid we've been teaching to get him to come back to church. I got so incredibly happy seeing him with all the other young men, as if he'd never stopped going to church. Like, I got SO HAPPY. And then we were blessed with a golden investigator who just showed up to church alone. Perfect! #godlovesus

anyway. i promise next week I'll write things. I promise. we slept too long today and we're in a rush.

Monday, September 12, 2016

the week I got damned and my companion got saved

oh my goodness. Bible Bashes do not work. I would say don't do it. Except also sometimes people just show up and try to like, beat your with their bibles and you just keep trying to leave and it just doesnt work man, it doesnt work.

So we taught this guy and the spirit was SOOOOO STRONG like literally, we all left that lesson smiling so big without motive, except like, there was a motive, it was THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD TELLING THAT MAN THE TRUTH (HALLELUJAH) (can i get an amen?)

so then we went back. and his wife and daughter from an unnammed church that hates mormons but like, copies everything we do? even their church buildings are the same as ours like calm down I know you're jealous because everyone talks more about us than you but like shhhh (im mostly kidding but also the founder is an exmormon so sometimes i think about this relationship like the ex that says theyre over it but never stops talking about you and you're just like "wow this is awkward, I never talk about you...")

anyway. that church. and this lady-his daughter- comes in with her bible and all her study aids and says "you guys have never read the bible. thats why you believe the things you do. if you had read, you would know that everything you said about the plan of salvation (pre-mortal life, life on earth, the spirit world, judgement, and the 3 kingdoms) and starting yelling at us about how we're dumb for believing that a spirit can live without a body and believing in "joseph's lies" and thinking that prophets can exist and lots of other stuff including: that we think its ok to listen to normal music-even if it doesnt have swear words and bad stuff thats a sin to her, but you can watch normal movies that are full of bad stuff?? idk. there were lots of things and we were not talking at all, she WOULDNT LET US LEAVE. the thought entered my mind that she was going to kidnap us in order to save us and I, you know, just wasnt feeling that.

so. After all of that I thought to myself "bare (bear?) testimony and leave, do not bible bash, do not argue" and like oh goodness the spirit was not in that room I felt AWFUL. So I said to her: "you want me to prove to you all of our doctrines in the bible. I'm not going to do that. I could do it. I know where they are. but there's only one thing that matters here-that God answers our prayers. I'd already been in the church for a while when I finally prayed and asked God if Joseph was a prophet, and you know, I didn't even really want the answer to be yes. I wanted something a little easier to follow and believe. I was angry at the church, and I dont even really know why, but I was. So I asked God to tell me if this church was true, and I told him that if it wasn't, I would leave. And he answered. He told me it was true." and right about here the spirit came back and I started to feel good again. "He reminded me that in Amos 3:7 he promised that he would always call prophets, and that he doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. So he told me that he called a prophet again, and that prophet was Joseph, and every time I tell someone else about this God tells me again that it really is all true. and thats why I know that if you pray and ask god-" 

and I was going to say "he'll tell you too" but the lady didnt let me finish was screamed in my face "you only believe in that other dumb book, you need to study THE BIBLE thats were the truth is there is no such thing as prophets" and I was like "well i mean...amos 3:7 is kind the bible...but ok" and I tried to leave again because wow the spirt RAN AWAY

but what killed me was that my companion started writing down the scriptures she used to study later, because she liked them to teach our doctrine, and so the lady thought that my companion was starting to doubt "joseph's lies" and stopped talking to me-the damned blonde with no help of salvation-and started talking to her saying "you can be free, you can escape" and we were like "yeah we're leaving and not coming back" and she like, was surprised that we wouldnt come back? She told me she would pray for me. That was sweet.

But this only comfirmed more to me that my buddy Joseph Smith was called of God because 2 Timothy 1:7 says  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind; and in her house with her telling me all those things, the only moment that I felt a spirit of power and love and of a sound mind was when I tried to give my most sincere testimony. Every other moment was only a spirit of fear in that whole house.

So yeah. that was the highlight of our week? this church took our two best investigators. That was saturday and last night I literally dreamed that I was fighting with her saying all the things I wanted to say in that moment using all my scripture references and shouting about her sins but thank goodness that i said none of that, because that is not how Jesus works. Don't bible bash. Don't let other people try to bible bash. It just doesnt work.