Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Preparing for the World Cup

 June 10, 2014

Vamos la.

This week just flew by. I don't know if it's because I'm happy or because I'm just used to the mission life. I feel like we're just in a rhythm. It feels like each week is the same think, but really its not. This week was a little different. We had some pretty sweet spiritual experiences and some funny ones too.

We did tons of contacts this week. Somehow we keep finding more doors to knock. We're just finding little nooks and crannies now because we've just scanned all the big roads with the Lord´s work. The people we find in these little alleys are interesting. It's like the deeper we go into the abyss, the more interesting the people get..... Kind of like scuba diving. We knocked on this one door that lead us to like a mini neighborhood. We found this Assembly of God chick who was just trying to get us to visit her church. She just kept laughing, saying the same thing over and over again. The people from this church have their key phrases that they just keep repeating because they don't know what else to say....gloria halleluja. So I was getting impatient and quiet and my companion was just feeding her fire because he loves to talk. Then he brought up the gift of tongues and asked her if she had it. She said she was baptized by the spirit and had received the gift of tongues...(they think they speak in tongues because they babble like hobos in their churches) Elder Ferreira whispered in my ear, "Speak to her in English".....And that's when I got excited to talk with her. I said some random stuff in English that had to do with what we were talking about and she didn't know what to do. It was funny because I was speaking to her as if she understood but there was no way. She witnessed the gift of tongues first hand, Then we prayed with her and her friend. We stayed quiet and they both said separate prayers very loudly. Afterwards we thanked them and I said I felt the power............I know we really shouldn't do things like this on the mission but I just couldn't resist. As we were leaving my companion and I were just dying of laughter. Good times while in the abyss.

So President Lanius and his wife will be leaving us at the end of this transfer so we had a meeting with them with a few other zones. It was great. They gave us the opportunity to do musical numbers so me and Sister Remy took advantage. She plays piano and had a sick arrangement of "Come Thou Fount".  We practiced two times before the actual performance so we were scared it was going fall apart but it turned out being amazing. Everyone cried and the Spirit was felt strongly.  I discovered that I feel the Spirit stronger with music than with anything else. It's powerful. President and his wife said some great stuff too. Sister Lanius talked about how she dealt with being a member without her husband being a member, how she had to pray by herself and take her kids to church alone for about 25 years. She said it was rough and doesn't recommend that anyone does what she did. Then President spoke about his conversion story. He read the whole Bible and felt something telling him that he had to be baptized in his wife's church. He had never been taught by the missionaries, and all her brothers who had served missions "tried" to teach him. He's a stubborn guy and the only thing that got him to change his mind was the Spirit. He said it was a calling. Something he needed to do. He said it wasn't special, and it's not a pretty story. It was something he needed to do so he did it. The Mission president in Curitiba marked his baptism because he didn't want to be taught by missionaries. He already knew everything he needed to know to be baptized. He's really just a no-nonsense type of guy. Nobody even went to his baptism! haha. He was baptized on a Wednesday. He explained to us that it really is the Spirit who convinces people and converts them. Not missionaries. That's why he stresses obedience so much.

So it's been about 6 months since we opened this area up. I can honestly say that we've destroyed this area as far as contacting goes. The members also love us. I realized that I've become more affectionate. Remember my first few emails when I wrote that Brasilians just like to touch and hug each other and that I was just sick of it? I feel like I've slowly embraced the hugging/embracing culture and am OK with it! The members always think that American missionaries have hearts of lead and don't like to love people haha... i'ts true in a way. We like our personal space and being touched too much irritates us. It was a barrier that I had to break but the more we love and hug the people, the more they love us too. (Don't worry, I don't hug women....) We were at a family night last night at Celson's house(we go to his house every Saturday to build his house and dig a septic hole) and it was just awesome. Everyone there just seemed so happy and content with just being together. I felt a sweet spirit there. We invited recent converts and Flavio/edinetes family and everyone just got along and enjoyed it. Celson is awesome. He served in Rio and is the funniest, craziest Brasilian I've ever met. He talks up a storm and is just excited about everything. Every time we help him at his house he is super grateful. He always talks about how on his mission, all the Americans got mad because he always hugged them. It was a joke of his to hug the new American greenies to see the reactions on their faces. hahaha. So every time I see him I give him a big hug. He's amazed that I don't get embarrassed because when I arrived in this area apparently my face always turned red when he hugged me. It's a joke now and he likes to group-hug mob me with the young men at church. Good times haha.

Stake conference happened this week too. One of the speakers talked about how he was on an airplane that looked like it was going to crash and everyone was Yelling God's name and becoming Christian if they weren't already, He talked about those 45 seconds where he thought he was going to die. There would be no time to pay tithing... no time to confess things to the Bishop.... no time to fix family problems.... It's true. How would we feel if we were in the same situation?? There was another talk where the Brother said that in relation to the Gospel, we shouldn't be like the kid who wets his hair and tells his mom that he took a shower..... haha it was funny, buts it's a real principle. Sometimes we need to just stop being children haha.

So we have rules about the World cup. We will not be able to watch any games in member's houses. We will have to be home before, during, and after the Brazil games.... And we can't get close to the stadiums in the city even though the US will be playing. It's gonna be hard to work, and even harder to hear the cheering in the streets without being able to watch! Whatever... we'll be blessed for not being fubecas.  (slackers)

Well everyone... Love you, and hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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