Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stuff got real!

Each week after church, we do a district meeting and it's where we meet up as a district, talk about goals, and have two people give about a 15 minute lesson each. I was asked by Elder A to give one of the lessons at the meeting, but he didn't ask me until Saturday afternoon. I was super sour after he asked me because he forgot to do his job and he only turned to me because I was his companion. And to top it all off, our Branch President came to sit in on the meeting at the last minute. Saturday night I prayed for a soft heart because I was so angry. It literally ruined the rest of Saturday night for me because he asked me to give the lesson. I didn't notice a huge change in how I felt after my prayer, but I did notice that I said to myself, "Eh . . . I was assigned to do the lesson and it won't get done by me complaining." This morning (Sunday) when I was preparing the lesson, my mind felt so open and all sorts of ideas of what to talk on came to me. We had to talk on a Christ-like attribute and I chose humility (haha . . . so fitting) for some reason. The lesson turned out amazing and I actually had more material prepared than I needed. The spirit was definitely present when I taught because I could feel it there. I'm in a lot better mood now thanks to a poor choice made by Elder A - hahahaha.

I don't think I gave you a FHE idea last week, but I've got a really good one for this week. It's another video on called "Cabo Verde, Land of Light". ( It's about this small island off of the coast of Africa. It talks about how the church was started there. It's a newer video made by the church so it was really well done and the coolest part about the video is that the people there speak Portuguese. Even though there are subtitles, I was still able to understand what they were saying which was really awesome. The elder who showed us this video said it reminded him of how Teresina will be. The people in the video have a slight different accent than what we're speaking, but for the most part, listen to how they talk and that's pretty much how we sound. It definitely gave me chills after watching it.
So I hit 174 lbs a couple days ago and that's the most I've been.  It was right after I ate, so I'm a little less than that, but I was about 160 when I left. Haha.  16ish pounds while I've been here.  That's my goal though, I gotta put on some a healthy way.  I've been working out a little, so I hope I come back completely ripped...almost like a Greek god.  Bahaha, yeah I wish!  I'm sure I'll sweat it all off when I get out into the field in a week.
One of my teachers here is so crazy.  In a good way.  He's probably one of the funniest, most random person I've met.  He's a white ginger from Italy that speaks Portuguese and lives in Brasil.  I don't think I've learned one thing from him because all we do when he teaches us is mess around which kind of stinks, but he lightens up my day.  This past week we had a peanut butter party.  Our teacher makes his own peanut butter, which is the coolest thing.  So we bought the bread and some honey and spent some good bonding time eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches and chatting.  The peanut butter was super good!  It definitely beat anything you could buy at the store.
Oh dang!  So we went proselyting (don't know how to spell it) this past Monday and it was super awesome!  Each elder was given two copies of the Book of Mormon and so being in a triple, we had six with two extras from Elder A.  If I did my math right, that should be somewhere around eight copies of the Book of Mormon.  All the other companionships had only four copies.  At the beginning, we had a goal of handing out three copies.  We ended up handing out all eight.  The first man we approached was unloading bags from a car and we thought we could help him and then share a message.  As we awkwardly walked up to him, he rudely said "no".  We didn't really know what else to say, so we awkwardly walked away.  If I was watching from a distance, I would've probably laughed so hard because of how weird and awkward it was.  In the moment, I told myself, "crap...this is going to be a long day."  But looking back on it now, I'm laughing as well.  Probably no more than 8 minutes later, we gave our first Book of Mormon to a lady trying to jay-walk.  About ten minutes later, a business man who looked like a he was in a hurry approached us.  I was the one who started the conversation with him.  He said he was late to a meeting and so we asked if we could walk and talk with him, and he accepted.  He ended up being extremely interested in the Book of Mormon.  He said he's always seen the missionaries, churches, and temples before, but he's never bothered to talk to anyone about it.  He was so excited that we gave him the Book of Mormon for free and he said he would call the church if had questions while reading.  We then went about Sao Paulo (the same area/boundaries we have for P-Day) and talked to a few drunk people (they love to talk) and to this stubborn Chinese lady.  She was so committed on the bible that she didn't believe in another book.  We probably spent 20 minutes talking with her, but she still wouldn't take a Book of Mormon.
About this fourthish book we handed out was to this motorcyclist.  This was probably the coolest thing that happened this day.  So we were stopped on the sidewalk because we were writing the phone number people can call for questions about the church in the front cover.  As we were doing this, I noticed a guy on a motorcycle pull up about 15 yards away.  After we were done, I said, "let's go get that guy on the bike."  He had probably been there for a good five minutes before we approached him, just sitting on his motorcycle, as if he were waiting for us.  So we started talking to him about the Book of Mormon and a little about our purpose as missionaries.  I know for a fact that the Holy Ghost was testifying to him about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as we spoke to him.  I know for a fact that I saw the Light of Christ in his eyes.  I know for a fact that that man had no reason to stop, except to hear what we had to say to him and to be given the Book of Mormon.  I say this because right after we gave him the Book of Mormon and started walking away, we saw him put his helmet back on and ride away.  The smile he had on his face when we were talking to him gave me hope that maybe these next two years are possible.  That maybe I can speak Portuguese with only eight weeks of studying.  Stuff got real that day.  These are real people, not just members or other missionaries pretending to be investigators.
Elder Steed