21 November 2011

Brazil--2nd Transfer, week 2

Things I have figured out so far in Brazil:

5. You can hide the taste of anything with prayer and enough rice.
2. How much water it actually takes to flush a toilet.
3. It's more important to have things that are clean and work well than things that are new.
4. Every time is a good time for: a.) a party b.) loud music c.) a banana d.) all of the above.
7. The hard things you don't want to do are the things most worth doing.
5. Everything is better in Português, including Sorvetes.
192. Brazilian has one "L."
194. Lesson learned from hills: an up now is a down later.
14. The more you wear, the more you wash.
5. Now you know how the mail man feels when he's looking for house number 5.
197. Pride may be the root of all evil; but it's planted in distraction and watered with excuses until it sucks all of the common sense out of our heads.

15. Clotheslines have a weight limit.
16. Blankets are heavy when wet.
17. Droga, 1 interj. (coll.) darn it!; crap!; 2 the word you use when the blanket you just washed is now on the ground.
198. Blisters on your feet build character. Blisters and mosquito bites on your feet are a new form of "interrogation" I'd like to submit to the Pentagon.
199. The true measure of your character is how you treat someone who can't do you any good.
201. Number of times I have willingly taken a cold shower: 5 (and counting...)

19. My new favorite sound is rain on a tin roof.
20. Things I will never own after my mission: a dog, a motorcycle, a rooster,
21. Miracles happen every day. Also, things I now eat on a regular basis: tomatoes, onions, garlic, fish, cabbage, peppers, yogurt.
23. The reward of listening when you would rather be talking is wisdom.
26. Going to the bank is a lot like playing Monopoly. You wait 6 turns, waste a lot of time, and end up walking away with useless money because no one can break a R$50.
13. São Paulo is the best thing that ever happened to my testimony.
14. Isaiah/ 2 Nephi are my favorite places in the scriptures.
15. By the end of my mission, I want to be able to say that the most important thing in my life is Heavenly Father. That's how I will know if I really was a representative of Jesus Christ.




What I really do here all day is bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I've given 18 months of my life to tell people that the Book of Mormon changes people. I did it because it changed me. But now that I'm here and I'm surrounded by people who have sacrificed more for their faith than I ever will for mine, I know now that the Book of Mormon doesn't just change people. The Book of Mormon has changed the world, and I watch it happen every day.

I love this work. I love my mission. This is the best and the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored, I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I know the Book of Mormon is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

--
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never-deviating friend,
Sister Doyle

07 November 2011

Brazil--Week 3

I bought a bottle of bleach today. But don't let the simplicity of that statement deceive you. I now say bleach with the awe and reverence of new discovery. Today, somewhere in the streets of Brazil, I decided that a good man--the modern continuation of all the ancient Charming virtues--is like a bottle of bleach.

He's clean. In fact he's so clean, the only way to show how honestly clean he is demands that we dress him in a white shirt and give him a shiny bald head. Spotless.

He never lets you down. I open my kitchen cabinet to put my life back into some semblance of logical, working order and there he is--a constancy I never appreciated until I had to recognize such comfort by a new, exotic name. Agua sanitária. That even SOUNDS romantic.

I don't have to ask twice. I don't have to ask once. I don't even have to ask in Portuguese! If he's real bleach, he cleans my bathroom, my kitchen, my clothes every time--same results. He is a help meet, or equal to, the task of dedicating a home to the Lord. To the language of Deity, the scriptural injunction to "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house... a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God," my bleach can always respond, "Here am I, send me." I expect that when I combine the devotion of my arms with the potency of his strength, we will get the job done together. With him I can annihilate millions of unseen malevolent microorganisms by the second.

To me, that's real power.

He gives me sparkling new things every time I see him--not because he buys a replacement we can't afford--but because he takes care of what we already have, so my things always seem new to me.

He's gentle enough to clean my vegetables, and effective at getting rid of bugs. And he's not to be underestimated--he could kill a man if I needed him to do so. But most of the time he's to be with me by the sink; quietly leaving me to my own private wonderland to which cleaning and other general housewifery permit me entrance. He is ready to tackle anything and everything life throws at me with everything he's got.



My Prince Charming goes by another name--and no, it's not Captain Moroni. It's Mr. Clean.

Words can't really do justice to the relief I felt here--surrounded in foreign language, food, customs, and culture--once I finally found some help I could recognize. I prayed for strength, and I'm still exhausted. I prayed for wisdom, and I'm still largely confounded. I prayed for a miracle, and nothing in my situation has changed for the better.

So I went back to the basics. In a Nephi-esque moment of last resort if I've EVER had one, I asked for ore--the stuff by which the tools to forge miracles are made. (See 1 Nephi 17: 9-10)

And what was the response, the mercy which God extended to me?

I thought I knew miracles--then, today... I bought a bottle of bleach.

--
I am, as ever, your humble servant and never-deviating friend,
Sister Doyle

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