18 June 2012

Interlagos, Week 2

A silver lining at last!

Glen was baptized!!! The Glen I taught at Temple Square. he was baptized last week! Sister Clayton has kept in touch through email and she told me she went to his baptism and she has pictures! Woo hoo! Just hearing that lets me feel more than ever before that Temple Square was a part of my mission--not just to humble me, but to bless the lives of other people. I got a baptism--and a convert--at Temple Square. The sisters there did a great job of finishing what I started. It was great news!

From her email:

I attended GLEN'S BAPTISM this Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a logn story, but to make it short my current companion has taught him before and he invited us to come with the other sister that taught him a lot the last 6 months on the Square. It was really great. I'll get you some pictures soon. But I just knew that you'd want to know as soon as possible... He got confirmed this week, gets the priesthood next week, and his bishop suggested he apply for a part-time mission in the family history library.

This is the man who approached me on Temple Square, and the first time I met him I knew he had to be baptized. He just had to be! He has basically already come to that conclusion on his own and moved from Colorado to Utah, because that's where God told him he'd find his answer. He read the Bible passionately, in its original Hebrew, and it had been far too long since I had spoken to someone who knew their scripture as well as he did.

Eventually he asked me, point blank, what the Church believed. So I used an Articles of Faith card to teach him what we believe. As our conversation continued and gravitated to the subject of authority, I took him to the Priesthood monument and taught him about Joseph Smith's ordination. After explain the Aaron priesthood, he looked at me with full comprehension and asked, "So you're saying that Joseph Smith was called after the Levitical order? That would explain a lot as to why y'all don't use wine for the Sacrament."

I was floored. So I continued on and taught him about the Melchizedek Priesthood, and he got visibly excited.

"This is what I've been searching for my whole life," he told me. And I couldn't resist. I had been told not to do this on the Square, but I couldn't resist. I invited him to pray about our message, and to be baptized, and he accepted.

And now, almost a year later, he's been baptized!

Life is so good! God is so good! The Church is SO GOOD!

I can't tell you how much I needed that news. Truth be told, I'm sort of suffering here. But things will get better. They have to get better. Each day we get one day closer to the breakthrough, I have to believe that.

Until then, there's Glen!

--

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

11 June 2012

Interlagos

President closed Tatui. I'm opening an area and training a sister from Argentina who only speaks Portuguese and Spanish. She is an excellent companion. I have much to learn with her. I'm excited to see how she works when we can finally work. The whole first week of her mission has been a continual stream of not working--closing Tatui, coming back to the city, buying food and cleaning a filthy, disgusting house... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We're in Interlagos now, an area that looks like it has never had sisters, but I can't tell. Nothing here suggests it. The area is enormous and the Elders that were here before us absolutely destroyed the place. There was rotting pizza in the stove, the bathroom has not been cleaned in at least 6 months, they left dirty clothes inside the armario covered in some strange red dust I don't want to think about, and the cleaning lady outside was mopping the courtyard with an old pair of men's garment bottoms.

We've spent the last 2 days just cleaning the house. The work here is stagnant--there hasn't been a progress record since March, and yet the Bishop still has 3 baptismal forms. And from what I'm told, all three of those new converts are inactive now. There is no map. There is no list of members. There is no teaching pool... and my new companion, poor thing, thinks I know exactly what I'm doing.




Yeah... lots to do, lots to do...

Some things to laugh at... eventually:
  • If you're a missionary, never go to the Autódromo in Interlagos. It's not a great place to find new investigators. And if you're going to go there, try not to go there with a less active laurel. But if you really, really have to go to the Autódromo with a less active laurel, try not to take a video of it with the mission cell phone.
  • Burros! adj the word President uses when you show him the video of two elders you don't know with a less active laurel at the Autódromo.
  • So the dedication of the Manaus temple was a landmark occasion... I'll never forget the sound of my companion retching in the bathroom stall, then showing me a wad of toilet paper spattered in blood from her throat... 
  • We found out today the washing machine broke a long time ago, and no one bothered to tell the mission office. Now I can tell my ancestors I've washed my clothes in a bucket before! [NOTE: What I should have done]

OK, that's enough bad news. How about some good news?

Sister is just sick, but she's NOT dying. That's beneficial.

When President saw how dirty our bathroom was, he actually called out to Sister Pinho, "Amor, you have to see this!" She answered back, "No I'm afraid!" I laugh every time I think about it.

I had a culture collision at a member's house. Mickey Mouse said "Puxa vida!" The members there still don't understand why it was so funny to me. I tried to think of a similar example, but realized that anything I said in English wouldn't make sense to them. So I just reminded them that where I came from, Mickey Mouse doesn't speak Portuguese.

Sorry, that's all I got. Maybe next week things will be better!

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

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