Monday, March 25, 2013

Mystery Man, Cinderella Story, and Angels

Another week has passed at an insanely fast rate here in Brazil. I´m half convinced the globe turns faster here. No wonder the days seem so short! :)  But yes, in spite of this nonsense I actually am physically and mentally healthy. And, even more important, very spiritually healthy! This week was a little less full of lessons as those in the past, but I still have a few good stories.

1) Mystery Man-- On Tuesday, we were way out in the boondocks to contact a reference we´d received from a member (see story 3). We were waiting to catch the bus back, when a car pulled over and the man inside offered us a ride. We said sure and hopped in. I wasn´t sure who this guy was, but a ride is always welcome. But then we went down this dirt road, got out of the car, and he started showing us this lot that he´d bought for a new house. It was dark and pretty sketchy and I was wondering what the heck my companion was thinking. Fortunately I was not murdered, we got back in the car, and as we began to drive I realized (based on my companion´s conversation with him), that we definitely knew him, he was a non-member father of a member of the ward. We´d had lunch several times at his house, but I didn´t recognize him. Whoops, I guess my companion did know what he was doing.

2) Cinderella Story--I discovered this week that missionaries don´t actually turn into pumpkins when they break curfew at 9:30. Or even if they stay out past midnight. Yes. I did that. But don´t worry, it was authorized by the mission president! It was Friday, and we were in the midst of trying to catch up in lessons after a few days without many. At 5:00, we got a phone call from the APs that we needed to be in 7 Lagoas, an hour away by bus, by 7:00. There was an event at a school for English, at which the missionaries in 7 Lagoas were supposed to have a booth to talk about the church. Unfortunately, these American elders were sick, couldn´t make it, and we were the next closest English speakers to be found. So we booked it to the bus station, caught the next bus, and arrived there a little after 7. The event was pretty awesome. We got a bunch of free food, talked in English with first-year students, got a bunch of references for the elders there, and listened to a whole bunch of very loud American dance music. The event ended at 11:30, and we didn´t get home until a little past midnight. Best part of all? We still had to get up at 6:30 the next morning.

3) Angels-- So that one reference we contacted out in the boondocks was an interesting story. She is having a really rough time in life right now, with various problems and illnesses going on simultaneously. She broke down in tears at various times during our lesson. We taught the first lesson, and afterwards heard the story about how the member had referred us to her. She had been in the hospital for her daughter when she met this member. The member, in an amazing and exemplary show of missionary work, comforted her and talked a bit about the gospel. She shared a story about two angels who had come to her house and changed her life, and promised to send two angels to visit this investigator. Yeah, we had a lot to live up to. Also, because she lived so far away, it took us a little while to get there. Impatient, she had called the member and asked "where were the angels?" I don´t know if we were exactly what she was expecting, but as we left she sincerely thanked us for the peace we had brought into her home and, again, called us angels. Now I just hope that she realizes that our purpose there isn´t done yet with just the one visit...

Yep, so this week was pretty great. My English continues to deteriorate as my Portuguese improves, at least a little. I truly can feel myself strengthened and taught by the Spirit every day. I truly love all of you, and can feel your prayers. Stick to the course, live life to its fullest, etc etc etc.

Elder Alex Burt

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