Another week has come and gone here in Brazil, which can be a little difficult to believe. Time can be a slippery thing. But over the course of the week I had a number of fun experiences and found quite a few new good people to teach. It has been crazy hot all week, I´m hoping things will start to cool down a little bit now that we´re heading into Autumn. But who knows, I´m not exactly an expert on Brazilian weather patterns.
1) The American: Towards the beginning of the week we headed off to the neighborhood Vera Cruz again, in an attempt to contact the woman we taught last week. Sadly she wasn´t at home, but we did contact a very interesting family a little off the beaten path with a big property. They were Americans! I´ll admit it felt kind of weird conversing in English with anyone aside from my companion. I also noticed I talked a little more than I usually do in lessons. Well, at least in the beginning. I think they enjoyed talking to someone in English as well, and went off on a rant after the wife had a bit of a fight with one of the neighbors. They aren´t looking like investigators, but it was nice to talk to them. They invited us to their house to spend the weekend and jump in the pool, which we had to respectfully decline for a couple of reasons, haha.
2) The Professor: One person we found who did turn out to be an awesome investigator is named Geraldo. He was an accidental reference of a woman we chatted with on the street who lied about where she lived. Good news is we met Geraldo because of it! He is a history teacher at a local school and is quite educated. He is very sincere and is truly searching to learn about the church and see if it´s true. Wonderfully, he also understands nearly perfectly the doctrine that we teach. The first lesson went very well, and when we came the next day he had read the chapter from the Book of Mormon, understood very well, and had several excellent questions based on the reading. Our answers satisfied him, and overall I have a lot of hope for him. He´s a little wary of commiting to anything, but I also have a lot of trust that he will always keep his commitments. I really like him.
3) The...Woman: OK, sorry, for the horrible title to this story/investigator. I don´t have whole lot of time to be creative because I really need to write. But know that while the title is the most generic, the woman we encountered was much better. She and her family live in the center of the city, but are moving out into the boondocks to live with her soon-to-be husband. She is very eager to listen to us, is searching for a church, and is sincere in her desire to learn more. We visited her three times over the course of the week, the final visit being in her country home. It´s really in the middle of nowhere, and the trip there was kind of exciting. Took a bus to a turn-off with a dirt road, which we walked down for about fifteen minutes. We came to one house where we decided to inquire about where we could find Dililsa (our investigator). Looking to one side of the driveway, I saw an enormous spider on a large spider web. The spider, from leg tip to leg tip, was about the length of my hand. The body itself was the length of my pinky and about half as wide. Looking closer on either side, we saw that the woods were full of webs--hundreds of these spiders lining the road up to the gate. We talked to the owner of the house and he offered us a ride to where Dililsa was, a good way down the road. The house where she is moving is amazing. It´s very isolated, with an amazing view out into rolling, tree-covered, Brazilian hills. There's an orchard and we were offered all sorts of exotic fruits. Look up the fruit ´jaca´online. It´s crazy. So we spent a little bit there, were treated amazingly with Brazilian hospitality, saw a praying mantis, had delicious fruits and natural milk from the cows they own, and then took the trip back to town. Very cool.
So that's that! I have yet again run out of time, so stay tuned for next week! Also, I´m sorry I don´t have time for a proper spiritual thought, but if you are able to, take the time to study Mormon 9:21-23 (I think) in the Book of Mormon. Very fascinating and I´ve been thinking a lot about them in the past couple of days. Prayer coupled with faith is an amazingly powerful thing, something we can not afford to forget.
I love you all, stay to the course, do the good work, and on, on to victory!
Elder Alex Burt