I have no earthly idea what happened, but I guess it´s June now. It´s crazy to me to think that back home everyone is gearing up for summer, school is getting out, people are graduating...while over here the Brazilians get out their heavy winter jackets and start complaining about the cold because for two hours at night it gets below seventy degrees. I´m not even kidding, they honestly do not understand the concept of ´cold'. It´s pretty funny.
This week we worked very hard here in Pedro Leopoldo, teaching large numbers of lessons, and though we didn´t end the week with a baptism, we did have the pleasure of seeing the people we had worked with come to and enjoy church, as well as all of our recent converts in white shirts and ties blessing the sacrament, passing the sacrament, or sitting on the stand with the rest of the leadership.
1) And Another Comes to Hear the Word of God!- We had a very entertaining lesson while visiting a slightly poorer part of town this last Saturday. We were walking down a street when a small boy, about six or seven, stopped us and excitedly told us to come to his house because his mom was home. It was clear he knew the missionaries already, but we didn´t recognize him or the house for the life of us. We entered the house and found five young kids between six and eleven sitting on the couches, eagerly awaiting us. Then the dad entered and invited us to sit. The kids continued to act like they already knew us, to our bewilderment. Then the mom appeared and we remembered that we´d had a discussion with them at a bus stop a couple months ago, and apparently had made an impression on the kids. We started to teach the first lesson when suddenly all of the kids began to shout "La-la, la-la!" They ushered in from outside a young man named Lázaro, about seventeen, who began to listen as well. We got about five minutes into the lesson when the mom shouted "And another is coming to hear the word of God!" In came another youth, who sat down. These interruptions occurred periodically until we finished the lesson teaching upwards of ten people in this one small, now very crowded house. It was an entertaining and very uplifiting lesson as we saw these people accept with joy our message and our presence.
2) Turtle Man- So this is just a quick tidbit about an interesting character that we met during the week. We encountered him while knocking doors, and he graciously accepted us into his house to have a drink of water. The first thing we saw was a turtle walking around the cement front yard. Which was perfect, because this man reminded me a lot of a turtle. He talked very slowly and deliberately while moving his hands around in front of him. We discovered that he is a Jehovah´s Witness who teaches about the Bible using sign language to the deaf and mute. It was very impressive, and he was very respectful of our beliefs and ideas.
3)Mosquito Happy- This week Elder Wilson made the very intelligent decision of buying an electric racquet to kill mosquitos. We have a bit of a problem in our house because our back room, with the washing machine, is literally a swamp. During the week, we killed upwards of 100 mosquitos throughout the house, mostly back there. And, fortunately, I was only bitten twice throughout the entire week. Missionaries-100, mosquitos-2!
4) A Powerful Spirit- Sacrament meeting this week was a very wonderful experience, as I slightly mentioned earlier. I felt the Spirit powerfully throughout the entire meeting, as many of the members got up to bear testimony. I felt the cleansing power of the Savior as I partook of the sacrament, feeling once again the peace that comes from this renewal of covenants. And I bore my testimony as well, because I absolutely know that these things are true. That this is the true church of Christ. That He is my Savior. That the Book of Mormon is true. That Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. It´s true, people, accept it or not. I know it, and I need you all to know that I know it.
So go out and spread the word! Do the good work, fight the good fight, make me proud, follow your hearts, and never give up!
Elder Alex Burt