Saturday, December 29, 2012
its beginning to look a lot like an oven.....mosquitos are everywhere... (add music, you know what tune...)
Dear family, friends, and whoever,
yay, I had the opportunity to skype with my family this week on Christmas day, which was by far the highlight of the week. We have had rain constantly for the last 3 days, and has started a significant amount of normal flooding here in Porto Alegre. Most of the areas are fine, but there are little villages that are very poorly constructed and are made out of cardboard/billboards/alluminum sheet metal, and other things of the like that don't endure really that well against several days of storming. Before the rain, we had a heat spell, it got up to 102 on Christmas day, and since the houses are made out of cement, there were few who were less than that temperature. There was one house here in the mission that had a thermometer in it and read 124 that evening. I am very gratefull to be here in Lindóia where I have an air-conditioned office that we can flee to. It is one of the only air conditioned buildings here in POA.
This week has been a lot of fun for Elder Dowden and I. Before I arrived, Elder Dowden and the old AP had been working the area, but had been required to be in the office a lot, so not much actually missionary proselyting was happening. Now that they have junior companions, we have the task to maintain the areas and focus on the investigators, along with learning how the office works and how to make everything function. It was fantastic, we spent several days tracking down over 100 inactive members (most of whom have moved out of the area) but we found 3 families who were still in the area, and had not been to church in a very long time. When we arrived, each one of them saw who we were and greeted us with a huge smile, hugs, and cookies (a must). We have been working with these three families, and because of this week, each of them now has a desire to return to the church, get endowed, and get sealed. what a blessing, because most of them aren't members. One house for example is a family of 7. The mother was baptized thirty years ago in a neighboring town, and had left the church after she moved. We found her address, and knocked on her door, well, since then (she was 16) she has had 5 kids and gained a husband. We now have baptismal dates for the 5 kids, and they all are excited to learn about the church that brought such joy to their mother so many years ago. That is just one of the many examples of the reactivation progress that we are doing. Because of this work, we have found litterally hundreds of new investigators of people who have never heard of the church before-they are the family of the inactives, or the new residents of the homes where the residents used to live.
Wednesday night, we had quite a bit of excitement...I had a spare 5 minutes before bed, and so I decided that I was going to try and fix the fan that had fallen off of the stool yesterday and had stopped working, I took off the back and saw that the wiring had come apart. Well, me, being the independent problem-solver that I am, pulled out my leatherman and went to work. well, as I finished, I put the plug into the socket to see if it would work, and something happend, but not exactly what I expected. When I placed the plug into the socket, the motor started to whirl and then exploded, at that moment, through my hand that was holding the plug, I felt a very painfull sensation- I was being electrocuted by the plug, and the skin on my had was melting. I quickly retracted my hand, but not before the outlet on the wall caught fire and the fan had exploded.... the entire house filled instantly up with smoke, but out of a miracle/blessing, our blazing hot house had been constructed out of cement, so nothing caught fire....at that very moment when all this happened, the pizza man arrived and we recieved a phone-call from a weeping sister. Yes, I am fine, and I thanked my Lord that evening for being alive. It truely is a miracle and a blessing that I am still alive. My hand is fine-I only lost a little bit of skin. Elder Rech stomped on the fan and crushed the inner-parts while I was looking for the money to pay the Pizza man, so I couldn't try to figure out what went wrong and try and fix it. I may not be destined to be an electrical engineer....who knows.
We had a secret santa thing going on here in the office, and I recieved the name of Elder McMullen, our financial secretary- the cap was 15 R$ which was fine, I didnt want to spend anything more than that, So on P-day, I bartered with a street vender and got a giant silver crucifix and chain necklace (HUGE!!!!) and put it in a little Internacional bag. He's a Grêmio fan. Anyways, It was hillarious. President and Sister Wright drew my name and so they gave me a very fancy tie. It was fantastic. We had a little Churrasco, barbacued pork ribs and sausage... so good :D
well anyways, have fun, do something to make this week interesting, and eat an entire roll of oreos for me okay?
with love from brazil,