Here’s a picture of me and Elder Baldwin playing the piano at zone meeting! Someone wanted to sing “Com Braço Forte” (which I think is “God of our Fathers”?) but I don’t know how to play it, and neither did Elder Baldwin, and it wasn’t programmed in the piano, so we tag teamed that hymn. It was pretty sweet, with him on the right and me on the left. This is what a piano looks like in the newer church buildings. Lots of technology. Like I said, almost all the hymns already come pre-programmed, you just have to play any key on the beat. Pretty neat! I, unfortunately, never passed through an area that had one of these, haha.
Reminded me of what Jared and I used to do this in priesthood meeting! Also, the main reason I’m sending this picture is because now Elder Baldwin can be on the blog, hahaha.
So yesterday was the birthday of the first conselour in the branch presidency, and he invited more or less the whole branch to eat lunch. He bought a huge pig (which we helped him to clean and gut a few days earlier!) and his wife made maniçoba, which is what I’m eating in the picture. Let me try to describe maniçoba: you take a bunch of leaves from a certain POISONOUS tree, you cook them for a week until the poison is gone, then you mix in a ton of other ingredients, including pig intestines, and you put in on your rice. I’ve been dying to experiment this one day, and it was worth the wait! Way more tasty that it sounds, let me promise you.
And the birthday party was actually a great missionary opportunidade also, because we were able to do lots of contacts with friends and family of his, and also we brought a few of our investigators. The mission presidente likes to speak about the importance of the “social conversion” as well as the “spiritual conversion” so we’re working on that too. And the members are great, they always greet our investigators and are nice to them also.
Scott likes to send photos and tell us a little about them:
So I thought you might like this photo of a service project that we did last Tuesday, in the house of a part-member family. We built that wall that you see! Well, actually, I was more like the apprentice (can’t remember what that word is…). I carried all the bricks to the back of the house (8 at a time!) and I made that cement also. Lots of manual labor, but that’s how I like it! Elder Sales and the member are the ones who actually placed all the bricks, since they already knew how to do that. And I didn’t want to be one to make the house fall down…
This photo also shows of what almost all the houses here are made. Some older houses are made of wood, but most are made with these brick and cement. Almost everyone here actually helps to build their own house, which I thought was rather fascinating. There are lots and lots of people who work with constructions like that, including almost all the men in the ward.
So remember when I said last week about the family that I met from Paar? Here’s a photo of them! It’s really nice to see people that are still firm in the faith after a long time like that.
And yes, the sisters did make the zone t-shirts! They turned out pretty cool, it’s nice to have a good lembrança assim of the old zone. It changed a lot last week, but I think it’ll still be pretty awesome!
Oh get this, our zone now has a district of sisters! Haha I don’t know if they already had that in New York, but this is a first here in Belém. It’s also the first time that there were 6 sisters in the same zone. They are 4 brazilians, 1 american, and 1 chilean. I don’t think too many of the sisters here are americans, maybe because of the visa troubles. I think that the sister missionaries are going to take over our mission, haha. But that’s fine by me, they do a great work here!
I hope everyone had a wonderful last week! Our last week was pretty great also! I was hoping that I would be able to send you some photos, since for me it’s way more convenient to take photos, write captions, and send those. It’s also probably much more interesting for you than reading what I write. But, unfortunately, it appears that this computer seems to have been completely overwhelmed just by having my camera plugged in. So I’m thinking that this week it’s not going to fly… which is a shame, because I had some good pictures! Kinda.
We had another baptism this week! A young single adult man of 26 years. He was actually a former investigator also, we ran into him in the street a few weeks ago and he asked to come back to his house and teach him again. So yeah, more miracles here in Outeiro!
So the missionary work is going well, and the rescue effort as well! Yesterday we signed all the papers of the wedding of a less active couple who were living together. They seemed incredibly happy for that. They have lots of desire to return to full activity in the church. And we’re happy to help!
In other news… yesterday I ran into a part-member family that I knew really well from my first area, Paar! It was really strange, because even though it’s been almost a year and a half since I left there, I remembered them as if it was just yesterday. And they remembered me! I’ll admit, I didn’t think anyone from my first area would remember me very well, since I didn’t speak too much and my companion did almost everything there. So that was a fun surprise! Also, it was kinda nice finally being able to understand everything that they said, haha.
Well, I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Love you all, thanks for all the love and support!
Another hour on the computer that passed way too quickly:
More miracles! The sisters were teaching a man who was preparing to get baptized on Saturday. Friday, they realized that he lives on our side of the river, so technically he’s part of our branch. So, also technically, this ended up being our baptism. But the sisters were really good sports about it!
I think lots of Elders would not have so easily passed a baptism to another area like that. But our zone is pretty well knit, and we’re all working hard to hit our goal as a zone, so that spirit of unity helps also! Yup our zone is pretty awesome! We are 7 areas, 5 of elders and 2 of sisters. So 14 missonaries in total, for those who haven’t studied math in the past 3 years (like me). We have zone meeting every Tuesday or Wednesday, and we usually end up meeting together on P-day also to play volleyball, card games, or go out to eat together. Some of the sisters designed a zone t-shirt that we’ll be getting today, I’m pretty excited! That’ll be a first for me.
We’ll have to do something really nice for the sisters. We gave them a golden reference last week. That probably better than a cake made in the microwave.
So here’s a family that we’ve been teaching! We found them looking through the Area Book, they were “antigos” investigators. I don’t remember how “antigos” is translated. “Old”, maybe? Well, you get the point. That’s one good way to find new investigators!
Their son got baptized this week. We’re hoping the parents shortly follow his example!
Oh, “former”! That’s the word I’m looking for.
So yeah, remember how I said that we were going bowling last week? Well turns out the bowling alley closes on Monday, not fair! Some of the elders wanted to just drink some açai, but I decided that I hadn’t taken a bus 2 hours to do something I could do by crossing the street from our apartment. So we decided to eat out at Pizza Hut! Haha it was really fun sitting around the table laughing and telling stories and having a good time. Picture of that coming next week!
Hard to believe this photo was taken nearly two years ago!
Scott will be completing his mission to Belém, Brazil, next month. He will leave there on the afternoon of July 23rd and will arrive at the Albany Airport more than 20 hours later, at 12:22 pm on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013. We’re so excited to see him!