I'm going to be honest. I sat down at the computer thinking about all the things I was going to tell you, but after reading Mom and Cheryl's emails, none of it really seems important. I'm SO happy for John and Mystie and so grateful that we can receive the blessings of the temple in this life and the next. How grateful I am as well for the unity of our family. (It's a good thing I wasn't there because I would have been bawling! I almost lost it here in the cyber cafe.) I wish I was a bit more eloquent and could express all that I'm feeling in this email, but for my brothers' sakes, I'll keep the sappiness to a minimum.
A good story of the week: last Saturday we made a contact with a woman named Isa on the way to a family night in Plateau. She told us she lived in Safende, another part of our area, but didn't have a phone number to give us (common enough). People here don't have addresses, so one day this week we set out to find Isa's house. I've done this many times throughout my mission. We just go to the general area and ask the first person we meet. If they don't know they direct us to someone who might know. Anyway, no one seemed to know Isa, but a few days later someone told us they knew a Isa. Ha-ha. So we decided, 'Hey, we're not going to find the right Isa, but we might as well teach the wrong one!' So we followed their directions way up this random little mountain in Safende and there were all these people pointing us in the right direction and by the time we got to the door, Isa was standing there waiting, a little bit confused. It was a weird contact, because we already knew her name, but like most people, she had no problem letting us in. Turns out she had already been taught by Elders a few years back and it was pretty obvious why she's not now a member, but she introduced us to her sister Lucy! I love a good reference. And Lucy came to church yesterday and participated in Relief Society and Gospel Principles! And despite the rather pathetic reception Branch 2 always gives, she said she liked it.
I tell you these stories to show that we work and we see little miracles every day, but I realize most of the people I've told you about didn't progress. Everyone is willing to hear our message, but very few are willing to act on it. But I've realized that's sort of our challenge in this mission. It's kind of hard, but I know that by talking to everyone we WILL find those who ARE willing to act on our message.
Anyway. Do you remember Edelweis? She's been coming to church for about 6 months, but she's only 16 and her mom will not let her be baptized. I don't have very warm and fuzzy feelings for her mother, but honestly, that's not fair because I think most of her 'stiff-neckedness' comes from a lack of education. Our last lesson ended with Edelweis in tears because she wants to be baptized so badly. She also really wants to receive a calling in the Primary. :) She's so sweet. She talks to our investigators more than any of the other members. Ha.
Biscuits and gravy: I go through food phases. A couple weeks ago was fried rice, this week is biscuits and gravy. It was kind of funny, because I was trying to make a new pasta sauce and was using ingredients that I found in our cupboard, left by the last sisters (not the smartest idea). Anyway, my sauce included a packet of Sopa do Rabo de Boi. I thought it would be a little bit like tomato soup and make a red sauce-ish. But turns out rabo de boi means 'ox-tail'. Which l could have figured out because I knew that rabo de cavalo means pony-tail and I've read about boi in the scriptures when they talk about oxen and donkeys, etc. But I didn't put it together. Anyway, the pasta sauce turned out...bleh, but it reminded me of the sausage gravy we make so I made biscuits which turned out hideous but delicious.
(Note: the first word under 'rabo' when I looked it up is 'bottom', which sort of frightened me, but in this context, it meant 'tail'.)
Funny Fernanda story: I was sitting by her in Gospel Principles and all the sudden I smelled this horrible whiff of roasting pig parts and looked over--she had just opened her Book of Mormon, the pages of which contain a nice odor of pork.
This week I had a dream that I was teaching the first lesson in English and I was really struggling to replace Portuguese phrases with English ones. Awesome! Too bad my dream was very accurate and the people we were teaching weren't the slightest bit interested. Ha-ha. I also dreamt (dreamed?) a bit in Krioulu. Double awesome.
I finally got a new Portuguese Bible!
Once again, after purchasing umbrellas, it has yet to rain. BUT, we have had a lot of power outages and have been grateful for our candles.
I bought butter cookies today and found real peanut butter this week! Yay. And I have Cheerios. Oh, the little things that make me happy. Now all I need is a big, crunchy dill pickle.
This week was really hard. One of the more discouraging weeks of my mission thus far, but I'm glad I got to read about your week which made mine seem a whole lot better.
I love you!