Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Little America

Bom Dia, Familia!

Okay. So this week was pretty full. We had zone conference on Tuesday. (And I didn't have to take a plane to get there!) It was super good; we did get like an hour lecture on health and hygiene because some Elder got hepatitis or something...not really sure how you get that...but it almost made me decide to stop eating things off the side of the road. Almost.

Tuesday also happened to be Carnival. And Wednesday, and Sunday and probably the whole week somewhere in the world. Which means we had a grand total of zero lessons on Tuesday because everyone was off doing something that requires some form of repentance.

We did get to see a couple Carnival parades since they passed right in front of our house. It was actually pretty cool. The first was a children's parade and they had a dance they had practiced and they were all dressed up so it was cute. (It's kind of like Halloween.) The store underneath us threw them a bag of candy. How nice.

Then the next parade came, which was not really cute because it was just a bunch of grown men and women, mostly drunk. The store underneath us gave them a large bottle of alcohol. And cups. Cheers.

So, Carnival was super exciting. No one was home to talk to us, but luckily by Thursday things were pretty much back to normal. And the week ended really well with Claudia's baptism and a full sacrament meeting--we had to bring in more chairs.

I don't think I even told you about Claudia last week. Probably because we taught her for the first time on Tuesday. Welcome to Fogo. She's ten and her dad's less active but her uncle is in the branch presidency. She's been coming to church forever, but her mom's 'Catholic' and wasn't too excited about her being baptized. Well, we had a couple of really good lessons with Claudia and her mom and then we slyly pulled out her baptismal ficha and her mom signed it willingly. Claudia's super funny and really smart. The first thing she said to us is that people cannot be too lazy to go to church. Church is important and we can't miss a single week. I think we're going to start sending her to all the less-actives' homes. :)

The cool thing about Claudia is that our investigator who was supposed to be baptized fell through and our district leader told us we should do whatever we could to meet the goal we had made--President is always emphasizing that the goals we make our really covenants with the Lord. So we prayed and prayed and the one day, knocking on doors we found Claudia's mom. She told us that the missionaries used to come by all the time and her daughter really liked church and wanted to be baptized.

Haha. There have been many times this week when Sister Laimana and I walk away from a lesson or a contact and I ask her if we've been more righteous lately because awesome things keep happening.

Nelson, for example. We met Nelson earlier this week. Used to come to church all the time but then worked a couple Sundays and the Elders in the area were transferred and he fell through the cracks. Well, he's completely prepared, came to church without a fuss yesterday and is going to be baptized this week.

Patrick--yes, the very same Patrick we accidently pulled out of school. Every time he saw us after that he came to say hi. Turns out he's a member's nephew and he came to church all by himself yesterday. We're teaching him and his cousin and they're so cute. Their aunts are recent converts and super sweet. They love the sisters.

So, here's a bit about Fogo. The volcano is supposedly active...I don't really know how that works. The other day the Elders called us to ask if we'd felt the earthquake that happened, but that was the day we were teaching Ja about the word of wisdom, so either we missed it or it wasn't too big. It's heating up fast and the hill seems to be getting steeper each day as well.

Oh, and our house has a water heater. That's right. Except the first week it was broken. Then it started working and I think I got two warm showers and then the landlord came up to tell us they're doing repairs so we could use that bathroom (we have a sort of another half bathroom but it's just where the washing machine is) so that put my hot showers to an end. But I think we'll be able to start using it again.

And Fogo is little America. So many people have family in Boston that you can find tons of American stuff. Last week I had Starbursts and...wait for it...MANDARIN ORANGES. It was like Christmas. They're still so good. Also, I saw a guy pay with dollars and they were accepted. Very weird.

We're totally spoiled here. You get the fresh bread and fruits outside your house every day and American products (if you know where to look).

Anyway, the work is going well. They want to create a third branch here in Sao Filipe in a few months, so we have a lot of work to do.

Love you all lots!

-Sister Brooks

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