I almost have one month here in Birigui, Sao Paulo, Brazil!
I forget if I wrote this in my journal or my weekly email, but I always used to hear people say that on a mission, the days are long but the weeks are short. I never really experienced this until I got here. Its probably a good thing that the days are long and not short, because if the days were short too, then time would be flying way too fast- faster than it already is. But in reality, the days here are really long. I think we walk 5-7 miles every day, maybe more (I´m such a wimp- mom runs 10+ miles a day in 1-2 hours...). But I love it, seriously. The culture of missionary life is definitely different here. My whole mission in NY I wanted to compare cultures of other missions too, and now I have 2 to compare. Its great.
This week was really great, and by the time Saturday rolled around, we had 13 people that realistically were planning on coming to church on Sunday that we are teaching. We were really excited about it, but when church started various things happened as they always do, and we only had 5 or 6 people we are working with show up. But still, this is a really big step for our little congregation of 80 (it seems massive compared to other congregations here). Our ward sees that we are working hard, and in turn the ward will begin to get excited and work with us. This is the goal- to get the ward as self-sufficient with respect to missionary work as possible. Because unfortunately, as missionaries we will also leave, get transferred somewhere else, move on. But the members will always stay in the congreagation. They have ultimate responsibility to susutain the ward, and the people visiting the ward, the missionary work that goes on in the ward. So we´re pretty excited.
As yes, this week was halloween too. How exciting! But in Brazil, no one has Halloween but the Americans. We didnt celebrate until we got home around 9 o clock, but we had planned ahead. At 6 o clock we called a number in the phone labeled ´Birigui-zão.´ Its the number for the store that sells the famous Birigui-zao, which is a huge platter of about 10 burgers. You have to call ahead really early, and so at 6 we asked for a birigui zao to be delivered at 930. At 915 we received the biriguizao and stuffed ourselves on Halloween. It was great.
Im still learning a lot this week, and still struggling with the language. Ether 12:26 in the Book of Mormon is comforting when our weaknesses become our strengths through faith and humility. This is definitely a humbling experience for me, hopefully one that will help shape the rest of my life. All of our weaknesses can become strengths if we have faith in Him who created us, and if we are humble enough to be shaped. Its hard, but with experience we change, and BECOME. Thats what life here is all about- change, experience, and becoming.
Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts. i love you all!