This week was TOUGH. But I learned a lot… I´ve started figuring out my mission a little bit. Here, we have a very high number to reach for new investigators per week. We´re supposed to have 21 by Thursday. And the reason for this is cultural. We have a huge turnover rate. For every probably 5 or 6 new investigators (AKA a person who agrees to let us come to their home to teach a lesson), only one will be at home when we come to teach. And then not even all of them will be all that interested. There are a lot of “soft” people (the portugues word is moles, pronounced “mo-LESH”) the people who don´t really care.
People who aren´t all that concerned that we´re climbing hills, praying our tails off for them, practicing lessons, sweating, and just generally working very very hard to teach them about the best thing they´ll ever learn here on Earth. And last week Presidente Dalton told us that we are not to spend our time with moles. So when we find an investigator and they don´t show up or we can tell they´re not really interested, we drop them. It sounds harsh, but we are harvesters. There are people here who have been prepared by the Lord, who REALLY want to hear our message, who will be ready for baptism after we teach them. That is ultimately our purpose. To find them. That means statistically if we want to find a person who is ready, we have to talk to A LOT of people. We make street contacts, we knock on doors, we talk to friends of members, we pray, and we search, and every once in a while we find someone like Albert, who is READY. It is very different here than the US, but I´m starting to get accustomed to it.
Also the American I live with got transferred, so I´ve basically spoken no English this week. But that´s good because I´m starting to realize what I don´t know in Portuguese…. So now I´m trying to learn the subjunctive mood, which is very hard becasue we DON´T HAVE IT in English. Ugh.
Also, I ALMOST DIED THIS WEEK. So it´s night. And rainy. And I´m crossing the street. I look both ways, and cross to the median safely. At a stop light that has been red for a good while. Then I prepare to cross the second half. The light has been red for at least 10 seconds, and I look and every vehicle has stopped. So I go. And 3 steps later, a MOTORCYCLE comes out of NOWHERE and doesn´t stop at the light, and I jump out of the way. It almost hit me!! I swear an angel pushed me or something. Then I´m running, and pass another lane, and then in the final lane, ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE nearly hits me AGAIN. What on earth???? Why on earth would you be exempt from a traffic light, huh? TEll me that. Terrible people. But I´m alive, though I did hurt my leg a little in my panicked flight.
Also some things. There are trucks and cars that drive around selling various things. Eggs, propane, tapioca, chips, and *drumroll* CHURROS. The cars are generally super annoying, but I do not mind when a churro car drives by. A little churro for one real?? Heck yes! The guy who runs the truck knows us now. They´re also filled with either chocolate sauce or doce de leite (like caramel). But I seriosly love these churros (pronounced SHOO-hohs).
Also no, I´m not losing weight here. The sisters in my ward are all great cooks, and they all say “Comi mais, Sister!!” which means “Eat more, sister!” Seriously I eat a ton and still they all think I´m anorexic or something…
A good thing this week was that we worked better with members! We had 23 lessons with a member present as opposed to our last week, in which we had TWO. Yikes.. But I had my first division with a member, which while terrifying, really helped me know what my weaknesses are. I am scared out of my wits at starting a street contact, because usually the people just stare at me all confused, like they don´t understand my accent. All I´m saying is “Boa tarde, tudo bem?” Which is NOT UNUSUAL. But so I taught the Restoration to a girl who we already marked for baptism, her sister, and 2 friends. It was rough, but the Spirit was there. And all three of the other girls said yes when I asked them to be baptized! They´re moles, so we´ll see… Gulp.
But yeah that was terrifying.
Overall the week was quick and I learned a lot.
PS Please email me, people! I wanna hear what´s going on in your lives!