People Say Weird Things

This week we tried to work like loco (crazy), and had a lot of interesting experiences. First, Sister R. fell on the sidewalk and scraped all the skin off her knee. Then the next day it got all swollen and crazy so she got a priesthood blessing from our branch president. Then after church someone brought us to the doctor in São Lourenço to get it checked out. She was in a lot of pain, but when we arrived there she felt better, and when they did an x ray it showed that nothing was wrong at all. She got the wound cleaned and we went home. It was a blessing that she felt better almost instantly. the Lord really answers our prayers when we exercise faith. Sister R. also got lice which has been super fun to take care of.
M.–who has been taking the lessons–decided yesterday that he wanted to stay home and drink instead of go to church. This week will be his last chance week, because there are a lot of people we could be focusing on if he doesn’t want to change yet. Our other person taking the lessons, W., is progressing really well! He will be baptized on Wednesday if he can actually stop smoking.

An old man with a walking stick came up to us while we were talking to some investigators, and started telling us that he owns two houses on the beach in Rio, and three houses in Juquitiba and that he was married 5 times and has 7 kids… Then he told us to call him when we need to walk home and he´ll go with us and defend us with his stick. This guy weighs about 70 pounds, so I think we´ll pass.

A drunk brother of a recent convert told us about his desire to get married. He doesn´t want to marry an American or a Banana (women from the area of Brazil called Bahia who are considered really gorgeous) or a Mexican. He wants to marry an old Japanese woman who will stay home and watch soap operas while he goes on the street to drink. A woman who will make food and clean his house (BUT, he said, he´s not racist)… Alrighty then.
Another man said a prayer in one of our lessons but was speaking in slang to God ´Tá ligado , Senhor?´ (“You listening, God?” But it’s a really slang, ghetto kind of phrase.)
Another person told us when he wakes up but is still tired, he´ll go to the bathroom and sleep on the toilet.
People say some weird stuff, but honestly one of the things I like best about being a missionary is getting to know all sorts of people.

Not much happened this week. It´s supposed to finally cool down this week but we´ll see what actually happens.

Muito amor,

Sister Westenhaver

18 April 2016

This week we spent a lot of the time at the hospital. Hospitals here are more like urgent care. And the only one they have in Juquitiba is the public hospital, which is inefficient and I´m pretty sure only has 10 medicines to choose from. Here we are riding the bus to the hospital:

India Rigel on bus

So why were we there? Sister R. got bitten by some mosquitoes, and the bites started swelling like crazy, and hurting down to her muscles. So we arrived at the hospital, and the doctor prescribed her two injections to take. In the bum.
“I can´t do them there.”
“…Because I´m a missionary….”
In reality, injections in the rear just hurt like crazy, and it´s super awkward to hike up your skirt. So instead she got an IV drip.

The next day she didn´t feel any better, and she woke up with big boil things on the bites resembling really bad poison ivy. So after lunch we took the bus to São Lourenço, the next town over. Their hospital was much nicer, the nurses and secretaries courteous and pleasant. However, then Sister R had no choice. She had to get 2 injections in the rear. One on each side.. Oof. Then we had to sit for a few minutes so she could stop feeling dizzy. On the tv in the waiting room was a Jackie Chan movie, very poorly dubbed into português. We started at it absently for a couple minutes, then left to go buy ice cream.
Don´t worry, she´s doing a lot better now.
We had a chance to go to the Sao Paulo temple last week. I’d never been there before at night. It’s always so peaceful inside.
India SP Temple at Night
One of our investigators cut us this week when I told him he had two options: salvation, or pinga (alcohol). He said “Eu não query sua ajuda mais. Leave me alone.” He speaks English really well. That hurt a lot.
The next day we went to see him anyways. He said “I´m really sorry…I need your help.” But we were realistic with him and told him if he couldn´t control himself and stop drinking every day, we wouldn´t be able to truly help him. He has to act too. He´s back on track now, and went to church yesterday!
Willian, another investigator, now has 8 days without drinking. If he´s able to stop smoking in the next couple days, we´re gonna baptize him this Sunday!!
I´m excited and loving this work more every day.

Sister Westenhaver

P.S. One thing I noticed this week… The moon waxes on the left here. I can´t figure out why!
P.P.S. Here’s our house. It’s the orange one on the left. We live upstairs (that’s not our car).
India Juquitiba House.JPG

11 April 2016

We´re still teaching M., and in addition about 4 or 5 other men. They all drink and smoke. So one day we decided to do something… We took a cigarette from one of them, and went and made chá… Tea… We took out the tobacco and put it in the water and made them drink it. It was hilarious watching their faces as they drank. Then we asked, “So do you want to smoke now?” and they just looked at us in horror. Hopefully that lesson will stick.

Also I forgot to talk about a miracle last week. So our recent convert Rodrigo has been accumulating church clothes. He has 2 ties, one white shirt, and some slacks. Before general conference last week, he was working doing some construction, and worrying because he didn´t have dress shoes. He was thinking, “Will I have to go in my casual clothes then?” Then a couple seconds later he walked a little further into the grass and trees and found a pair of black dress shoes. In the jungle. In his size. So he went to conference all arrumadinho (all dressed up) and loved it. God provides if we have the faith. Seriously.

Also this week we made a contact with a man who, upon discovering we´re American, asked if we´d seen the burial place of Elvis Presley…of all the questions.
We ate in restaurants every day this week because no members had time to make us lunch.. So Thursday we went to a place and sat down and I was super excited to go there because they have sushi. I have not eaten sushi since August. So we discuss the menu. in portuguese. And the waiter hears us talk about sushi and salmon and stuff. And then when I look up to order he says “We´re not going to have any of the Japanese food today.” And I was like… “Huh? So like half of the menu?” “Yes.” He replies. There is nothing on the menu stating that sushi is only available on weekends. It was so disappointing. But then we ordered yummy shrimp and squash soup, so it´s all good.

It´s so hot here… still… it should be cooling down here soon. With all the walking around we do I´m as tan as the Brasileiros now.

–Sister Westenhaver

These are some of the hills we walk up and down all day. Now you know why my legs are getting so strong!