Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letter 9

Dear Family and friends,

Hard to believe that it has been my 3rd week in the field. We had more baptisms this week. It has been unbelievable. I am sending pictures next week. I love the gospel!!! One of the baptisms was a couple that got married on Friday and then baptized on Saturday. I love seeing how much happiness the gospel brings into their lives.

To start the week off on P-Day last week we went to Cruzera where we went to a McDonalds. It was so expensive!! It cost $7 in American dollars to buy a McChicken!! Crazy!

We had to go to an eye hospital for my companion. He had an eye exam and found out he needed glasses. When we left the eye hospital he was so wobbly he almost fell into oncoming traffic. It was a little bit funny but terrifying. Another fun thing I did this week was I tried a new food. I tried "acai". Acai is a purple fruit that is very strong and I got it in a smoothie with banana and it tasted like a blueberry shake. It was extremely strong but I discovered that I like acai.

I have learned about how important it is to endure to the end and how important it is to stay true to whatever goals you have. In our district, we have an elder name Elder Kenneth who has a companion that leaves in 2 weeks. His companion does not want to work and he has been having so much trouble with him. I feel sorry for him. Elder Kenneth is a great missionary. He is Brazilian and wants to learn English.

This week we have had a lot of rain storms and one in particular that was crazy. On Tuesday we did a trade off and our district leader traded companions with our zone leader. We had Elder B Almeda that came to Santa Maria North. To celebrate we went to Dudu´s for frangos and when we were there a lightning storm came in. Lightning struck 1000 meters away from us and the crack was so loud!!! It was awesome. That night we also had a sleep over and we had all four elders in one apartment. To do this my companion and I had to carry our mattresses through the road to the other apartment. Crazy! We got a lot of wierd looks but hey who cares.

In Brazil there are a lot of things we see all the time. A common car are hippy buses the Volkswagen kind. They are extremely popular here. Also I have seen many people put more than one person on a one person bike and ride to other places with them on. Also the buses here!! It is like in China with the speed trains. I have been in a bus that says it has a 25 person capacity and they put 45 or 50 people in it. It is so very crowded. I have been in close quarters with many a person and it is very awkward at times.

Wednesday was a long hot day. The sun poked through the clouds and the humidity went through the roof!! Thursday we got to do service at an investigators house that was getting married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. We spent half the day cleaning their house and scrubbing the tile. Here in Brazil all the houses and buildings have tile and no carpet so to clean people will take a bucket, fill it with water and soap, and then dump it on the ground and start sweeping and scrubbing. When they are done they spray it off with water and then squeegee the remaining water off. We also got to paint their house. Service is a wonderful thing.

Friday we had the wedding in the chapel. When it was done we didn´t get back to our house until 11 o’clock at night. We had permission from the mission president because normally we are to be home no later than 9:30pm.

Saturday we had a Stake Activity in Gama. It was a service project for the community and we handed out invitations all day. It was so much fun and I felt so inspired there because we got a lot of referrals from it. My first transfer has been a little rough but I know the Lord will help us when we do His work!!

As for sports, the Area President just made a new rule that no missionaries in Brazil are allowed to play soccer or basketball anymore. We don’t know why but I am sure it is for a good reason.

Until next week,
Elder Hoopes

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