How the devil are ya?! You sound to be doing pretty well from all of your letters. I always love to hear from you. Before I forget, I just have a few statements of fact that I want to write, which may or may not be directed at specific people:
1. Peter, this one is for you. First of all, congratulations on learning piano, violin, and being a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir already. There are a couple of reasons why you need to never give up practicing those things. First, you will regret it if you do give up. B, You will take blessings away from other people because they will not be able to hear you play, and last, if you want to learn a language, it is easier if you have an ear for music. That last one is a theory of my own, but it makes sense. If you play music, then you train your ear to listen for different tones and it becomes easier to understand people. And if you sing, it is easier to speak because you understand the different ways that sound moves out of your mouth. My companion was very musical before his mission and so it was a lot easier for him to learn the language. Go to work!
2. Showers in Brazil are dangerous. They are electric. Who ever thought it was a good idea to have wires dangerously exposed to running water wherein a person would be bathing?
3. Brazilian culture is very relaxed, and everyone wants to feed you. Rice and beans every day.
This has been a pretty good week. It went by super fast. We had a Christmas conference in Ribeirao during the week, which was super good, but ate up most our time. I did my first street contacts in Portuguese, which was weird and hard and I didn't like it, but it turned out good. We also made it to the Pol'icia Federal so that I could become legal. I am now allowed to be here, officially.
We had another miracle this week. And you know why? Obedience, that's why. We were going to do service one morning, and there's a rule here that we're not supposed to go anywhere without carrying a Book of Mormon in our hand. We were on the fence because we weren´t in proselyting clothes so no one would even be able to tell, but we decided we had better. Because we carried the books, a couple of investigators riding by on their motorcycle recognized us, and they might not have seen us without the Book of Mormons. Miracles! These investigators, Odair and Debora, had just recently moved, and we had been trying to find them for a while. They now have a baptismal date and are planning to get married! We´re pretty stoked.
We had some pretty funny moments this week. One was with Irmã Renata. We always have funny moments with her. Oh, by the way, Elder Rock says hello. Anyways, we were having a lesson with her the other day, and she refuses to pray openly. We had a lesson that was probably 45 minutes long about how it is important to pray, and then we invited her to say the closing prayer. she denied. Because she denied again, I felt prompted that maybe I should offer the closing one. I did, and here is a full transcription of my prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help Sister Renata to have the desire to pray.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
They got a kick out of that. I don´t know a ton of Portuguese, but I know enough that I can crack a joke every so often and help the people warm up to me. Good stuff.
I love you all so much! Sorry that I am not able to send personal letters as often. We are allowed less time to write here, but I will do the best that I can.
Merry Christmas! I´ll be Skyping you on Christmas between ten and noon your time.