|Christmas eve dinner at the house of Kleyton and Milda! |
It was super delicious and they had fireworks. Wassup.
I hope y’all enjoyed your Christmas. It sounds like it was a regular Gale Christmas, which is super hectic, awesome, and happy. I missed you guys like crazy, but it was fun to spend my first Christmas on the mission. It has an entirely different focus out here, which is cool to be a part of.
|Waiting for the Omnibus on Christmas Day. |
Everyone is excited to talk to family!
And naturally, I loved talking to you guys on Skype! It was so nice to see your faces and know that everybody is happy and well. The only problem was that it was so short! It was hard to get in a good conversation with everybody in so little time. But it was awesome anyway!
The day before Christmas, we received a call that the zone in Icoaraci wanted my help with a fun Christmas project. They were going to sing hymns at a local supermarket and they wanted me to play my violin with them. We asked for permission to do it and it was granted.
We sang in the middle of the supermarket and people were really surprised and liked it a lot. The supermarket even asked us to play on the top level as well!
It was awesome!
and played hymns
for a ton of people.
The seats in the Gym and Chapel were completely filled and the only seating room was on the stands on the Chapel.
It was a
really great experience
to be a part of!
Unfortunately, the baptism for this Saturday fell. He is a young man named Y, and is a really cool guy. He is committed to coming to church and to living the commandments. But his baptism fell because he drank coffee during Christmas. Its sad how something so small can have such a big effect. This next Saturday we should have Y and another boy named A. They are both very excited.
We had a lot of "snakes" this week. A snake is a woman that goes after missionaries, young or old. Women in Brazil are very outgoing with relationships and sex, and they start very young. I´ve already taught a 14 year old girl that had a problem with the Law of Chastity with 30 year old married man.
But anyway, it was all over this week. We made contact with 5 girls around the age of 12-13 that seemed pretty nice. They kept looking at me and making this weird sign with their hands. Elder J. Santos told me later that it meant something dirty. Yikes!
Yesterday, we were teaching a lesson to a 19 year old girl. She was very interested in religion and is actually taking Theology classes in college right now. But the lesson over the Book of Mormon was slightly interrupted when her sister came in. The first thing she did was give me a glass of water, "because he´s beautiful". Well...thanks!
As we continued, we taught how the BoM and the Bible go hand in hand. The sister said "I´m passionate about the Bible...just like i´m passionate about you (pointing to me)". That was a bit awkward.
She later asked me if we could go to her house alone and I promptly said no. She tried to give me a hug and I stepped awkwardly away. Yáll would´ve laughed. Elder J. Santos teases me that I have a girlfriend on the mission.
But seriously, it´s ridiculous how open girls are with their intentions. Almost every day when we walk down the street someone will call me beautiful. Not that I blame them...:D And people always stare at my blue eyes. During lessons, I like to open my eyes a bit wider and people always stare. It´s hilarious.
The reason this happens is that I´m American and people think that I have money. But this is only part of it, as missionaries in general are hunted by moças (girls). The other part is our name-tag. When we have the nametag, it means that we have virtue. And that is an uncommon quality in a culture that condones sexual sin. For unvirtuous people, it creates a challenge to destroy that virtue. They want that virtue and are drawn to it. Be virtuous, my Brethren!
|Me being pretty. :)|
By the way, update on our living conditions. The best Christmas present ever: the mission bought the quarter next to us so we have twice as much space and two bathrooms! And a washing machine so we don´t have to wash our clothes by hand! I´m still sleeping on my hammock that I bought a couple weeks ago because it´s more comfortable than a bed and it keeps away mosquitos.
|Elder Gale and Elder Xavier--a nearby Zone Leader.|
We´re preparing for Transfer day coming up pretty soon. I´ll have one more week until Transfer. Our guesses are that Elder Cedraz and I will stay here, but Elder J. Santos and Elder Gonzalez will leave. I'm happy to stay, because I like this area. It´s actually really unusual that I´ve already had 3 areas in 3 transfers. Elder Gonzalez also has 3 areas so far, but he has a year and a half on the mission.
I´m also preparing to meet my 6 month on the mission mark. It´s amazing how fast time goes here on the mission. I only have about 18 months left, and I need to use it the best I can!
I´m unbelievable excited for Austin to turn in his papers and get his call. He will be a fantastic missionary. And it will be fun to share the mission experience while we´re both serving. I'm hoping for Lawrence, Kansas! If he´s really lucky, he will go to Belém, Brazil or Columbia, South Carolina, the best missions in the world. Only if he´s faithful before the mission and says his prayers right.
It´s raining a lot during this winter season. Everyday for a couple hours. I like the rain, but I don´t like it when it keeps us from working. We managed to keep the "patterns of Excellence" in our numbers this week even though we lost a lot of time during Christmas. Go us!
I´m so blessed to be here in the Brazil Belém Mission. I know I have a divine purpose here and that people were prepared beforehand for me to find them. I understand how important my role is as a missionary, that the lives of many people can be changed by my words and actions. I know that I have power inherent in my missionary calling, and I feel that power blessing and uplifting my life everyday. Christ is our Savior, His Word is with us, and His Church is restored.
Called to Serve,