I don´t eat cereal very ofter here. It´s super expensive and they only have like 4 brands. Frosted flakes, cocoa puffs, cocoa flakes, and corn flakes. All of them are the same company with Tony the Tiger on the front. We´ve bought cereal twice, but it´s not worth it since two guys eat one box in 2 days. It´s strange here, they have as many brands of milk as we have brands of cereal, and as many brands of cereal as we have brands of milk. We pretty much eat pancakes about every other day. In between we have fruit, hootenanny´s or something like cookies. I have particularly good story about food here. I went on a division with an Elder in the neigboring area, and at lunch the sister pulled out a nice fruit salad. I was all excited to finish my food on my plate and try some of the salad. The bowl was sort of small, so I only grabbed a little bit (thankfully) because the grapes were unpitted olives, the bananas and apple were potato pieces and slices, the mango was actually some kind of sweet potato, and the whipped cream was mayonnaise and vinegar. Not quite the fruit salad I had hoped for. I almost threw up. The best part is the missionary code of ``eat everything on your plate.´´ I think my eyes were watering by the time I finished it.
We´ll be going to conference, both Saturday and Sunday. I´ll keep an eye out for Stephanie. They have it in English for people like me, or for people who speak English (there are quite a few that speak enough to understand the speakers). PMG encourages all missionaries to learn English. I think it´s because all the leaders speak in English and they probably can get more from the talk than a translation of the talk.
We finally had our first baptism here in Perdizes. It was a mother and her daughter (we see a lot of this here). I´m pretty sure they´ll both be strong members since we only had to invite them to be baptized. They read and prayed and did everything they needed to to gain a testimony on their own accord. It was really exciting too. The day of the baptism, we got to church about 1 hour late since we picked up another investigator beforehand. We found the tank empty, and the baptism takes place right after sacrament meeting. My companion and I ran back and forth from the hose spicket outside with bucktfulls of water while we had the faucet going. We got the faunt full enough before sacrament meeting that we were able to attend sacrament. Good thing too, because during the announcememts, they announced that I was finally going to give my talk. Anyway, when we finally had the baptism, the water super cold. Not terrible, but enough that I was glad I wasn´t going under. Afterward, Ana (the mother) cried and her daughter, Ana, asked her why she was sad, but she said it was because she was so happy. I´m really happy for them too. I´m glad I´ve finally seen someone embrace the gospel, and so strongly too.
As for my talk, it went well. I said what I wanted to, and I wasn´t nervous (except for when they announced I would speak. that wasn´t fair). I was complimented on my talk by several people, so I know at least a few understood me.
That´s about it for spiritual stuff this week. I do enjoy the bus here. Only because it´s always an adventure. For about every 20 strange people, there is one normal person on the bus. One time, this old lady started making angry cat noises in the front of the bus. Then there was this one guy who probably hadn´t wiped after using the bathroom for the last 2 weeks. Thank goodness he sat at the front of the bus so the wind could carry the smell through the entire bus. Sometimes we´re graced with the presence of a fat lady who´s neck jiggles hypnotically the entire trip.
I know about 3 edlers here that have fiancés and have dates for their wedding already. I don´t feel like I´m being too trunkie with my Stephanie calendar.
Oh, anyway, I was robbed. We were walking across this bridge at night (a freeway bridge) and I knew it was a bad place. I prayed for protection, and we passed this guy and he did nothing. I was all relieved that my prayers had been answered, but then this group of 7 guys about 25 - 30 years old came up to us and surrounded us. One grabbed the watch uncle Matthew gave me at the MTC, and as he slipped it into his pocket, I caught a faint smile on his face as he looked me in the eyes. My camera was stolen. That solves my picture problem of trying to get the computer to let me send any. They almost had my entire backpack too, but as they walked away I rememberd the scriptures I´ve had since I was 8 with tons of scriptures marked. We went back after them and asked nicely for my scriptures. Turns out my companion said something to the guy and he gave me my backpack back to me, but I started taking out the things I needed unknowingly, and he spotted my camera. That´s when he took it from me. They were all high on something, and we could have easily given a few shoves, maybe thrown an elbow, and been free of them. I remembered the missionary handbook and the name on my badge below my own, so I patiently allowed them to take whatever they forced from me. I also remembered the time Joseph Smith was being taken to jail but was rescued, and he invited the captors to his home for dinner and a party. I didn´t have anything quite as bold or cool, but I told them to have a good night and gave them a smile. Afterward at home my companion looked at me and said ``I love them.´´ but then we laughed. I don´t hold anything against them, but I haven´t successfully figured out how to actually fee love for them.
I was able to watch all of conference, and in English too. It was so good. I paid the most attention this time than I ever have. They had a nice little room set up for anyone who spoke English and wanted to hear the raw talks. It was just me and a young couple... that couple... every now and then I heard kissing noises. That is so not cool. Aside from that I really enjoyed a lot´s of things from conference. I remember a talk by an authority with a sweet, thick Hispanic accent. I thought of Dad, Dallin, and I at home getting a kick out of some of the real good accents. I also was able to spot the one black guy in the choir by the end of the first session. Usually I´m a little quicker. There was also this CRAZY dude in the priesthood choir I couldn´t take my eys off when he sang. I really like Robert D. Hales. His talk was about trials, and that´s something I´ve been learning a lot about on the mission. Not because of my own, but during personal study time I´ve just learned a lot about it. Elder Holland was on fire during the Priesthood session. That was crazy, and I enjoyed it actually. You can tell Stephanie I took good notes during Elaine S. Dalton´s talk. I paid CLOSE attention. There was one point in particular duing a talk, I don´t remember which, but I heard something that didn´t quite make sense, because it seemed to condradict something else I heard earlier, but suddenly I felt the ``prick´´ of the Spirit in my heart and I realized immediately what the difference was and why I didn´t understand. The story from J. Devn Cornish about finding a quarter, I had that happen in the MTC. They have a delicious oreo cream pie, and I had yet to get one because they go so fast. I was in line and as I passed the desert section, it was empty, so I prayed for them to bring the cake, and when I opened my eyes, I saw someone with a fresh tray. I sat down and said a good prayer of gratitude.
Anyway, I had the temple trip and it threw my entire schedule off. I ran out of time and we never had an opportunity to return and send off my draft. Here´s two weeks worth of an email.
Not much else happend this week. It was full of temple trip, zone conference, and conference. I really only had 3 days of good work.
Anyway, I´ll do better next week. Have another good week, and I´ll try and respond more WITH you guys next time.