Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28

This week was really weak for us. We have few investigators to teach, and the most efficient way of finding new people here in São Paulo is to talk with everyone on the street. I´ve been struggling with this my entire mission, it hasn´t gotten easier. This week rained a lot, so there were already very few people on the streets, so we didn´t find hardly any new investigators this week. On top of that, most of our appointments we had marked fell through.

We are, however, teaching one of our stake president´s cousins. She´s a single mom with a son. She also smokes, but she´s progressing rapidly. She can´t read very well, so she has her son read to her from the Book of Mormon several times a week. She has given us several references already, sharing with her friends her testimony that lots of good things have happened to her since started listening to our message. When we started teaching her, she had been informed that she had 20 days to find a new house. We taught her to pray, and she ended up getting another house near her job within a week. Tuesday, we got a ride with the stake president to the mission conference (read below). We mentioned that we were teaching one of his relatives, and he told us to call him the next time we marked another appointment with her. On Friday, we called, and he and his mother came with us to teach her. It was a fantastic lesson. The stake president´s mom shared her testimony of her conversion, how she stopped smoking, and the blessings she´s received since then.

As for the mission conference, we were surprised upon arriving; even President Martins was uninformed. The mission São Paulo Interlagos was also there. Elder Caetano´s best friend just so happens to be serving there, and the mission president also happens to be one of his close family friends. Anyway, the conference was awesome. We had Elder Christensen and Elder Mazzagardi as well as their wives. Elder Christensen asked both mission presidents and their wives to bear their testimonies quickly, then he spoke to us. He mentioned the new mission age, and talked about the number of missionaries we´re going to have in the next 6 months. I don´t remember what the numbers were, but it looks like the number of missionaries in the world is going to triple here soon. I think there may be a lot less youth worried about leaving a girl/boyfriend at the younger age, especially the young women. Anyway, I found myself wishing I could be a part of this new age of missionaries.

Ricardo took us out to eat for lunch on Friday. He brought his fiancee too. It was a really cool place called Nordestino (meaning northeasterner). He´s from the northeast where the food is really different. It has a lot more spices, and lots of different recipes. We ate Sarapatel, mocotófava, carne de sol with mandioca, and some other appetizers. I´ve got my own pictures I´ll send. It was really good.  

The first photo is a plate with the sarapatel, mocotó, fava, and some normal beans. 

Next is the carne de sol with mandioca (translating to sun meat with mandrake). It was incredible... anyway, the part I liked the most wast he head of garlic on the side. They pour some olive oil on top of a head of garlic, throw some oregano on, and cook it in the oven. Then, while you´re eating the meat, you grab a garlic tooth, and smash the garlic out of it´s peel, and spread it on top of the meat. The garlic turns into a garlic hummus, and it doesn´t leave you with an overpowering garlic breath. 

To start off everything we had what they call pastels. I think it´s like a pastry. Pastry to me seems like something less fried and more sweet. These pastels were full of dried meat and cheese.

That mission ward mission plan looks pretty cool. Creativity like that isn't really part of the church culture here; only in relief society sometimes. I miss the creativity of our ward. We don´t see much here. Almost every ward activity is a barbacue.

Ya, the big news here these days is the club down in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul. It´s pretty crazy because of the guards who locked the doors thinking that it was just a fight or something. I don´t believe it. How do you not realize there´s a fire, especially when everyone is probably screaming FIRE. 

This is Yasmin. She likes to play cops and robbers when we pass by. Usually the game just involves her and me sitting in two chairs pretending to patrol our beat. Then she starts to scream "Get out of the car, get out of the car!" grabs our umbrellas, and uses them to shoot whoever is in the room at the moment. Then, if they don't die on the spot, she grabs them by the hands and says "Your'e coming with me to the delegacy!" Her aunt is a police officer.

Anyway, that´s it for now. 

-Elder Candland 

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