Let the Good Times Roll
May 13, 2013
Back in the Day
Before I entered in the field... I couldn’t write my friends via email.
Before I entered... there were only 14 sister missionaries, 3 other American sisters. Now, there are 30 sister missionaries, 4 other Americans.
Before I..... I was super stressed out about the language and being able to fit into the Brazilian culture. Now, I never have time to study the language, the Fonseca Ward is convinced that I’m from Porto Alegre, and I feel more Brazilianized than my Bolivian companion, Sister Céspedes.
Are You Asking For a Challenge??????
The new calling as Sister Leader Trainer (LT), hahaha, has been quite an opportunity of growth, humility, and eye-opening experiences. I have even learned from my companion when she wasn’t with me, meaning she had experiences of how to work better in our area when I was substituting in the other areas.
So, here it is: the first division, Sister Céspedes took the seniors to work in our area. Sister Carréra, with her magic knee, (she has had quite a physical trial with a bad knee that always brings miracles according to her and her companion’s faith) helped Sister Céspedes find 3 families we are now teaching here in Fonseca. SCORE! I learned about the sister missionary from Brasilia, who came in the same group as my daughter, Sister Romão. She really wants to train and wanted to show off when I was on the division with her. She ended up just mentally melting down, poor thing. BUT, we learned a lot about their WML, who walked ALL OVER central Niterói with us. He looks like an old movie character... I can’t place it! I’ll have to take a picture of him, hahaha, and get some feedback.
While in their area, I decided to Feng Shui their apartment. We missionaries never have time to examine the walls or organize Tupperware. SINCE I was presiding senior but didn’t have to worry about where exactly we would be going, I decided to relax at night and in the morning by organizing the Tupperware, organizing the pamphlet cabinet—which was a MESS—and, ya know, *cracking my fingers* I’ll take a shot at giving these girls a HOT shower spigot. The poor things have been living with a broken/new showerhead for 2 WEEKS, the same amount of time Sister Almeida has been in the field! I half-jimmy-rigged it the first night and finished, feeling unsatisfied. The sweeties that they are thanked me for having a lukewarm shower. HOWEVER, MacGyver doesn’t stop there! I made Sister Céspedes bring our old metal pipe we took out (yes, I lived my first 3 days in Fonseca without a hot shower) and analyzed that this would do the trick. Sure enough, with the slightest turn of the knob, not the Niagara Falls they had before, though the less-voluminous pour of water was cozily hot. I closed the books, clapped my hands, and said my work here is done. Someone has to be the man of the house around here. I am now nicknamed Pai Nelson (Father Nelson). I like it.
A Missionary of Many Names
Last night, while thinking of all the nicknames I have acquired on the mission, I decided to make an always-awkward night contact while heading home. The lady was, as usual, unsure of my approach. I added in that I’m from America (that usually gets more forgiveness) and reiterated our purpose to help her family be eternal. She stopped, looked at me, and said, “You know, you look like a beauty queen, what with the long dress, skinny, and tall. Oh, I wanna see if you can do the wave. Yeah, do it like this.” Hmmmm... well, at least it wasn’t a drunk or a construction worker this time. And now, I’m rethinking about wanting to have more fun with my hair. After all, a side braid here gets a lot of attention. Sister Céspedes confirmed that I was well in the lead for the Prettiest Sister award. The funny thing about this award is... the person who usually wins it, DOESN’T want it. Ehhhhk, I don’t like this kind of attention.
I am also known as the New American Sister Missionary, according to our Baptist neighbor. He wrote and printed out a letter about how what we’re teaching is false and that we should repent. The only thing that offended me was he printed mine out in English. Do I speak English? Do I write in English? Do I talk in English? Nope. I’m in Brazil, thanks.
I had the most pleasant chat with a chivalrous Jehovah’s Witness on the bus. He was on his way to teach the Bible to the deaf.
I asked him about what they believed in the Plan of Salvation. He cited 1 Cor 15:40-41 and explained that there will be only 144,000 people who will live with God in heaven. The Multitudes talked about in Revelation will live eternally here on earth. I then asked him what the stars mean in verse 41, if the sun is comparable to the kingdom celestial and the moon is comparable to terrestrial. He said he wasn’t sure, and he would search about it.
How sad it is that the tiniest loss in translation changed the facts. There ARE 3 kingdoms, degrees of glory, or else God wouldn’t be a just God. However, only 144,000 would live with God? And me? If I don’t make it because I’m NOT saved, I’ll have to share my eternities with Hitler and Lenin? Yikes.
Going on a mission isn’t my ticket into heaven. I don’t gain salvation here on earth because I MUST endure to the end, and the BEGINNING of the end is death.
Word of the Day: carnificina. It means “CARNAGE.” Iiiiiiii LIKE it! What can I say? I was reading in Alma.
Thought of the Day: Is there really a right place and time to START doing what you know to be right?
Daddy, hey, I miss seeing your rosy cheeks and hearing your bellowing laugh and hearing your whopping sneeze. Mostly, I miss hearing your voice teaching me about deep doctrine. I have the best parents. I wrote that to Rachel, and she agrees.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MOM, GRANDMA TANNER, SHEANA, JESSI, and ALL my aunts and girl cousins! (Hey, Mom, put the names of the other friends who are pregnant or have already had kids, please.
YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU!)
[I hope I don’t miss anyone.]
Happy Mother’s Day to all these first-time moms: Jessica Clayton, Juliann Hobby, Aly Larsen, Jaclyn Wardell, Ada Lee Talbot, Amber Huntington, Fatima Dedrickson, and Wendy Sebright. And, round two for Rachel Pinto and Sheree Fernandez.