Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sao Chico B - Week 3

September 21, 2015

Hello all my beloved friends! I love you all!  This week has been great! I can never remember everything that happened for each day of the week, so  won´t be giving a weekly summary but here are the highlights.

Yesterday we had 4 baptisms! Brazil is crazy with baptisms! Our goal as a mission is to have a very minimum of 6 baptisms per 6 weeks or 1 per week. In some places that is crazy, but out here in Brazil, the field is white and ready to harvest! So many people here are prepared to hear about the gospel! There are a lot of people who just let us in to be nice, and listen to our message for the same reason. But there are tons of people who really hunger and want to hear the message! I love these people!

The baptisms we had this week were three young boys, two of which were brothers, and the other a good friend of theirs. The last was a 38 year old woman named Chris, who's husband is a reactivated member and son a recent convert.

The three boys are nuts! The brothers remind me of my cousins, Troy and Clay when they were younger. They're awesome, and their Grandmother has a date for baptism too! The whole family is awesome and I can always feel love in their home!  To illustrate how crazy these boys can be, one tried to jump back into the font after he was baptized because the water was so nice and warm. We had to hold him back - very interesting baptism! :D

The baptism of Chris was super great - there were a lot of people there and she was able to be baptized by her husband. it was a good baptism to witness. The spirit was there and was strengthened by the friendships she had with those who were present from the branch.

We usually are in the house of a member every Sunday night, and we love visiting the house of Maria. Usually there are about 2-3 boys and 3-4 girls along with Maria and her husband. I'm still not sure who exactly is family and who isn't... There is a game we like to play with them where you have a cup with a little bit of water which is used to splash the face of a victim. The person with the cup chooses a subject such as colors, fruits, soccer teams, etc. and then secretly chooses an item from the chosen subject and writes it on a piece of paper (for validation purposes). Every person guesses items from the subject, and when someone says the specific item chosen by the cup-holder, they become  a victim of the cup of water. Then they restart the process.  Usually games like this are referred to as brincadeiras, which is a word that roughly means joke, or jokes. It's the word usually used for games and activities like this.

Another very eventful thing happened this morning! I was making giobadia (a food made with cheese and fruit jelly wrapped in a pastel tortilla and fried in vegetable oil), and I put a good amount of vegetable oil into the pan and proceeded to fry them. A couple times some oil jumped out and got me on the arm. Not too bad. I flipped a giobadia and a good bit of oil jumped out and got me in the hand and up my arm. So now I have a couple good 1° burns up my arm and a decent sized 2° on my hand. It's a little gruesome looking, but with a little first aid it feels all right. Still looks gruesome though!  Totally worth it, those giobadias are good! :D

I'll send picture when i finally get my memory card to work along with a video of the jokes!

As for my nugget this week:

Every night I read in Jesus the Christ until it's time to turn the lights out. I've listened to The Garden all the way through a couple times already too. These two resources have brought me so much closer in knowledge to Christ. I understand his mission more every day. I understand his love, and the love of Our Father, of which He testifies with His every action. 

One thing I've realized is the faith of all the prophets who came before Christ. Every one of these righteous men had only their testimonies of the Christ who would come, as well as the testimonies of those who came before them. They knew not of His mission in its entirety, and they, as well as us, could never hope to comprehend the entirety of it all.  But it is my testimony, as well as the testimony of many prophets, that Christ did come. He performed the Atonement. He suffered and died for each one of us, that we might be saved from our weaknesses and sins.

Christ Lives. He is our one and only true friend. He loves us, and wants to help us. Of these thing I bear my own personal testimony.

I invite all of you to come unto Christ, read the works of the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, along with the words of the prophets we have today. They are the words of God, untainted by the philosophies of man, and will bring every person closer to Him and His love. Pray about these works to know that they are true. They will bring you the greatest treasure of happiness that are possible in this life!

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be Given him." James 1:5

Also:  Moroni 10:3-5

I love you guys! 
I´m still normal! i promise!
Tudo bem em Brazil!
Ate Mais

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Chico B - Week 2

September 14, 2015

My companion's name is Elder Gomez. He's from São Paulo and he's a really cool guy and a hard worker in the field! He doesn't speak English, which is good because it forces me to learn. He's really patient with me and my lack of experience with Portuguese and the work.

My area is called São Chico B in the zone Gravataí - It's a small town called São Francisco de Paulo and has a very small branch. This week we almost hit our goal to get 80 people in sacrament meeting, we ended up only having around 76 but the Chapel was full to the brim. That shows two things - how small this Branch is, and how great the work is going!

The food is great! Almoço (lunch) is always with a member and you can always count on having rice and beans. That's good because I love rice and beans! They tell you to eat as much as you want, but usually I only get 2-3 plates.

The people are so great in this Branch! Sometimes I feel like I'm at a Dawson Family Reunion, but everyone speaks Portuguese! There are a couple of super strong families here I absolutely love visiting! The people here have really touched my heart and I love them all! 

I´m healthy, though I've been eating more snacks lately and fruits and vegetables can be hard to come by during the day, but my body is adjusting well! I sleep great every night, allergies are the same, and i haven't gained much weight, but i can feel the muscles in my arms and my core degrading, and the muscles in my legs getting super tight, so i need to exercise more with my arms and core, but other than those, I'm still great! 

Gotta go! love you!
Stay strong, stay safe!
have faith, and keep working!

Até mais!

Elder John D. Scarlett

Sao Chico B - Week 1

September 7, 2015

Things are fantastic in Brazil! I´m actually surprised and a bit worried about that! Everyone says it's always the first few weeks that are hard - but for me, this just feels normal! I was a little shy at first but now I do contacts without a second thought, I can just talk to people.

Since I've arrived I've had absolutely no fears about anything. Nunca!! And it freaks me out a bit! Haha, I'´m just talking with people and I have the smallest grip on the language that I could possibly have! The only thing I could come up with that´s getting me through this is the fact that I've come so much closer with my Heavenly Father during my time at the CTM. I've really come to know more about the Atonement and Jesus Christ and how much Heavenly Father loves all his children, especially me! In the CTM I could literally feel the seed of faith growing in me as I dedicated time to study the gospel, and tried to keep the commandments! I feel the Love of Christ every day, for me and for my pesquisadors! 

Right now the only thing that is hard for me is being away from my family, all of you guys! I've been reading Grandma Dawson's history and I just wanted to be with you guys and just sit down and talk! I couldn't help but tear up. They were precious stories for me and I'll be treasuring those for a long time!

I want to hear some updates about what´s going on at home! :)
Love you lots
Tudo Bem!

Elder John D. Scarlett