Tuesday, June 17, 2008

tag, you're it

(letter from 6-11-08)
Boy, am I glad I´m not a dog…

We saw this dog yesterday, and wowzers!!, he looked like he had leprosy! He only had hair in patches, one of his ears looked like broccoli, he had this big bloody nose, he breathed super raspy, and didn’t have any teeth. I don’t know if I can (/should) describe how hideous that dog was. And so I thought to myself, “Good thing I’m not him….!” Just one more reason I am grateful to be a missionary. :-)

So I should probably tell about the coolest family on the planet earth, besides ours of course. (we won the prize for weirdest, and hey! , you can't win ‘um all!). Let me tell you about them. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (-princess bride)
Her name is Viviane. We met her in the street one day and she said that we could come over another day. She also said that she had a family and was legally married. (we usually ask questions like that in the street around here. It is a bit uncomfortable sometimes to walk up to someone and be like: “Good afternoon, we are the missionaries of the true church of Christ. God called a prophet once again on the earth. This book is a proof of this message. By the way, are you guys married?” Well, that is really what you have to do sometimes. And what we did this time.
About a month later we were planning a training for zone conference about using the area book to find people to teach, and we were practicing what we were going to teach by planning using the area book. One of the families that we pulled out of the “old investigators” section was the mom of Viviane. We didn’t know that at the time. But as we planned to work in that area, we found that both of this names that we had were at the same address. The mom from the area book, and the daughter from the address we got in the street. So we went there. We taught Viviane and her husband Anderson, and they accepted the commitments that we gave them. We were excited, because at that time we had found a lot of new FAMILIES and this one was pretty cool too. As the week progressed they read some of the Book of Mormon, and had a lot of questions. The key was Sunday. Who would go to church? We wanted to continue with the people that went to church. I don’t think that I can accurately express that excitement that missionaries feel when investigators go to church. I was like COWABUNGA!!

Here is the best part. Two more families ended up at church. Anício’s family and Marcelo. We ended up with a BUNCH of people at church with us. It was the best blessing EVER!! wait, here is the real best part:
At sacrament meeting we gave several families responsibility to sit next to them and help them. Those members were SO AWESOME! They went and sat by them!! They talked to them! Really, my joy was full. There was this one girl who is like 14, who went and sat by the dad and daughter of the one family. She helped them know how to sing that hymns, pointing with her finger. She explained what the sacrament is. She helped them feel comfortable. Then after the meeting several families got up and went over there and talked to them, set up familiy home evenings with them in their homes, invited them to mutual and seminary, EVERYTHING!

This ward pretty much rocks.

So anyway, Viviane and Anderson have two daughters, 12 and 9, and one son, 2yrs. They are reading the BoM and had FHE with 2 other families Monday. We are going there today to teach about the plan of salvation. I will tell more next week.

One more thought:
Yesterday we went to talk to this lady in the street, something that we do all day long, with EVERYONE. She was dressed like an Amish lady, so I knew that whatever happened, she certainly already had some strong religious beliefs. She kindly told us no, so we tried to give her a pass-along card. She took it and look at the picture of Jesus on the other side and said, "No I cant take this, I don’t worship images." Then we were like, "Great, us too. This isn’t a idol, it is a painting. So, don’t worship it." Then, she kind of decided to tell us what we were and what she believed. She started saying all kinds of stuff in a weird language that WASN’T Portuguese, and started telling us what she believed. Then she said, nós acreditamos que voces são anticristos.(she called us the anti-christ) Elder Rhodes, knowing full well what that meant, but looking for a little help was like, WHAT!?, I don’t understand that word. She then explained to us the we teach lies, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Usually I would have left her there, but there were a lot of people around and she was still talk calmly to us. I looked at her and said, "I am sorry, you are wrong. Have a good night." I left kind of ticked off. Like, "smokes, you would think that someone that really believes in Christ would recognize His authorized servants.” We talked about it later and I thought about the Savior. He suffered for the very people that rejected him and said that he was of the devil. He really was the son of God, and people said all kinds of stuff to Him. He even told the apostles, that if the truly followed him the same thing would happen to them. Take up your cross, is not just an invitation to leave the couch, but to enter the battle. I felt really sad for the woman, but happy that I could learn a little bit more about the great love that the Savior has for us.

Anyway, sorry, I will answer questions next week.

elder helland

ps: THANK YOU to gma and gpa helland for the package. Me and elder Rhodes are loving the American goods. I also got the package from you guys. You guys even wrote Buzz lightgear.

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