Sunday, October 19, 2008

If I were king of the forest…

Letter 10-13-08 (oops, posted one week late!)

What I wanted to do was send a bunch of pictures to you guys, but this dumb internet café doesn’t allow it. I am not really feeling all that good right now, I have been sick with the flu these last couple of days. I woke up this morning with a pretty gnarly fever, so as you can imagine, I don’t really have the energy to write a whole bunch today. My head is really slow, kind of like an old telephone modem- and I am not really getting a good connection. “What king of chip you got in there, a Dorito? It’s all about the Pentiums, baby.”

On Saturday, we had a neat experience. We went to a neighborhood that doesn’t really get worked in a lot. The neighborhood is called “Colégio”, which means “school”. Anyway, it has this giant favela in the middle and I don’t really know the streets there all that good. We grabbed the area book the night before and the ward list and pulled out all of the addresses that we could find that were in that neighborhood. And then we spent the whole next day in that part of the area.
That day was pretty tough. We searched for all of the addresses that we had and no on wanted to hear a message. The worst ones were the in-active members that we looked for. Some of them yelled at us, others had moved or died. One lady, who was the sister of a member that is inactive, told us that hr sister had moved. So we asked for her new address, and the lady said she wouldn’t give it to us. So we asked for a telephone number. Again she said that she wouldn’t give it to us. Okay, well, could you tell her that we came here looking for her? ... No. And then the mean old lady started yelling at us saying that she was going to sue us and call the police and a bunch of other junk. Elder Andre told here to calm down and we left with her still yelling.

The next house was another inactive member. We found the address and as we got closer I saw that they were having some kind of party. I said this to elder Andre, who kindly informed me that that was no birthday party. It was a macumba party. The house where it was happening was the neighbor house to the house that we were looking for. They were beating drums and shouting and stuff, so we had to clap out hands really loud to and shout “Jefferson” (the was the man’s name that we were looking for.) well, I guess that we were interfering with their satanic ritual, because thy all stopped and looked at us. The man in the middle of the circle, that was all dressed funny, started screaming. It was pretty scary. All of the people cheered when he screamed. Then this dinosaur lady saw us, I think she was the one directing the spirit ceremony. She was dressed funny too, and had two big swords in her hands. She started coming towards us and asked us why we were there. (She had this really deep raspy voice) we said that we were looking for Jefferson; she said that no Jefferson lived there now; we took her word for it and took off. It is so weird that here, there is a giant and popular religion that claims to believe in Jesus Christ that has ceremonies to posses people with evil spirits. I guess that the evil spirit that was in that man didn’t like being so close to priesthood power, because he was screaming like crazy. :-)

So, that whole day was tough like this, running into all kinds of opposition. I was thinking the whole time that this must be that trial of our faith and that soon we would be blessed with something great. And we were. At night we found a new family to teach. They live close to a few members and were excited to learn more about the restored gospel. Turns out that opposition is an important principle and that when things are tough, that Lord is just waiting to see if we will hang in there to get the blessing at that end.

Mom- I got a letter from grandma jones. It is the only one that I got this last transfer. You can tell her that she made my day! Don’t worry about being short and sweet next time. The problem is usually that I don’t really feel like writing a lot, and time is just a good excuse. It is a hard transition to try and think about you guys after a week with out really, well, thinking about you guys. I mean, I pray for you guys and stuff, but writing is tricky if you aren’t in the mood. I am usually still thinking about the problems I have with my missionaries and my investigators, and that kind of stuff doesn’t translate real well into a letter home. I think that THIS letter wasn’t all that good, but my excuse it that my head is all fuzzy today and that is really all that comes to mind.

Dad- man, you got to watch out for those cigar stealers, they are slippery! I thought that there was a camera there, filming the bad guys? Have fun with those pavers.

Alyce- “My little wild one. I know who I can find when I need a wild time…” sounds like you got beat up at that concert. The only thing that I can say about teaching is: learn how to ask good questions. Not just asking question, but good questions. Questions make people think and feel. Luckily for me, I teach pretty much the same lesson everyday, so I have a pretty good list of “good questions” to ask. But I am also always planning trainings and other lessons and talks and stuff, and I have to say, that is the key to take the lesson to the heart of people. Of course, the scriptures, the spirit, environment, and testimony are also important, but learning how to ask effective questions is a tough skill to learn.

I am totally beat. I am going to grab a snack and then sleep the rest of p-day.

Love you guys-
Elder Helland

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