There are some different religions here. There are some African ones that meshed with Catholisism. There’s some Candomble (apparently), and espiritismo. It’s semi-alarming to see ‘oferenda’ (offerings?) in the middle of the street at night. An oferenda is just an offering of food to the ‘spirits’ every night. Hmmmm.. Sounds a little sketch. yeah. I don’t know why it has to be in the middle of the street though.
There are a lot of Evangelicals and Catholics here too. Nearly everyone we talk to already belongs to one church or another. It’s pretty cool that they already recognize God and are excercising the faith that they have. But it can be frustrating too because sometimes they think that they have all of the information about Christ that they need already.
Apparently in all of Brazil (outside of the CTM) you cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet. Hmm.. I did not know this, and I of course put toilet paper in the toilet after arriving at our apartment! It was a little funny when Sister T (my companion) had to explain it to me. Apparently all of the american foreigners do the same thing.
Anyway this week was just fantastic (for the most part). I am such a standout in this region – it’s kind of weird. The only other ‘true blond’ I’ve seen is another American sister in my zone. I’m sure she stands out too. Everybody tells me I look just like a doll (or barbie). It’s weirding me out. They just kind of stare at me for long stretches and then ask the question “You’re shy aren’t you?” And then I try to explain to them that I just don’t quite know how to express myself in Portuguese yet…not to mention the fact that I have no idea what to say when they look at me like a little playdoll.
My companion is amazing. She is from Brasilia. We get along really well. I make her do yoga with me or go running in the mornings. Working out in some format really helps me de-stress. Although sometimes it seems like we work out more during the day because we are constantly running to catch buses or reach appointments on time. My only complaint would be the lack of progressing investigators. We need to work harder to get more people keeping their commitments.
General Conference was so amazing and uplifting. All of it was in Portuguese, however, and that made it a little more difficult to understand what was being said. I understood Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk the best (you know because he talks at the pace that a turtle walks…slowly). His pace of speech used to irritate me slightly in the past, but this time I really appreciated it because I could understand the slower translation so much better. It was a blessing, truly. And the talk in Portuguese was so dang cool! History is being made folks. This church is becoming even more diverse- it’s cray cray.
I think that the best way to approach conference is with questions, and I did just that. You would not believe how well my questions corresponded to the talks given during conference. God truly does answer prayers. Now I just need to put all of my learning into practice. I hope that I can help my investigators better with this knowledge. Prophets are so important in this day and age!
I gotta go!
Tell me all about your very favorite talks and what y’all have been up to! I love y’all so much. Keep up the good work. Keep the faith.