The language is getting better and better. Towards the end of the day I am always exhausted mentally though, and physically, of course. I have never walked so much in my life! So, this week we baptized Stenio. He is a great guy, like 27. He really has a strong desire to do what's right. He had no problem with any of the commandments. He was just super humble and willing, really an awesome guy. So, that went well, and he will be confirmed next week. Edla was confirmed this week as well. We didn’t get to teach Jonas again yet unfortunately. We wanted to go yesterday, but he was busy.
Baptism of Stenio, a member baptized him. It was one of his good friends. His mom came to see also.
It is weird though because I am getting used to living here, and I can tell because yesterday we went in a car with a member to go teach someone. It was my first time in a member's car because not many have them, they generally have motorcycles because they're easier, but it was a super nice truck. I was like in shock when we got in hahaha like---Wow! This thing is sweet! Smelling the leather and the whole bit hahaha just kidding, I really did though.
The floors here are always tile or cement. The carpet is non-existent here, so it’s a little sad to not have carpet. I will try to get some pictures of the homes. They are all right exactly next to each other, and painted bright colors, like pink and orange, blue or yellow. And when you buy a house you own the sidewalk in front of it, so you can do what you want with it. So, the sidewalk is different along the whole street, some are tile or just cement.
I haven't used the insect repellent yet. We put a fan on us at night, and I think that keeps the mosquitoes off. The windows don't have screens though, so in the balcony-type room, it is just covered by bars. So, every other night there is this pink lizard guy on the ceiling, I am going to give him a name soon if he keeps coming back. It has only rained two times luckily, and I guess it doesn't rain at all in the summer, which is next month. So, I guess it is supposed to get hotter. I used the umbrella last week, I like that thing a lot because it is so small, its like 007, no one knows I have it, they're like---where did you get that? The shoes with the laces are doing well, the bottom is starting to separate though, but I think I can get them repaired.
So, this week has gone a lot better, we are starting week five today, which is really weird. So, I have been here about a month. The other day I bought a Coxinha, like a little fried dumpling with chicken inside, kind of hard to describe, but I asked the guy all by myself and everything. Today I tried to buy ham for sandwiches, but I only knew how to say meat, so it went a little rough. This week I also talked on the phone with a member to confirm lunch. My companion just does these type things, he starts calling, then he hands me the phone. But there is this cool quote from somewhere, it says there is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. So, I guess it can be good to be uncomfortable a lot. But it is true, it is hard to speak, but you just have to do it. Also, I listened to the talk by Elder Bednar about the spiritual gift of discernment. That put into light a lot of things. You guys should listen to it. He talks about Mormon being 10-years-old, but "Quick to Observe". So, I have been trying to observe everything and discern people’s needs.
I also like the talk by Elder Holland, "Lord, I Believe". It is so true, just like it says in Alma 32, "even if you can no more than desire to believe, let that desire work in you.” I think I learned something quite interesting in my last lesson in Michigan. As a missionary, sometimes I had the attitude that the people were doubting our lessons. When they would ask questions, I would almost get a little offended on the inside (depending on the question). But in my last lesson, the guy asked, why did Peter, James and John give the priesthood to Joseph Smith, why not Jesus? At first I would normally be like---this guy just wants to argue with us or prove us wrong or something, because a lot of times that was the case, but this time, he was actually wanting to know the truth, so we just explained about the authority being given to them from Jesus, and what that means. So, I needed to change my attitude as a teacher. It was a sweet experience though because I wasn’t frustrated when he asked, I thought to myself, that’s a good question, and then we answered it. It is really important though not to question everything with doubt. Because like you are saying, there is no faith. I love that talk from Elder Holland, though, I love the General Authorities.
Something really sweet about this week though, is I learned that discouragement does not come with trouble. So, when you have a problem, it does not require you to be discouraged, and that is with everything in life. So, a lot of times we let in these discouraging thoughts like I can't do it, or I am not qualified. These thoughts come from Satan, he is trying to attack our faith and fill us with fear. I know it because I have felt it. So right now, I am filling myself with positive thoughts and promises from the scriptures, praying harder for help, because when you completely trust in the Lord, you have no fear to accomplish what he asks. So, that is what I am working on. I tend to have these thoughts like---oh, wait until you can speak well, then you can be a good missionary and teach. But I can't wait, I have the responsibility right now. Faith is believing, but the evidence of our belief is when we act, or for me, when I open my mouth and try to speak, that is when I can access the gift of tongues. So, this week I am going to put in more effort to do all I can to speak Portuguese. It is so awesome to be here and talk with all of these people. I love you all and miss you. Thank you for your prayers.