Elder Hunt in Brasilandia
Because of the temple last week I only had 30 minutes to write and got cut off. So I will start off with Friday August 29 with the story of when I bore the strong testimony in English. It was amazing because the woman, nor her daughter, nor my comp, know any English, and they say they understood it all; that is amazing. A crazy part was when I was talking about all the things I left behind for the mission and how firmly I know the church is true and in the testimony I said,
"I would die for this church! But more importantly, I LIVE FOR IT! And that is why I am here is Brasil, serving my mission!"
BOOM, the woman gasped, the Spirit was SO strong! After, we fasted for that woman to join the church.
Elder Hunt with his companion at the Sao Paulo Temple
Post temple treat- DONUTS! Elder Hunt's favorite dessert!
Saturday August 30- We had a productive day teaching 9 lessons, 6 new investigators, 21 street contacts, and we invited 2 people to be baptized and they accepted. But the highlight of the day was the sobremesa (dessert) the member had baked about 30 mini cupcakes of all flavors!!! Chocolate, lemon, vanilla, all different combos. The best was a maracujá cupcake; oh my gosh, sooo good.
Frozen Acai- IT'S SOOOOO GOOD!
Monday September 1-Our numbers for last week were: 111 street contacts, 9 investigators with baptismal dates, 13 investigators in sacrament meeting, 11 lessons taught with a member present, 20 other lessons taught, and 16 new investigators.
What your appointment book is 'supposed' to look like
We have been making amazing progress with a 17 year old investigator named Felipe. He is very smart, he understands why he needs the gospel in his life, and he is very interested.
Elder Hunt with 'Kleber'
Today we taught a less active member named Manoel Kleber Ferreria. We call him Kleber for short. He is a bodybuilder, a paratrooper, and a sergeant in the Brasil Army, and he has a brain tumor. He was extremely impressed that I workout and everything and he pulled out tons of his workout magazines and everything. After, he showed us his 9MM Beretta and showed us all this awesome army stuff and we talked about guns and the experience I had shooting the crazy guns of the Duke Family! Shout out to Dylan if he’s reading!
Elder Hunt's gym - in the house of a member in the area
Elder Hunt set up his rings to help with his workouts.
On his way to an appointment
Wednesday September 3- I will call this wild Wednesday, because today was crazy. First we went to a zone conference in Pirituba, so we took the bus for about 40 minutes, and as you all know, any time you ride the bus in Brasil, it is wild. After we came back we went to lunch with a member, but there was one problem. My companion had something growing on his face on his lip at a rather quick rate. It got bigger and bigger, and more and more disgusting. It grew LARGER THAN the size of a dime and popped out as well. It was not good. We taught a few lessons and at that point we decided he needed to get this thing checked out. So we called the mission office and had a big talk with them and then we walked for an hour and a half to a hospital/health care center.
As you can imagine, any public place in Brasil with a bunch of sick people that is not taken care of well was an interesting experience. We waited at the hospital for about 2 hours until a doctor finally saw us. The doctor came to a conclusion, and said my comp has HERPES. I bursttttt out laughing, that was very funny to me. Herpes is sexually transmitted and my comp is a missionary haha, it was ironic. Obviously it wasn’t transmitted sexually; what had happened was we shake EVERYONES hand here and I mean everyone, and my comp touched his face and that is what happened. After, we ran around different pharmacies trying to find the right medication to help him. At one point we ran across a huge intersection. Four lanes of traffic on either side, with a median in the middle. We sprinted to the median and I thought we were stopping, but my comp kept running. I quickly changed direction to catch him. I sprinted and slipped on some rocks and sand as a bus was headed towards me. Amongst the craziness and misdirection, I superman jumped head first off of 1 leg and landed roughly on the sidewalk as I felt the bus wiz by grazing my leg. That sure was a close one!
Almost hit by a bus.
We then went to teach a girl at the home of a member. While there, an autistic 8 year old sat on my lap and peed all over me...lol. Brasil is wild! After we had a dinner appointment with a member. She made us SOOO MUCH FOOD!!!! SOOO MUCH, chicken, beef, pork, lasagna, beans, rice, french fries, and more. All I could say was WOW. Great meal! Later we ended up finding the right medication for my comp and headed home. All I can say about today was that it was WILD.
Taken from a 'Favela' at a members house. It's normally not safe to take photos.
Thursday September 4- My comp woke up in the morning and the first thing he said to me was "I have a feeling we have a good chance of getting robbed today" ...lol ok hahaha. Our first lesson was deeep in the favelas, so I decided not to bring my camera that day, hahaha. Today we went to the feira and got tons of great stuff! Giant avocados, tons of bananas, guiaba, maracujá, and papaya! Great stuff!!
Avocado from the Farmers Market
But the highlight of the day was with Paulo. Paulo and his wife Sueli have 2 children and they live together, but they are not married. This is a very common problem we encounter in Brasil. One of their children my comp baptized about a month ago, but they have been very stubborn about not wanting got get married. Finally they agreed on a date to be married. In a different lesson, Sueli and the other child accepted our invitation to be baptized. BUT tonight, after much much discussion. Paulo FINALLY, FINALLY accepted the invitation to be baptized, finally!!!! We felt so good! Hopefully it all works out and eventually they can be sealed! So amazing!!!!
The street art says, "Only God Saves" It is also the name of a prevalent gang here. How ironic.
Friday September 5-We entered a home to teach. The small home was filled with family members of the person we were visiting. We sat on the couch and a woman with a baby walked in with spots on it. My comp gasps "Catapora", I had no idea what this meant, but my comp was freaking out a little bit and said we needed to leave. I jumped off the couch and bolted out the door and down the stairs as everyone in the house burst out laughing. We called Elder Allan and he told me "catapora" is chicken pox! I am glad I got out of there. Chicken pox when you are older can kill you. I’ve had my shots, but I still don’t want to to risk anything. Even funnier, on the same day, the same thing happened in a different house...lol. That night, we invited the cousin of Henrique (who is hopefully getting baptized this on the 13th) to be baptized on the same day as him and she said yes!!!! :) YAYYYYYY!!!
During the mission, I had been having many difficulties including a lot of frustration among other things. I was struggling. But Elder Allan gave me some good advice about how mentally to get lost in the work. It helped me so much and I am feeling much better. He said the most important thing is that the mission changes you and your life. I need to get lost in the work and forget myself.
Elder Hunt and Elder Silva
Saturday September 6- A cool thing about Brasil, not sure about all missions, but in ours we come home a transfer early, so I should get home sometime in June of 2016! Instead of July! Today I had a great mental transition and had a great day. An interesting thing here is that many American names are used here, like the name Eric, but it is pronounced Ericky. It is interesting how things are pronounced with their alphabet. Hunt is pronounced Hunch or Unchy, which is strange. Jacquline is pronounced Jacqaleeny haha. But there are still names like Mateus, which is Matthew in portuguese. It is also interesting with the American influence here. Everyone wears cloths with English written on them, everyone tries to speak English with me, and being from Las Vegas, USA is sort of like being a movie star; everyone thinks it is super cool. Also, much, much, much poverty exists in América, but the poverty here is like nothing I have ever seen.
ALSO, send me stickers to put on the back of my missionary tag! I would appreciate it, its a fun thing missionaries do.
This is our church building. It is very clean and very beautiful.
Sunday September 7- Remember the story about the chicken pox? Well, there was a TON of drama because of it at church on Sunday. The man who owns the house is a recent convert and he was deeply offended that we left his house because the child there had chicken pox. The man wasn’t even home when this happened. Chicken pox, with a lot of people, in a small confined área, in Brasil, and I’ve never had chicken pox before does not sound like a good combination. The man was deeply offended and let the entire ward hear about, he even got the Bishop involved. He went as far to say that my comp and I don’t have faith in Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ wouldn’t allow me to get chicken pox and that since we have the priesthood, we are immortal. This man is deeply confused about things. It was ridiculous. It was very bad and the entire ward did not like us. Not a good day in church. The church here in our área is also not well organized, so that contributed. Later we had lunch very far away in a different area. After we visited Manoel Kleber Ferriera again. He and his wife made us protein shakes and gave us ice cream and cake!!!!!! Especially since lunch was not good it was such a blessing!!! So GOOD!! He showed us more army stuff like a police baton, a KABAR Marines knife and he did a numchuck demonstration, it was sick! We then taught his two sons, one in his teens and the other in his early 20s, neither of them had been baptized, we made good progress with them! After, he drove us to our next appointment in his fast little car on the tight, wild streets of Brasilândia. He jammed out to BYE BYE BYE by Nsync and drove like a wild man; he even pulled a Marcus Hunt and did a 180 degree spin turn so we wouldn’t miss our turnoff.
It was crazy and so much fun!! He is such a cool guy and I really think our efforts are helping his Family become reactivated! After, we took two of our teenage investigators to "Family Home Evening" at the church with many other teenagers and families. I feel like it was pretty successful!
We also got the news that we are moving into a new house tomorrow!!! Crazy! But we will have to pack everything up by ourselves and it will be a big adjustment.
Our numbers for this week: only 50 street contacts, 13 new investigators with baptismal dates, 4 investigators in sacrament meeting, 11 lessons taught with members present, 16 other lessons taught, 14 new investigators, 5 lessons taught with recent converts, and 4 lessons taught with less actives. We also have 5 baptisms planned for this weekend, so we will see what happens!!!
My comp and I tied the record for the whole mission with Elder Marchant for most investigators with a baptismal date who attended sacrament meeting!!!!! Super cool!
Sunday was also the 4th of July for Brasil, so many parties and such. A funny thing about Brasilandia is that we hear fireworks going off all day long everyday, but we never ever see them. This is because they are small ground fireworks that just make a loud noise. There were many of them on Sunday. Also, Brasilândia is the equivalent to Brasil Land. Disneyland here is Disneylândia haha. See you next week! Ready for another great week!
Every single day here is hard, not going to lie, but things are getting better, and I love what I’m doing. The people are amazing and great and open to the gospel. I want you to know that I am learning and growing so much here.
There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone.
I love and appreciate you so, so much!