So this week has been pretty interesting, a lot of things have happened. The main thing that happened this week was that we had a zone conference in Recife this week, it was a Christmas devotional. We got to leave for it Thursday morning and spend the day in Recife. Eight of us sisters in my zone shared one room, it was at the hotel right by the temple like when I first got here. And yes we got to go to the temple again. I have gone twice already here, which I guess is pretty lucky. This time I went through in Portuguese, because last time I had a head set with the English translation. It was a bit hard, but good.
Because it was then our p-day the sisters wanted to go shopping, which I thought was weird. We went to the mall, everything is super expensive, but we found a Santa Claus, or Papi Noel. We did some preparation for zone conference the next day, and then they all wanted to go to Burger King (yes they have that and McDonalds here, only in the cities) All the Brazilian sisters were super excited and the Americans all thought it was really weird, and it was really expensive. It was funny though.
The next day we had a zone conference on the other side of town with half of our mission. It was fun. They had people give talks and had each zone sing. It was good, but of course I didn't understand everything. I got to meet other missionaries in the mission and see the elders in my district in the MTC who had gotten their visas. It was then an adventure to get home, my district, six of us (4 sister, 2 elders) and our zone leaders all traveled together with all of our stuff. Some how for just one night these Elders had a lot of things, they also received some packages too that they had to take home. But we had to walk to this station to take a metro which was small and cramped to what they call a subway (but its above ground) so it is more like a train with a metro feel. You are packed body to body on that thing. We then took that to basically a Greyhound bus station where we then went home. Right after that, the other sisters we live with had their ward Christmas devotional and we all had to sing. We were pretty tired after that day was done. Our ward had their Christmas devotional yesterday where our mission president came, so it was a big deal.
Some interesting small things happened this week. We still don't have water, though right now I'm not sure. We didn't have water for 9 days. Then this morning we thought that it arrived again and were really happy - took showers and then it stopped. So.... I'm not sure if we have water or not. This whole week we have been taking showers at a members house, but usually only every other day or so. The people who live below us also have a reserve, and they net us take showers there, but it was with a bucket and a cup. So that's how I have been taking showers the last part of this week - with a nice cold bucket of water and a cup. It was an experience, makes you grateful for having a shower!
I also hadn't done my laundry since the MTC and was out of some things so we went to a member's house who we thought said had a washer, but they didn't. So I got to wash clothes by hand for the first time. I told them I didn't know how, and they always say..."Oh sister!" It's funny. I feel like my life has been spoiled by having a washing machine and a shower with warm water. But now I know how!
We were supposed to have a baptism this week but it fell through. Here they say it "fell". But our baptism literally fell. He fell off his bunk bed and broke his collarbone, so we decided to postpone it. We also still had to teach him a few more things.
Funny short story. One day we decided to just go around and do contacts. And walked around all day and did contacts and we kept running into dogs and cats and would pretend with them (there are a lot of stray dogs here!!). It was funny. This one dog we were talking to started barking at us and Sister Leite ran and screamed, it was really funny. Don't worry, we talked to real people too, and got a lot more new contacts.
I also had to give a talk in sacrament yesterday. Church is backwards here compared with home, and they have sacrament last instead of first. Half way through the second meeting one of the counselors asked me to give a talk in sacrament the next hour. A slight bit of panic ran through me, but I had a feeling they were going to ask me. So I pulled out one of my talks that I had prepared in the MTC and used that. Oh how grateful I am for the MTC, every day.
This week was good and we worked a lot. Hope everyone is doing well.
Sister Rebecca Nelson