It is a new year already, can you believe it! I will be spending all of 2012 in Brazil, that is a crazy thought! My companion and I made a bunch of new years resolutions for this year, most pertaining to mission rules such as we won’t swim this year, or watch movies, or other stuff like that, it was pretty funny. Then we made actual goals like completing the Book of Mormon (for me in English and Portuguese) by a certain time and reading the other books that we have. And goals for our numbers and how we really want to help people. This week Sister Leite and I have truly grown closer, we were able to understand each other better I thought. She helped me boost my confidence in my language speaking ability that I am actually good, and I shouldn’t be discouraged. She talked to me a lot about that yesterday. So now in the New Year, my spirits are raised and I am ready to serve my Lord.
I would have a bunch of crazy stories for you about the crazy Brazil parties... but we stayed inside most the day the last two days, which meant a lot of studying, which I actually really enjoyed. New Years Eve we woke up probably around 5or 5:30am to really loud fireworks going off, we tried to sleep for the next hour. That evening (not very late, so we avoided the drunk people) we went around our little downtown area and took pictures of the Christmas lights before they shut them off. Some houses here were sooo pretty with the lights, but only a few.
We four Sisters then for dinner made mini pizzas and no-bake cookies, but since they don’t have peanut butter here it was a bit different, still pretty good though. I was then soo tired I fell asleep about 10:30 pm (when I normally do), but then Sister Leite woke me up for the fireworks. They were pretty little, but super loud. I liked seeing them, but then went right back to bed after the 5 or 10 minutes. I realize in America we really go all out for our holidays with 45min firework shows, it was a funny thought.
Yesterday for New Year’s Day everyone in town basically was sleeping from partying the night before or had gone out of town. We tried to visit people but only found one that was home and awake. So we studied a lot. We visited a member though, and she introduced me to the way they eat avocados. WAY different, but really good. They thought it was weird that we eat it with salt. They eat theirs like a smoothie. With milk and sugar, and blend it all up and drink it, it was super good. They kept saying “Oh the American likes it, give her more.” It was funny.
This week with teaching people, another one of our baptisms literally fell, (the same family, other brother) this one fell off his bike and was scrapped up all over and really bad on his face. We came in to his house and were like - Oh no! The first thing he said to us was “Can I still get baptized?” It made us laugh a little, he is 13 years old. So finally this up coming week we plan on baptizing him and his brother. We had been visiting this really old lady for a little while but not in the past week. We visited her this week and she forgot who we were. But she took hold of my hand for a hand shake but then hung onto in the whole time we were talking to her and my arm too. For a little old lady she had a lot of strength. My hand hurt afterwards. She kept saying - Oh you are sooo pretty, you need to get married, find a boy here. Oh you’re so pretty. It was weird, but really funny at the same time.
We started teaching this young man this week who already attends church and for our first lesson he asked for the baptismal interview questions. Me and Sister Leite were a little thrown off guard and didn’t know what to do.
I love my mission here and the people. I am so grateful for the blessings that God gives me in my life. I hope that all of you have a good new year!
Sister Rebecca Nelson