MONDAY- First P-day in Iheus! after emailing and lunch we headed to the Chapel and stayed there for 2 hours, i practiced the piano and loved every minute of it. Around 4 we left to do visit some beaches and cool spots around our area and i took loootss of pictures. Emile was our ´´tour guide´´. She took us to some really beautiful places and after we walked to the centro ( a pretty long walk, but pretty too). I bought a pull-up bar and some other supplies for the house, then we took an ônibus home and planned for the next day. i also weighed myself in the centro and i was 78 kilos. Idk what the conversion for that is in pounds. somebody do the math and let me know! :)
TUESDAY-Nothing special happened today. We did a few verifications and we taught the beginning of the restoration to some old feller. i forgot his name. The family that we were supposed to have lunch with couldnt so they gave us money to buy lunch. we went to this ´´all you can eat´´ place. we barely had enough money, but it worked out and it was great! Today we made 5 new investigators. one of them was a man that i started talking to while we were in line to the ATM. At this point in my mission, i am understanding a lot more than i can speak. It´s a little frustrating because i want to be able to speak with ease, but im learning everyday.
WEDNESDAY- today our lunch fell through, but my companion called Joaquim and he agreed to have us over for lunch at 2:00 pm. We continued our studies until then, but when we arrived lunched wasnt ready and we waited until 5:00 pm . We waited at his house for a little over 4 hours. while we were waiting we helped him clean a big paint spill in one of the rooms in his house. we used a pressure washer and knives to scrape the paint off the floor! because of this we had a pretty unproductive day. Funny story, when i took a shower the power went out again and we didnt get to use our fans because there was no power so it was a hot night!
THURSDAY- Today was a great zone meeting. this was only my second zone meeting and it was a lot better than my first. I understood a lot more of what was being said and i got a package and a small bubble wrap envelope! Today i talked a lot with the other missionaries, but i talked more with Sister Scowcroft and Elder Fernandes. Sister Scowcroft is from New York City. She has a younger brother that has already returned from his mission in Japan and she has another brother in the São Paulo CTM right now. It was nice talking English with her but at the same time it felt odd.. Elder Fernandes is from Capo Verde, Africa! He is cool and i sensed that he is a powerful missionary. Another Funny story: throughout the meeting my box with my name on it was sitting on a table next the the chalkboard, right in my vision. It was screaming my name the whole time. When the meeting was over, we were already late for lunch, so we quickly took pictures as a zone and headed out for the ônibus. I grabbed my box and when we were walking down the road from the church to catch the ônibus Elder Fernandes came running out with my other little bubble wrap package. I didnt even realize that i had another package. I saw both, but i was so excited i got a box from my family that i forgot to even look at whose package the other one belonged too! A classic McKay. I carried my packages on the ônibus and all the way to lunch, which was messed up again. the family forgot they were feeding us today so they gave us a little money for lunch. We found a cheap restaurant where we could affort a meal after lots of searching.
I opened my box and i was so happy! it consisted of Doritos, Kit-kats, pringles, and 2 jars of PEANUT BUTTER!! YESS! the other smaller package had some medicine and a letter from my mom and Raimie.
FRIDAY: Today we taught the mother of Rodolfo the Plan of Salvation. She said she liked it and felt good about it. This time around i felt like i did a better job teaching the parts that i taught, even though it was far from perfect. She gave us cake afterwards so it was an extra-awesome lesson. Also today, all of our verifications were unsuccessful. Everybody on our list didnt live in the same address anymore.
SATURDAY: Today we started our fast for a mission activity with President Bangerter. Once again our lunch fell through. After visiting with Dilson we were walking back home when the bishop drove past us and he stopped to give us a ride. And apparently the ride came at a cost, because he asked Elder J. Sousa and I to give 10 minute talks in church tomorrow. We had so little time to prepare and at first i was a little shocked and stressed because of the short-notice. And of course my talk was to be given in Portuguese. So with the hour and 1/2 of time i had at night, i prepared a talk about two Christlike attributes. Other than recieving an assignment to talk in Sacrament meeting 3 other good things happened today. We taught the Restoration to Cristina and Alessandro. Cristina is an elderly women who is living in some difficult circumstances. She lives in a tiny house with very little resources. She is constantly worried about her safety because her neighbors use and sell drugs. We told her she is safe because she is with us and she calmed down. We continued to teach and she agreed and shouted amen a few times throughout the lesson. Every now and then she would inform us us some difficulties that she is facing and we did our best to address them. At one point in the lesson she began to cry. We explained the ´´fruits of the Spirit´´ and told her that she was feeling the Spirit. We said she felt ´´good and happy´´ inside. We set a date for her to enter into the straight and narrow path and she accepted to preparer herself. Afterwards we taught Alessandro (the man i contacted in line to the ATM) the Restoration. We didnt quite get through all of it and he had some doubts, but other than that he accepted it pretty well.
SUNDAY- My talk in church went well. I fell short of 10 minutes, but i felt like i did my best for the little time i had to prepare. and i turned out fine because Elder J. Sousa ended up going for 15 minutes, making up for my short talk :). After breaking our fast and eating a delicious meal a Nazilda´s house we went out to work. Here´s the bad news... literally all of our plans fell through. No one was home that we had planned to visit. Even our family night with Joaquim got cancelled. Sundays tend to be a difficult day to find people. they are usually sleeping or not home. and if we want to do contacting on the street, there i hardly anyone walking around, because everyone is either at a bar, partying, or at the beach, or in their churches. So we stopped at Gloria´s house and ate cake, then passed by Rodolfo´s house and visited with him for a while, then headed home. We think Rodolfo will get baptized this coming Saturday! He just needs to quit drinking coffee and have his interview. he is a really smart dude and he knows that what he has been taught is true. he also consistently attends church so he is really ready! Shout out to Rodolfo!
I want to talk about my purpose of being a missionary. the purpose of a missionary is to invite everyone to come unto Christ be helping them recieve the restored Gospel through repentence, paptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Lots of people think that missionaries are only here to baptize. I am serving as a missionary principally to bring people to the knowlege of Christ´s atonement. Many people dont truly know about this and dont understand the word ´´atonement´´. what ive learned about the Atonement of Christ is that we need to become ´´at one´´ with Christ. this means understanding the four parts of the Atonement: 1. that he sacrificed for us, 2. that his blood was shed for us, 3. that he died for us, then 4. that he was resurrected. These are the fours parts of the Atonement. Many people dont realize that without being baptized by the proper power and authority, they cant fully enjoy all the blessing of the Atonement. Through Christ´s atonement we will all be resurrected. that is one blessing that every single person that ever existed on this earth will have reguardless of how they lived. We will all regain a perfect body and be immortal. But if we are baptized with the proper authority, like Christ was, and live in accordance with His pure gospel, we have the access to true repentence through partaking of the sacrament- renewing our baptismal convenents and recieve forgiveness. This knowledge that this is possible is so great. the fact that we can live with our families forever in Heaven and enjoy all the blessings that our Father in Heaven (God) has in absolutely incredible. And what is even more amazing is that THIS IS REAL. Jesus Christ is REAL, his miracles were REAL, his sacrifice and atonement for us is REAL, his ressurrection was REAL, and his plan for us is REAL. I know without doubt that this is what God has in store for us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For these reasons i am in a foreign land, struggling and learning how to love the people and Portuguese here, so i can share this wonderful message with them. I know that this is true and that the true gospel of Christ is for everyone. It can help and heal anyone who is hurting or needs peace and truth in their lives. I know this because ive seen its healing power in my own life. i invite all people who read this email who havent learned all they would like about the blessings that are in store for them, to ask. Ask one of your Mormon friends, and more importantly ask God if these things are true. I know they are true and thats why i am spending 2 years of my life sharing this with others, when i could be studying and going to college, etc. I love this work and i hope everyone gets a chance to learn more about this Gospel. I love you all!
some other questions that ive answered today:
1. Are the people way less dressed because they are on the coast? answer- more or less, it isnt as bad as i thought. its mosty just short shorts. i havent seen many bikinis or stuff like that.
2. Are the people more humble?- i dont really know. but i like the people here better than my other area.
3. Is the city bigger or smaller?- the centro is way bigger and better, and my area has actually roads, like cobble stone and others are normal like cement. this is good for my asthma, in conquista it was pretty much all dirt roads so it was really dusty and hard on my breathing. so i still use my inhaler here, but not as much as in Conquista, and my shoes stay a lot cleaner here.
4. How's the food?- exactly the same as Conquista, delicious!
5. Does anyone speak English?- not really. people study it a bit and they just know really reallllyy simple phrases, but not much. it is always really funny when they randomly start trying to speak a phrase in english. one announcer old dude, shouted at us through his microphone, ´´hey! mormons! you americans!! ´´ i walked over to him and he ended up being reeally nice and only wanted to know if i was american and then he spoke a little english that he knew. it was funny!
6. What are you going to do for pday today?- probably nothing. elder sousa wants to sleep. i cant believe the things he wants to do on P- day when we have the beautiful creations of God for us to go visit and take pictures of! hahaha its a little odd