From an email dated September 14, 2009:
Surprise Monday Email! Usually our prep-day to write emails and stuff is Tuesday, but tomorrow we have a conference with our zone here in ceilândia, so our P-Day is today. Yay.
It's been another excellent week in Brazil! Last Monday this family in the ward baptized their son Lucas, and it was a great baptism with a really strong spirit there. We knew there would be non-members there, and the family asked sister canfield and I to do a special musical number and play the piano and stuff. Lucas' uncle Joel was there, but he's not a member, even though he's been to church a bunch of times, and he knows a lot. But the Spirit was awesome and the talks were great, and so after the baptism we talked to Joel. We just went over the baptism and explained some things, and then we just asked him if he would like to be baptized. He said YES, and then we were stoked. We spent every day this week working with him and teaching him all the lessons. He was interviewed on Friday, and then Sunday afternoon he was baptized! Yeep yeeeeep!!! So that was cool.
Its SO awesome how you feel the spirit at these baptisms. Then since Joel was being baptized on Sunday, we invited another couple named João (John) and Edined to come and see how a baptismal service goes. We have been teaching them for a few weeks but its hard to get them to keep their commitments. So João saw how cool the baptism was, and then afterwards we just did the same thing, talked to him some more, and invited him to be baptized. He accepted and we set a date for this Sunday! We just have to get him to stop smoking... Every time we visit them, if we catch him smoking, we take his pack and tell him to stop buying more. We now have quite the little collection of illegal cigarettes in our apartment.
Hah and the first time we were teaching him about the word of wisdom, we taught the whole thing, and then went item by item to ask him if he used any of those things.
Do you drink coffee? Yes.
Do you drink black tea? No.
Do you use drugs? No.
Do you smoke cigarettes? And then he like shouted, "Rapaz, Eu FUMO!" and it doesn't really translate as funny, but its just funny because you have to see this man. He has really dark skin, with black hair that's graying/white in some areas, and he has 2-3 teeth missing from smoking so much his whole life. And when he answered he just threw his head back and rolled his eyes and was like, "oh man, yes! I smoke!" so we were all laughing and his wife and kids were cracking up, and so we made goals with him to stop smoking and stuff.
Then we asked if he drank alcoholic beverages and he said no. But 4 feet away from us, there were all these bottles of hard liquor that were on display. So we asked him about the bottles, and then every one started laughing again, and he was like, "no! no! that's just water!" So he opened the bottles and made us smell the liquid to prove that it was just water. He's a good person, he just has his antics.
In other news, the rain storms are still coming every few days or so. Except remember last time how I said that we've been lucky and we haven't gotten caught outside in the rain yet? I jinxed it. We were inside teaching a lesson when the downpour began, but then we had to leave for an appointment. And the dad of the family was like, "are you crazy? You don't have umbrellas and your gonna get soaked, you can just stay here until it stops." But we had to meet with Joel, so we told him we would just go for it. He left for 2 minutes and came back with these cardboard boxes for us. Haha so there's my companion and I (I was wearing fun Friday clothes I think with a little white peasant blouse and a bright yellow skirt and my moon shoes/sandals), and we just head out in the pouring rain at dusk and it was super dark and we're just skipping along in the streets/rivers with cardboard boxes over our heads. Love it. Love it. Love it. Who needs an umbrella?
OH And DAD, the other day we were picking up some members to go out and teach with us, and the dad asked us to translate some music for him. He had a few songs from Earth Wind and Fire and he wanted to know what the words meant. So we listened and translated for him. But then he was playing all this other music that made me think of you and miss you SO BAD. The mini-dad-play-list included, (but is not limited to) James Brown: make it funky, lock stock and two smoking barrels, this is a man's world, I'm a soul man, and then Tom Brown's Jamaica Funk. It made me totally miss Saturday mornings listening to dad music with waffles and strawberries from the field, or a Saturday afternoon with you tinkering on the Harley or making us wash a car. GOOD TIMES.
Anyways, love you guys! The church is super true and I hope you all have a fabo week!