Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brazilians, So Painfully Blunt

Briana and her friend from the MTC, Sister Kremer.

Hey family!

This week- a little bit more sun burnt, a little bit more tired, a little bit a better missionary.
At zone conference last week, there was a huge focus on making contacts, and at zone meeting, our ZLs said that whoever made the most contacts this week would get cake. So, we´ve been contacting like crazy! Contacting means going up to random people in the street, introducing yourself, learning a little bit about them, applying what they said to the gospel, and then getting their info to talk more about the gospel. Honestly, here in Brazil, it should be really easy for me because you can ask people for their address, phone number, or first born child and they´ll hand it over without a second thought. But I´ve always had issues with just going up to people and talking to them, so even though I know I´ll have success, I still freak out a little inside everytime we pass someone on the street. However, I am improving! By small and simple things.
We´ve had some pretty funny, pretty creepy, and pretty testimony building experiences from contacting, though. This past week, we met Jonatha sitting in the street by a ´´house of carne´´- butcher´s shop. I didn´t really think much about him when we made the contact, but when we came back and taught him the first lesson the next day, I can definitely say that that was the strongest I´ve felt the spirit in any lesson. This guy is special. Usually, we have to struggle a little to get people to accept a baptismal date as a goal, but no, Jonatha accepted a date, wanted to pray, read the pamphlet, and literally bore his testimony to us of what he felt when he prayed about the church the last time we visited. Here in Brazil, the missions baptize people really quickly. I´ve had a lot of problems with this, but it´s because of people like Jonatha that help me to see why. When we invite people to pray about the church, and they do with REAL INTENT, Heavenly Father really does answer their prayers. It´s not just a fleeting thought, ´´oh maybe this church would be a good thing.´´ These people are having literal responses. I´m so grateful for the testimony I´m gaining of real, powerful, and recognizable responses from Heavenly Father. If you need to know something, He´s going to tell you!
As far as funny/ not funny experiences go, we were headed to the ZLs house after lunch to pick up some more BoMs when we ran into ´´Papai Noel´´. This brazilian man literally had a full on white beard that went up to his eyes (which were blue- wierd here in Brazil), and was super funny and friendly. I can´t remember the last time I´ve smiled and laughed so much. I´ll be blunt- he was really taken with me. It´s not pride, it´s true. He just kept smiling and saying how beautiful I was, and I guessed he asked the ZLs which of them was dating me (missed that part). Not going to lie, I liked it a little bit that I was getting so much attention, and in front of the ZLs (anyone would, don´t kid yourself), up until he rubbed his thumb on my forehead and said, ´´oh, but how sad. You have so much acne here´´.... uggghhh, was not a fan of that, and in front of the ZLs... Whatever, I´m pretty stressed out right now, and it´s not like it´s a secret, it´s right there for the whole world to see. Brazilians, so painfully blunt.
Anyways, time´s up! Thanks to all whole emailed me last week; it meant a lot! I especially liked Sister Hammond´s ´´people don´t realize that missionary work isn´t all cozy chats infront of the fireplace.´´ Haha, what I wouldn´t give to feel carpet again!
I love the gospel, and I´m loving the opportunity I have to share it with others more and more every day! The gospel´s true!
Love, Sister Barkdull

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