Tuesday, December 10, 2013

With My Big Hair, Long Legs, and Red Face

Ola familia!

Sister Kemer always makes fun of me because all the Brazilians have deep, lower voices, and I, with my big hair, long legs, and red face, walk around shouting ´´Ola!´´ in my peppy, cheerleader voice. It throws a lot of people off.

So, transfers... were a week late. I spent Tuesday sitting in a members house, trying not to watch her TV, and then I spent the next two days living with the stake president´s family. Kind of scary, kind of cool. I got to sleep in a queen bed all to myself! But to be honest, I did missed my squashed mattress and Delta blanket. For those two days, I went out teaching with the Stake President´s daughter, Dani, who just get back from her mission last Feb. I LOVED it. She knows so much about the gospel and really teaches by the spirit. I learned a lot from her. There was a possibility of me not getting a companion this transfer and having to teach with a member for the next 6 weeks (it´s normal here?), but the ZLs called and said that I´d be getting Sister Santos the next day as my comp.

What a blessing! I cannot say enough amazing things about her! If I were Brazilian, I would describe her as a skinny, white skinned, quite child- Brazilians have no fear of calling anyone fat, skinny, acne prone, black, or white. It´s so weird to me. But for me, Sister Santos is just so spiritual, patient, kind, helpful, loving, and everything else good. She´s really helping me to learn all the things I didn´t learn in my training here. However, we´re teaching so many people now, there´s no time for anything!

One of my favorite ´´peope´´ we´re teaching is this family of 5. The dad, Wagner, and his youngest daughter, Juliana, went to Stake Conference (where I extemporaneously [did I use that correctly?] got called on to bear my testimony) with us and LOVED it! During the talks, Juliana leaned her head on my shoulder and said, ´´I like the way it feels here. I can´t wait to go home and tell my mom about this!´´. We´ve only been able to teach Wagner one more time, but he´s already reading the end of 2 Nephi, and at church on Sunday, he kept reassuring us, ´´Until next Sunday, 8:30´´. So far, the mom and other daughter are willing to hear the lessons, but aren´t super interested in putting forth an effort. They´re not married, so we´re hoping to bring the bishop and his wife to one of our lessons with them this week to talk about ´´marriage for eternity´´. My testimony of the importance of family is getting so strong as we are finding and teaching families here. I love my family!

Cool/I can´t believe I actually did that story for this week- sometimes, as we´re walking at night, an omnibus will pass and someone yells, ´´Oi Sisters!!´´. We had no idea who it was until the bus stopped one night, and the driver told us to hop on. So we did. Turns out he´s a member in more central Belem. We see him all the time now and he gives us free rides to where ever we want! This week , we´ve been handing out these Mundo Feliz cards where if the recipient calls the number on the back, we deliver that Christmas movie of Christ´s birth to them for free and teach a lesson. On Friday, our bus friend passed by again, but after hopping on, he told us to go to the back of the bus. When we got there, he literally stopped the bus in the midst of crazy scary traffic, got out of his seat, and yelled, ´´these two young females are members of a true church and have a present to give to all of you, so listen up!" I still can´t believe I did this, but to a bus jam packed with Brazilians, I explained the cards and bore my testimony of Jesus Christ. My companion and I then handed them out and got addresses from a ton of people- 32 to be exact. We´re going to the first of them tonight! Never in my life did I think I would ever scream my testimony in Portuguese on a sketchy bus in Brazil.

The work is going really well here. Love my comp, love my area. We´re having a huge Christmas devotional here with multiple stakes and I´m accompanying a number! So nervous! And there´s never any time to practive as a missionary. Elder Fonseca is doing the rest of the piano playing. Pray for us!

I love you all!
Sister Barkdull

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