Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Long, Slimey, White, Lemon Marinated Brazillian Worm

Briana trudging through what she describes as "poopy rain water".
Hello família!

Once again, this week flew by! A lot of things, good and not so good, happened.

This week we were able to find a lot of new people to teach, FINALLY. My companion literally has a silver tongue (or the gift of tongues?) because everytime she invites someone to be baptized, they say yes. We taught a lady really struggling with financial and familial problems in her life about the gospel of Christ. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I´ve had, however, this lesson is one of the harder ones to incorporate baptismal dates. I was so happy during that lesson because I really felt like I was receiving revelation from the spirit, and inspired questions were just raining down from the heavens, but I had no idea how to ´´dar data´´. That´s where my sweet, gifted companion came in. After I finished talking and committed her to pray more personally with Christ, my Sister Felix swooped in and just straight up recited that baptismal invites, and Maria de Nazaré accepted! I was blown away- so simple. Oh me of little faith, wherefore didst I doubt? My comp has a hard time making contacts and iniciating lesson, whereas I love talking, demais. So, I do the talking, she does the inviting, and we´re learning from one another. Dream team.

Or one would think so. Yesterday was really frustrating, but more sad. Not only did none of our investigators come to church, but none of the recent converts from the past year or inactives. I couldn´t just sit in church knowing that people were missing their opportunity to renew their coventants, so I grabbed my comp and we went a´fishing. I have never walked so much in my life as we walked yesterday. We tracked down ever single recent convert and inactive that had recently been coming to church and blatently said, ´´you are breaking your covenants´´. It´s crazy to me how before my mission, I didn´t realize how these simple, small things are so true and so important. It´s like my testimony was more that the church and it´s doctrines are good and bring happiness to our lives, but now I know it. I know it´s true, I know it´s real, and it hurts so much when these people waste their opportunities to receive blessings, or they don´t put forth the effort to understand or live the gospel. I will never take my testimony or the gospel for granted again.

We also had our first missionary ward activity on Friday- pie in the face (or however you translate that into English). It went well- we got a lot of references out of it, but man, I am kicking myself in the shins for every church activity I never went to. It´s like all my past ´´sins´´ or lack of understanding are coming back to haunt me on my mission. All I can say now, is that I am a converted member. Attend your ward´s activities. That´s all I´ve got to say about that.

On a cultural side note, I had a once in a life time experience this week. Once in a life time because I will NEVER do that again. I heard about this Paraense cultural delicacy from my last zone leader, and thought, ´´you are crazy, I would never eat that´´. That was then, this is now. Yes, Mom and Dad, I ate worms, and not your every day earth worm or meal worm, but a long, slimey, white, lemon marinated Brazilian worm with a big old eye ball at it´s head. It´s called Toru, and apparently it´s really nutritious. There´s a good story with this, but I´m out of time. But let it be known that I, Sister Briana Barkdull, did not let any cultural experience pass me by while on my mission, be it trudging through poopy rain water or eating giant worms.

The members really like me now. I´ve joined the club.

I love you all! I love the opportunity I have to serve here in Brazil! I love what I´m learning and sharing it with others- I know it´s true!

Have a great week!
Sister Barkdull

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