Thursday, September 11, 2014

It Wasn't Just Any Meat

Boa tarde família!

Transfers are today and... I´m staying!  Here´s for a third transfer in Cidade Nova!  Yes, Sister Torres is staying too, which is great because last week we started to teach each other our languages.  My dreams of being tri-lingual would´ve been pretty short lived if one or both of us had been transferred.  Right now, it´s pretty funny hearing Sister Torres practice, ´´Good morning Bishop!  How are you?´´ for half an hour everyday with the mission language book, but I have a feeling it´s going to get old pretty fast.

This week was really great in terms of investigators at church.  The young women´s president here is amazing.  She has a really crazy child, her husband´s not doing so well in the church, she´s the only member in her family, and the young women are really struggling, but she never gets discouraged!  Just works even harder.  She always finds at least an hour to teach with us every week, offers to do family nights, follows up with our YW investigators, and always invites our investigators to sit with her at church.  I love the fact that instead of ´´cursing God and [dying]´´ as Job´s friends counseled, she´s letting faith define her trials by putting Heavenly Father first and pushing herself to do more. I´ve learned, and am still learning, this a thousand times over on my mission.  It´s a response so simple and perfect that it´s simply easy to forget.  How can we get through trials?  As Moses would say, ´´look to God and live´´.

Maybe it sounds like I complain about the food here a lot.  I actually really like it!  I LOVE all the new fruits and vegetables they have here.  However, I think I will forever be a chicken breast and normal cow parts lover. Strange meat just doesn´t sit well with me.  

Sunday was probably the worst lunch I have ever had.  Irmão Leal, a really kind, olderly gentleman in the ward, told us that especially for us, he decided to make a recipe that he learned when he went to Mozambique on business.  Aunt Debby and Uncle Toby, if that was what you were eating for a year and a half on your mission, you are saints.  At first glance, the dishes looked normal, even good- yellow mingão, stewed meat, and fatty bacon, so I piled it onto my plate, it being fastSunday.  When I went to put the first spoonful in my mouth, I noticed too late small black things poking out of the pig fat- HAIR.  Another Irmão had tried to explain to me that the fat wasn´t actually bacon, but pig skin.  I didn´t understand until I saw the little hairs sticking out of it.  And we were supposed to eat it!  Also, it wasn´t just any meat, it was cow heart, tongue, stomach, intestine, and a variety of other organs.  My companion kept begging people to not tell me what I was eating, but I already new.  My slow, painful chews turned into just swallowing spoonfulls whole.  It was seriously so disgusting, but I knew that it would offend this member so much if I told him I couldn´t even stand to finish it.  I almost cried.  I guess Irmã Patrícia sitting next to my saw my distress (I thought I was doing a pretty good job hiding it), and when the Irmão who´d made the food was pouring water for Elder Lopes, she switched plates with me.  Irmã Patrícia has earned her place in heaven.  She not only finished my food for me, but took me to her house after and made a sandwhich.  I would´ve accepted flour and water!  Even my companion from Equador, who eats some really awful stuff, said that she was not a huge fan of lunch.  Well, I tried, and I don´t think the Irmão noticed.  Hopefully he didn´t sign up for another lunch this month..

Well, time is up!  I love you all so much!  I love sharing the gospel with others.  There really is no other work as important, life changing, or life fulfilling as guiding people to the restored truth.

Muito amor,
Sister Barkdull

P.S. Donations to my Jeep fund are greatly appreciated.

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