Monday, November 10, 2014

Brownies Don't Exist Here

Hello family!

If I had to sum up this week in 1.5 words, it would be patience-trying.  But, it was also great.

Coming home from our district meeting, we finally convinced our little equadorian sister to get up at the front of the bus and talk/ yell about the Book of Mormon- rite of passage in the Brasil Belém mission.  She about wet her skirt and her trainer smoothly got up afterwards to share her testimony and basically repeat everything Sister Cañar had just said in clearer Portuguese, but she was great and we got a lot of great referrals.

One of the highlights of the week was Saturday.  Throught the Mormon Helping Hands program, the church put on a big service event offering free help with official documents, dentists, hair cutters, health screening, immunizations, and a bunch of other really awesome services.  At the last moment, the stake president asked me what the ZLs had planned for our ''booth''... I had no idea we were going to participate.  So, we whipped up a ton of brownies, all the church materials we could find, put on some mormon messages, and went out making contacts.  It was a hit.  The people LOVED the brownies (don´t exist here).  But, here´s where one of the patience trying parts comes in- all the little kids in the stake kept running back, begging for more brownies.  Smiling, I lovingly said no, only one per person- there were only so many brownies.  Some of them, however, didn´t get the hint and begged and sneeked and whined at me over and over again ALL DAY.  How many times do you need to say no before a child understands this word, and how many times can you say no and still hold a smile.  It made me really question my testimony of the necessity of eternal families.. just kidding, sort of.  But it was great!  I love getting out in the public and making contacts.  Makes me feel like a real missionary, haha.

Sunday night, we found the coolest family ever.  Their whole family is a part of this ''Marabaixo'' dance group that is one of the cultural aspects here in Amapá (I know this sentence doesn´t make sense.  I don´t remember how to speak English..)  They put on a show for us and told us a little bit about the slave history here.  It´s a dance of wooden drums and a few other simple instruments.  The women use these big skirts all the way to their ankles to emphasize their feet.  The dance steps are just little shuffling movements while waving the skirt around because usually, at night, the slaves were chained up, so they couldn´t move their feet around too much.  All chained together, the men would beat on the drums while the women shuffled around in a circle to the rhythm of the music and someone sings/ chants.  They call the chant a ''ladrão'' or robber, because they ''rob'' events that had taken place that day or stories they´d heard and turn them into music.  I LOVED it!!  The family got so excited that I got so excited that they are going to make a skirt for me and teach me how to dance.  Yes!  I love learning new cultures!  Also, they are going to the family history fair this week with us.

All in all, it was a good week.  We have a few potential baptisms for this week, so pray for our success!

Love you all!
Sister Barkdull

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