I had a bunch of really interesting and weird experiences that happened this week.
1st: I got frisked by a drunk guy. We were walking to an appointment, and we heard this guy yelling at us to stop. He was about 100 feet away and was full on sprinting at us. Needless to say we stopped. He claimed to be the deputy chief of police, and proceeded to feel me up and down for a weapon. It was VERY awkward!
2nd: I met an American lady on the bus! It was really weird because she looked very brazilian, but we were only able to talk for a short amount of time and I wasn´t able to get any information so we could stop by and try to teach her some lessons. She said that she´s in Fortaleza teaching English and is originally from LA (little shout out to Sister T, so keep an ear open for any Portuguese you might hear!). We ended up seeing her AGAIN (which was very weird) in the store when we were shopping for groceries. Very weird coincidence!
3rd: I was on a split with Elder C, and we went up to this lady to ask her for directions. She ended up saying something to this effect: ´Oh my heavens, I never thought that angels walked on the earth. I will do anything that you want me to!´ I´m not even kidding. I did´t understand all of what she said at the time, but I caught the gist of it when my companion explained it to me a bit slower afterwards.
4th: So I´m a happy missionary. I say hi to just about everyone on the street. Just like a ´good afternoon´ or ´goodnight´ or other various noises that brazilians use to say hi to each other. I said hi to this group of girls, and heard one of them say after we had passed ´opa, nunca na minha vida!´ Which means: Wow, never in my life! My companion thought it was hilarious, but that´s not all! Not even 5 minutes after, I said `oi, boa noite´ to this group of people, and one of the guys who wasn't wearing a shirt replies: `boa noite, você é lindo!´ Along with this very very creepy look. That means, good night, you are beautiful! AHHHHH SO CREEPY!
5th: This lady asked us if Mormons have sex. It was weird because she didn´t use a word that I understand, and I only understood afterward when my companion explained it to me because the word that she used was kind of like the ´stronger version´ of a word. Kind of like the difference between bonita and linda. Typically that word is usually only used with prostitutes. My companion was very very awkward, and I didn´t understand why, but it made a lot of sense once he explained thing to me!
6th: I learned that there are at least 40 different curse words in Portuguese!!! I've already said 2 of them on accident because just about all of them are only 1 syllable different than a normal word! For example: I was practicing with the secretaries of the mission on how to teach people, and at the end I was trying to say that I was like a deer in the headlights when other people are speaking Portuguese. The word for deer is ´veado´. The curse word is ´viado´. It´s a really offensive word that means a gay person. So I ended up calling myself that in front of the secretaries. I totally had no idea I had said something bad, sooooo I ended up finding out that there a lot more words tha you shouldn´t say in Portuguese than there are in English!
I´m reading a ton of the scriptures and I´m about halfway through Jesus the Christ. I like it a lot, but sometimes it gets a little difficult to read. I´m just about finished with the Book of Mormon again, and I will start reading D&C after this. Also, about the baptism thing, I think that they rush it a LOT in the US (because it says to do that in PMG) but in Brazil we work a lot slower with inviting people to be baptized. I still haven´t had any baptisms yet, but we have a lot of people that are close. That´s one problem with opening an area is that I think that we will have like 4 or 5 baptisms or more set for 1 day!
One passage of scripture that I've been thinking a lot about this past week is the whole chapter of Alma 32. It talks about relating the faith to a seed. If you plant that seed and take care of it and if it is a good seed, it will grow. This next part is what I've been focusing on. After the seed starts to grow, and we know that it is a good seed, we have to take care of it. If we don´t take care of our faith the plant), it won´t take root, and then when the scorching sun comes (trials and problems in our life) the plant (our faith) will wither and die. Not because the seed wan´t good, not because the plant wasn´t good, or not because the fruit that it would´ve produced wouldn´t be good, but because of a lack of nourishment on our part. Our duty in this life is to strengthen our faith, to help our plant to take root, so that we will be able to stand firm in the face of the trials that we have and not wither when the sun comes out. Sometimes we face difficult situations, and sometimes things are easy. We must always be seeking to strengthen our testimonies at ALL times. I know that this is my duty right now, to help others to become more firm in their faith, so that they can remain strong in their faith today. I love being a missionary and seeing the change that you can see in a person´s life as they develop. It´s definitely one of my favorite things about being a missionary! I love you all lots!