Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Contatos de Ouro (or Lessons in Physics)

I hope the title translates to Contacts of Gold. It makes more sense in português. Anyway. 

I had a lot planned to write and I forgot it all so I'll write really fast about the power of FASTING and PRAYER. First of all, we dropped a lot of pesquisadores this week because none of them were progressing. So frustrating, but it happens. Like, I know you have free-agency and the ability to NOT CHOOSE BLESSINGS, but WHY. It's so simple! All you have to do is read a particle of the Book of Mormon, think about it, and then ask God. He knows which church is true, and He loves you and is super ready to give you an answer. The only thing you have to do is ask. And have a desire to know. For real. And so I get kinda sad because these people are lacking the joy that comes from the gospel but they don't want to ACT on their FAITH and FIND it. But this is the work. Planting seeds, ya know? 

Anyway. Jejum. This week, we were fasting to have lots of our investigators at church because no one is going. We went to pick up some of them, none of them were awake or coming to the door, or whatever people do to avoid the missionaries. Anyway. But we showed up to Sacrament meeting and there was a STREET CONTACT there, like we literally talked to him on Saturday, we only know his NAME, and as he was riding his bike away, we shouted COME TO CHURCH TOMORROW!! And he said "If I wake up, I will!" Usually that's a "never in a million years", but I guess he woke up on time because he was there. Also, we had Fernando, and this is his second time so he can be baptized as soon as he's converted, and Vanessa and Carlos, who we kind of dropped because they never pray about the BoM and thus are never really progressing. But I guess they're progressing now so that is SUPER AWESOME because I really love their family. Anyway, *milagres são reais. *Miracles are real
Other *coisa. This week I had lots of difficulties with **idk, being angry and sad that no one is choosing blessings? But I learned a lot. Sister Grubbs shared an analogy that is super great (and I will butcher it because I am not super eloquent like her, seriously, ask to hear her poems. They're bomb). It's about physics. Imagine a particle. It is always moving because there are always forces acting upon the particle. The particle is us. We get to choose which forces will act upon us- the forces of God or the forces of the world, but we are ALWAYS moving. If the forces of God are not acting upon us, the forces of the world are. And so we have to choose which forces will act upon us. And by which forces come feelings of despair, sadness, and incapability? The world. The devil. And so I decided, on Thursday, which was particularly distressing for me, to open the scriptures with a prayer in my heart and immediately found and answer. It was Alma 32:13, but verses 1-16 is the whole story. Anyway. Moral of the story: let the forces of God act upon you. Moroni 10:6 (I think??) says that everything good comes of God. If you want the blessings, put in a tiny bit of effort!
*things  **short for "I don't know".

Last thing: milestone in portuguese. We are going to have an awesome ward activity and I came up with the name. Feveresta. (*Festa de Fevereiro). I though it was kinda lame but everyone liked it so that's cool. Woo! I made a new word in portuguese! **FLUENTE. DOM DE LINGUAS!!!!! * Feast of February   **Fluent. Gift of Tongues!

I'm loving this work. I love this people.

Anyway, this was a bomb week in general. The church is true, God is good.

xoxoxox, hope y'all have a bomb week!

-Sister Hartman

Answers to questions:

-Do you have tablets or phones? It seems like missionaries here do. 
Yes we have a phone: the Nokia. We cannot text but every once in awhile receive one from Pres Cruz. We have unlimited minutes with other missionaries/people of the mission but only 100 minutes for other people. No tablets. If I serve in a city like Pelotas or Porto Alegre, the question isn't "will I get mugged?" it's "how many times will I get mugged?" Every missionary has a mugging story here.

-How do you get around?
We mostly walk. It would be nice to have a bike- our area is huge; 3  neighborhoods and the city of Cassino- but like tablets, bikes would be a little hard to keep here. We take the bus to Cassino and Bolaxa and to zone/district mtgs. Basically, we take the bus if we leave our neighborhood. 

-What's the most beautiful thing you've seen lately?
Muita Coisas! (Many things!) First, the sky. Every day it's different and breathtaking- it's the kind of beauty that cat be captured via machine, so no pictures. Sorry. Other things: When we walk into sacrament mtg and everyone is hugging and chatting with our investigators (Simone finally went to church after 8 weeks of us begging hands and knees...AND brought her whole fam. WHAT?! MILAGRE!!) Man. Best Sunday Ever!

-How's the culture there different?
It's way different. Lots of hugs. No one keeps their promises. : ) Everyone believes in every religion. We have many baptisms, but few converts. The culture is so laid back. Like, "Oh, yeah. Church IS important! I'll for sure go!" This means: "Maybe in my lifetime. " But people are super generous. Sometimes random people from when knocking doors feed us. We don't carry water bottles because we literally can ask for water from anyone. Life is a lot simpler here. Kids actually play with toys, children are REALLY well behaved (unless they're rich), people sit in front of their houses with family/friends/neighbors and drink *chimarrao, there's always kids playing soccer, and here in Rio Grande, there's usually someone riding a horse down the middle of the street. Kids of 7 to adults of 80 ride horses. Alone. It's something else. Houses are small, but everyone has tv. Which is on. Probably like literally 24 hours a day. People seem very educated- feels like everyone has a "Congrats on your graduation" banner in front of their house. I think it's difficult to get a job tho. Pretty much everyone lives humbly. *Mate also known as yerba mate, chimarrão or cimarrón is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink
A Missionary tan

Guess who won??


1 comment:

  1. LOVE reading your blog. It strenghtens my testimony!