Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Week in Natal, Brasil

Hello Everyone!
Wow, I have so much to say this week! So many awesome stories to tell! So- let us begin!
First, I love being a missionary! It´s difficult at times, but really rewarding and fun. I have a wonderful companion, Sister Pozete. She is Brazilian from Sao Paulo, speaks better English than I speak Portuguese (don’t worry, we speak in Portuguese because she is too shy to speak in English) and a great teacher. I am so grateful to have her as a companion; we work hard and have fun!

This week was full of a lot of puzzled expressions and hours of time where I didn’t understand what anyone was saying! I don’t get too frustrated; just keep trying to listen more and more. In the period of a few days, I have learned so much, and can understand them better every day! I am loving Portuguese and it feels so neat to be able to speak in another language.

I have an amazing story. One day this week, we were given a reference for a family, in which one of the ladies has problems with her legs and the doctors can’t figure out what it is. We visited the family, which consisted of a grandmother (Francisca) and a daughter (Solange-40´s I think??) We began teaching them about the gospel, Joseph Smith, the restored church with authority from god, and about the Book of Mormon. They said they would pray to know it was true, and that they would come to church. The grandmother then began talking passionately, which I couldn’t understand a thing, for a long time, and began crying. She told us that she had been praying the night before to find help for her daughter. That night she had a dream that she was walking along a cliff when she saw her son, who is a member. He said ``Mom, jump off the cliff with me, I will help you!` She was scared and said she didn’t have enough faith, so he jumped off and was just fine. She continued walking, and she saw a brown girl with a book, who said `jump off the cliff!` Francisca said that she didn’t have enough faith, she couldn’t do it, so the brown girl (or my companion) showed her 4 stairs to go down and helped her down safely. She said when she got to the bottom, she saw a little girl, or angel, who said Ì am here to help cure your daughter`. When she woke up she told her family how beautiful the little girl was, with beautiful eyes and really fair skin. She told us that when we arrived at her house, and she saw me, she began to cry because she immediately recognized me as the little girl from the dream. I could feel the spirit so strong when she told us this story, and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said `you are my angel that will help cure my daughter`. The lord truly works in our lives, and we can see miracles every day.

They have a baptismal date for this coming Sunday- pray for them! I know for sure through faith, their family can be healed, it is so beautiful. I had been praying so hard that I can still help people even though I can’t communicate with them, and this was an answer to my prayers. They are so sweet, and I get more than enough hugs!

We have met and taught many other wonderful people this week- I wish I could tell you about them all. There were two girls, 16 and 12, who were so interested in this church. They were very very sweet, and helped me with my Portuguese! As we were about to leave, the 16 yr old, Rute (or Ruth) gave me some simple bracelets with the brazil colors on it, right off her wrist and said `Now you are Brazilian!` I felt so silly because I started to cry a little, they were so nice and it was so great to feel such love from them! I cannot express to you how relaxed, generous and loving the people of Brazil are. They always have time to talk about the gospel, and you can almost always enter into their house at any time of day! It is so different from America- So different. We hardly never need to make appointments to teach, we just go teach. It’s amazing how open they are to religion, and gods influence in their lives. Extremely patient with my Portuguese too!

Now, some funny things and culture things. Just before I came here, my companion found a little lizard on her bag when she put it on and it ran around our apartment while we just screamed! It was so funny! I also found a whole colony of tiny ants in my bed today, which was really fun. I´ve been needing some extra snuggles at night, and they were so sweet to bring the whole colony to snuggle with me! Fun stuff! If you even drop a crumb in my apartment, there are tiny little ants that just swarm! It´s not too bad though, I would rather have them than cockroaches, which isn’t a problem in my apartment, thank heavens. I don’t think I will get used to the cold showers though. I haven’t even felt warm water since I’ve been here, and we shower twice a day! Ha ha, I always just laugh and it takes me a few minutes to get the courage to jump in. But all is well!

The ward here is great- O I am in Natal, more specifically in Quintas. All of the young women think I am Bella from Twilight because I live close to forks, am whiter than anything they have ever seen and have dark hair. They love it and always freak out when we tell them where I live. They found out that I am a hairstylist, so we made a deal- French braids for References (references are names given to us from other people who we can go teach) I hope we will begin to receive a lot of references, because the girls here think that French braids are so cool! The Cupo do Mundo (World Cup) is so crazy here! The whole country celebrates! There was a game on Sunday during church, and when a goal was scored, you could hear the WHOLE town screaming, fireworks going off, horns, noisemakers, It was CRAZY!!!! I LOVE IT!! You seriously can’t imagine how crazy they are for soccer, and EVERYONE loves it! It’s so
awesome. They won the game, and everyone was out last night, dancing, partying and wearing yellow and green. So cool. Unfortunately our mission president doesn’t allow us to watch it... bummer.
I accompanied in church on Sunday-they haven’t had a pianist in a LOOOONG time, and were really excited to have me play. It was fun. I just love it here! Everything is different, but I am adjusting and loving it. I will try to take more pictures, but I put some up on flicker and hopefully it works. Let me know if it does.

OO- Ha-ha, my first day here it rained so much! In the morning it rained and I used my coat (which was great) I for some stupid reason left it at home in the afternoon, and we got soaked! Mom- My bag was AWESOME! Nothing got wet and it was so great!! We were wet all day, but whatever. I always feel wet here because it is so hot and humid. I hope I don’t die this `summer` or winter for you guys!

The food has been good here so far. There hasn’t been anything that I don’t like! I think, as long as they have rice and beans, I will be fine. I have told everyone that I am allergic to fish! Ha ha! I am positive that I couldn’t keep from gagging if they served it to me, so I just say I am allergic. I’m sure its saved me a number of times already because they are always surprised when we say that, I think they eat it a lot here. But other than that, we are so poor and have hardly any food. It’s funny, and we have to be creative!
Well everyone- till next week! I love you all and hope all is well. Just to let everyone know, I would LOVE letters! They are sent to the mission home, so I only get them every couple of weeks. So don’t expect a quick response :) Thank you for your prayers and love! Pray for my investigators- we hope to have at least 2 baptisms this week!
Love you all! Tchau!
Seeester `Bella` Gordon

My companion (grey shirt) and two other sisters.

A street decorated for the Cupo Do Mundo in Brazil. The whole country freaks out here and almost half of the streets look like this. Sooo sweet!

a little friend i found in my house! hahah

my apartment.

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