Monday, May 26, 2014
I've got a story, but don't freak out, because everything's fine already!
Dear Family, I forgot about Memorial Day! So, I´ve got a story, but don´t freak out, because everything´s fine already. Last wednesday, the buses and subways and train systems all went on strike. IT WAS INSANE. Even the police went on strike! I don´t even know how that´s possible! All of the missionaries were told to stay indoors all day. So we stayed in our house ALL DAY LONG. When we learned about the strike, it was Tuesday night. I was on a "companion exchange" and was more than an hour and a half from our regular proselyting area (walking). The buses already were being shut down, and we received a report from another companionship in the area that Terminal Varginha (the bus terminal) was full of very annoyed, very angry Brazilians. We had just taken a bus to a part of the area that was in the middle of nowhere. It was dark, practically in the rainforest (or as much of the forest we get in São Paulo), and we had to walk along the side of the road. We returned home as quickly as possible. Luckily, the other two missionaries in our house bought food, so we would have something to eat Wednesday. During the strike, we watched 17 Miracles and studied and slept. I read Exodus and a big part of Leviticus. The striking continued on Thursday and Friday, but the police didn´t strike very much after the first day. Luckily, not all of the police went on strike, so there really wasn´t that much danger, just a few riots and some looting. But that´s normal around the time of the World Cup. Before I forget: I need to buy more multivitamins. I ran out last week, but waited until now to buy them, so that I could tell you. My meds haven´t arrived yet. I don´t think they are coming. My new camera is really good! I don´t know the price in dollars, but I don´t think it was too expensive. I also bought a razor (and shaving cream) because I needed it, and my companion will pay me back (I bought him one). The razors don´t count as emergency, so leave the account empty (after the multivitamins) until June. My new personal goal is to only use my personal card for emergencies (medicine, shoes, etc). I´m reading in Numbers, now. I´ve found lots of time to read the Bible, lately (not interferring with my regular studies). It´s really edifying, not just learning from the Bible itself, but from the Holy Ghost that eminates from its pages. I´m learning a lot! And of course, the Book of Mormon is being a blessing in my life. Preach My Gospel, too! We aren´t having success in baptisms, but we will keep working hard, with diligence, faith, humility, and obedience. There was a really cool experience I had with a girl named "Talita". She and her sister and mom are recent converts, so we´re visiting them every day as part of the program. Tainara (her older sister) is really strong in the church, especially the Young Woman´s program. But Talita is struggling. She´s only 8 years old, but is already being really disobedient. She´d been going to the neighbor´s house too much. This neighbor is a woman who smokes marijuana and listens to pornographic music, etc. But I talked with Talita. I imagined what Dad would say, and I tried to speak with love, but with sterness. I forbade her from going there without her mom or sister, and told her (and her sister) that they need to read the Book of Mormon together, every day, at least a chapter. I later gave Tainara instructions to help Talita understand. I also told them they needed to pray together each day. Just days later, Tainara, her mother, and we saw a difference in Talita. Her semblance had alreadly lightened. It´s amazing. Eight years old is the age of accountability, when we can both 1) be baptized and 2) sin. We need to care for all of God´s children, even the little ones. I have no more time left I love you so much! Elder Richins