Email received January 12, 2015

Opa gente!

I hope everyone is doing well and for those in the mountains, staying warm! If not, I got that part covered for everyone!
This week was a hot one! Most of the time when we were walking to various places, it was like I had just gotten out of the shower... Dripping sweat constantly and just burning up!
     Monday was just a normal p-day. Nothing eventful happened really.

     Tuesday did quite a lot of running around. We had lunch pretty close to the house, but after lunch, we started working and went far from the house. We went to an area that´s probably 20 minutes walking, but at mid-day. So it was an eternity! After working around there for a while, we encountered one of the more interesting people thus far. We saw some kids playing futebol and decided to go talk to them. We started talking with one of the older kids about the church. I pegged him at 15 or 16 years old, but he´s 18. We asked him where he lives and he said in the house we were in front of. We then asked him who he was living with (assuming parents and siblings). He pointed to another kid and said with him and that kid´s mom. So we thought, huh. That´s odd. The kid he´s living with is 12. He then told us that he´s "junto" with that kid´s mom... That means that they are in a relationship................. An 18 year old KID is in a relationship with a 12 year old kid´s MOM!!!!! That´s just not okay! And definitely the most strange story of being in a relationship thus far. And the kid doesn't even work! I just don´t understand anything about that.. After talking with him, we went to an area even farther to talk with the father of a member (same as before). It went well. But while we were going there, a drunk guy riding a bike stopped us to talk. He was saying that he wants Jesus in his life and blah blah. And we had 2 youth with us. A priest and one of the young women (it was her dad that we were going to visit). And this drunk guy kept looking towards the girl that was with us, so I stepped in front of her and Elder Medina and I got really serious with him. Not mad, but firm. He couldn't tell us where he lived and kept asking us for something for him to listen to the bible on audio. But we obviously don´t have anything of the sort with us. So he just kept stuttering on and on. But he wasn't serious about any of it. He was too drunk to be serious about anything.    So that was an an interesting day!

     Wednesday we worked close to the house again. We had some good lessons with people that day, but had trouble finding anyone that would listen to us. Making contacts was really hard the whole week. No one wanted to listen or talk to us. So that was kind of discouraging. But we still had some good lessons on Wednesday.

     Thursday we were working only in one of the farther areas we have. We had lunch there and let me tell you that was a tough lunch. We had rice, sardines, and a tiny bit of chicken. And the sister wasn't shy about giving me more than enough of the sardines. And boy was that a hard lunch to get down. I took forever eating too because she gave me a ton of it! Was not an easy one. But I managed to get it down. After lunch we went and visited our investigators in that area. A lot of people were either not home or sleeping. Everything shuts down here from 12-2 or 3. After lunch, everyone sleeps for a while since it´s the hottest part of the day. But not the Missionaries! They are out walking in the sun! That night we had another Noite Familiar. This one was with the members and investigators and everyone together. It was a really good one! Lot of people there!

     Friday we talked a lot with a lot of people. We had an AWESOME lesson with the mom of one of the young men! It was so awesome! We helped her start to understand a little of the Plan of Salvation. She had heard some things that were SO WRONG about the Plan. The church she went to at that time was teaching that any child born to parents of that church was sent by the will of God. And that any child born to parents outside that church was born of the will of man. Basically saying that only kids born in that church are children of God. SO WRONG! So we helped her understand correctly how it is. After the lesson, she started in on her son. Burning him and telling stories about him. We didn't have a chance to get out of there until an hour after... So we were there FOREVER! But it was good still! After that, we talked with a lady that went inactive for the dumbest reason. She said that she was with some members just in front of the church building one day when one of them cussed and made some obscene gestures towards another person. She then proceeded to stop going to church because of this. ???????????? She said that she became very worried and just worried so much about what happened. Well lady, it happens all the time! Just because someone else did that doesn't give you any reason to stop going to church!!!!! It showed me that she wasn't very strong at all in her decision to be baptized or strong in the church. For me, if one of the apostles started swearing and drinking one day, it wouldn't change anything for me. Yeah it would be sad most definitely, but the Church is still true! Just because someone is doing something wrong doesn't change a thing about the truthfulness of the church. So that was a bit frustrating for me to hear her excuse. And the Branch President said she always has a different one when a member visits. So it´s a difficult situation.

     Saturday we had a cleaning project in the morning. Since it was the end of the transfer, we needed to clean the house. So Elder Medina and I cleaned our room and all that good stuff. But we could only clean our room. One of the other elder´s went home yesterday. So he decided to pack his bags in the middle of the house. So all of his things were in the middle of the floor and stayed there all day and the next day too. So we had to work around his stuff to do anything. After the little bit of cleaning we could actually get done, we went to work. We visited only a couple investigators and in-actives this day. But we left a blessing for the sick with the Branch Mission Leader and his wife. So that was pretty cool!

     Sunday was a good day! We visited investigators, had a good lunch, church was good, it was still hot, and we had a little party for the Elder who was leaving. Not much to report on about Sunday. But that night something interesting did happen! We were sitting outside of our house and across the street at a little market talking with a couple of the youth. This kid no more than 9 or 10 pops out of the market and starts in on us. First he asked if we were Jehovah's Witness. We explained briefly that we were Mormon. He then asked us if we were "the light". We told him that we carry the message of the gospel with us. He then asked if we were Jesus...???? We told him of course not. He then told us that our church was false and that his had the truth and that we need to become members of his church. He then proceeded to leave. Was quite the interesting way to end the day!

I don´t remember what day, but some guy stabbed 2 people in one of the conjuntos we were in the night before. The day we were there, Elder Medina and I both felt something strange about that area and decided to only go back there on rare occasions and only during the day. Good thing we decided that! and apparently in that tract of houses, there´s 4 or 5 crack houses. So now we decided not to go back there.

All in all it was a good week! Had some very interesting things happen and sweated a lot! Still loving this work and being here in Brasil! It truly is a grand blessing! I hope everyone is doing well and that everyone has a good week!

Elder Gunnoe

One of the areas we work in

The Notie Familiar (Family Home Evening)

More FHE

One of our investigators (he's getting super tan already)

New clean shirt at the beginning of the day and this was at the end of one day

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