Sunday, May 5, 2013

11 February 2013   Blowing Chunks

Hello Family and Friends,

The weeks are literally flying by. This past week was the quickest week so far on the mission. I can not even imagine what it must be like for missionaries with more than a year under their belts, it must be crazy fast.
We are teaching and contacting a lot, but the sad news is that we do not have any marked baptisms yet. I have found out that places more out in the countryside are generally tougher to get baptisms. The people have been raised Evangelical, or Catholic and don't seem to want to change traditions. People said to us that everything that we teach is true but decide not to get baptized because Dad was Catholic, and Grandpa was Catholic, and Great Grand Dad was Catholic. Needless to say there is a lot of ignorance here. We do have a couple potential baptisms though. There is Jonatan who is engaged to a less active member, they just need to marry now. And also, Jacqueline who is the sister of Lucas. Both are progressing well.
Some thing kind of exciting happened this week as we were going to a teaching appointment with Lucas, his Mom and Sister. We arrived outside the gate, clapped, and out came Serlei the mom. She came up to the fence and told us that it was just her at home. As we were talking with her she said that she was not feeling well, she was really sick. All of a sudden she turned around and started heading back towards the house. We both thought that it was strange that she did not say "goodbye" or anything. As we were watching her head back to the house all of a sudden she started wobbling off to the side and then "BOOM" she collapsed right on the ground. I was pretty shocked at what I saw, I was thinking to myself, "This can't be happening, I will probably wake up from this bad dream right about now." I didn't wake up from any dream, it was reality. Before I know it Elder Weber was already preparing himself to give her a blessing. I ran over and saw that she was breathing and about half a minute later she got up on her own strength and went into the house. She sat down on the couch sweating and not talking straight, and we gave her a blessing. As soon as we had given the blessing she ran to the bathroom and started blowing chuncks! We called Lucas and he quickly came to the house and took her to the hospital. Later that day we got word that she was doing well again and that every thing was going to be all right. The whole situation was a little scary and was a reminder to be ready for anything out here on the mission.
Another scary thing that happened this week was the President of the Branch called me to give a talk in sacrament meeting literally minutes before the meeting started! I quickly wrote a couple points down on a piece of paper and was able to give the talk in understandable Portuguese ha ha. Sadly my Portuguese is not close to being fluent yet, and I get really bummed when I struggle speaking. It takes the focus off of what I'm saying to how I'm saying it. The past three weeks I have improved quite a bit, but I still feel light years away from where I want to be. It is reassuring to know that most of missionaries struggle until about 8 months out. By six months you should be able to understand almost every thing that people say. I feel like I have reached that point already. Of course you have some "Peter Priesthoods" that are already speaking well right out of the MTC, but most of missionaries tell me it takes awhile to pick it up. They say that there comes a point where you hit the peak of the language barrier and then you pick it up exponentially. It sounds like God lets you struggle, learn, and humble yourself before he just gives you the gift of tongues, its how he works with every thing. I can't wait for when the language just comes naturally without having to do any translating in my head. Some times I do find myself talking Portuguese and not even knowing it so that's good news, I guess.
Anyways, as usual I'm doing well. Elder Weber is a really good companion. I have food to eat, water to drink so life is good.

There is something I have been meaning to ask you all the past couple months. I really want you all to write out your conversion story and then email it or write a letter to me. Let me know how you came to know the Gospel and when you really felt converted to it. I know for me I was not "converted" until I finished my time in the MTC. Also, spiritual experiences since your baptism if you feel comfortable sharing it with me. I really want to know every thing, and this is for everyone family and friends. And if you are not a member of our church yet, first get baptised, and then write me about how you felt after the baptism. I don't need a novel but a couple short paragraphs won't do either. I know this will both benefit you and myself. These kinds of stories help me strengthen my testimony.

That's all for now,

the church is true,

Love Elder Miller

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