Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment

Maceio Brazil Mission Assignment
Serving in God's Army


Week 11 Sept 24, 2012

Why hello family that I love so much!
It's great to hear from you all and to know that you're still alive and kickin' haha.
 I haven't received any letters and I don't even know how to receive letters, but if you sent it the CTM they will forward it here but it'll just take longer. But! I can't wait to get it!
Good for Michael and the Johnson twins, that's totally cool, I'm way excited for all of them, and that's so cool that dad got to go with him through the temple. Jealous :)
 Man sure do wish I could be there to help you take care of the munchkins mom, and squeeze their chubby cheeks:) but I'm sure you'll manage. totally and you have no excuse to be jealous of Jon and Jenna, haha, I Have An Excuse, haha, all I gotta say is that I'm going on a cruise right when I get married, haha, if I can afford it. It sounds like you had an awesome stake conference, visiting with people, and hearing Rebekah play the piano.
Let me tell ya, one regret so far, I wish I had stuck with learning how to play the piano cause in my ward they don't have anyone to play... and it makes a huge difference. Sorry mom... you were right, haha, but I'm kinda teaching myself and practicing whenever I have time so who knows maybe I'll be able to play by the time I get back.
This week... uh... this week actually went by really fast. We work hard all day. I really like my area, I have a very poor area, all the houses are made out of brick and cement, dogs, cats, rats, geckos, chickens, pigeons, horses and trash all over the place. Love it though I went on splits the other day because our DL was giving a baptism interview to one of our investigators and I went with his companion to his area which was the very wealthy part of the city, and it was totally different. Hardly anyone wanted to talk to us, and many people were kinda rude. That was probably the hardest day of my mission so far, it was crazy and I learned a lot. Haha, it was funny, the elder that I was with, every time he said, alright this doors yours, whoever answered it would be a hardcore atheist or would just open the door then shut it right away, haha, it was great, haha.
 This morning I finished the Book of Mormon. I started reading it halfway through the CTM and I just finished it, not bad for only having an hour a day to read, which is not enough, haha, now I have a goal to finish it in Portuguese, but that will for sure take a lot longer.
 Almost every lunch, we eat with members, and I'm actually able to follow the conversation, right, and without fail every time during the meal the family or whoever's talking will turn to me and try and talk to me. They think their talking slow but they aren't, haha, and every time they look at me my mind just goes blank... its kinda frustrating, but it's so hard to understand the older people, parents, grandparents. and I want to chip into the conversation during dinner but it's scary cause I'm not 100% sure what they said, ya know, did she have ten kids or did her friend have ten kids, little details about what the person is saying are hard to catch sometimes.
The scariest moment this week was when we were walking to one of our lessons and a police car passed us (which was like a ford focus BAHAHA) but after it passed us it stopped and we were passing it when the passenger window rolled down. OH SHOOT! let me describe these chaps... picture a HUGE Brazilian with a bunch of gear, vests, batons, pistols, and those awesome looking German hats, and a mustache. He pokes his head out the window and gestures us over, at first I was like cool! Three guys in a really small car, but then he started talking to me and pointing at me and I was like... Uh Oh.. I thought he was asking for my citizenship papers, (which I did have) but he was pointing at my hands... uh, Ya wanna cuff me?? but after a while I figured it out. He had had the lessons from missionaries in the past and was wondering if I had a CTR ring on, haha, WHEW! Then he went about asking the usual questions... oh are you from Provo? Yeah that was super scary but awesome.
One of my more frustrating moments this week,... we had a goal to get all our progressing investigators to church this week, so we went on splits with two guys from our ward to go around and gather our sheep, haha. I went to a house that had three possible people to come to church, but the doors and windows were shut and it was dark inside, not good. But I knocked anyway. A lady answered that I'd never seen in the house before and I asked her the names of each our investigators if they were in and everyone of them she said had left, disappointing. We visited the house later that night and one of our leading investigators was actually in the house and was waiting for us, but I swear the lady said she wasn't. But because she didn't make it to church, she can't be baptized this week, but two weeks down the road, because of me!!! Ah frustrating, but I'm fine, I'm cool, I'm good, haha.
 I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to focus on the gospel and helping others, my testimony grows each and every day..
 Love you all so much and I pray for you every day
Love Your Missionary
 Elder Ralph