Monday, April 8, 2013

Week 21


I realize that my emails have been depressingly dull as of late so I will do my best to update on the happenings of my life. Right now I am really loving the mission. I am loving my area Ceilândia. And I love my companion, Sister Coombs. I am tired all the time, but I think that just means that we are working hard. A lot has happened this week so I will try to get this letter going. 

So last week I failed to make any funny April Fools Day joke with you guys in my letter. My bad. Luckily, we didnt forget completely about ´´the day of liars´´ here in Brazil. When we called in Monday night to report to our district leader, we told him that Sister Coombs fell and that her face was pretty scratched up and not to say anything about it because she was pretty self concious. The next day... Tuesday- we had our first Zone Conference here in this area and one of the Brazillian sisters, Sister Damaceno used make up and jello to make shockingly realistic abrasion on the side of Sister Coombs face. It was hilarious because all of the elders noticed it, but no on said anything. It was hilarious looking at their faces when they saw it. I think we enjoyed the little prank quite a bit... 

Other notable things of the week. I got my first kiss of the mission.... from a 77 year old man in the street. Fortunately it was on the cheek. ha ha. Also, this week Sister Coombs and I have spent several hours helping out at a language school that one of the members of the ward works at. We have the same conversations in a million different classes answering the same quetions. ´´Hi, my name is Daniel, what is your name?´´ ´´Do your like your occupation?´´ ´´Are you married, do you have kids´´... and there are probably about five other questions that they asked repeatedly. I dont think they thought it was very funny when this 12 year old asked me if I had kids and I replied, ´´No, do you?´´ I thought it was funny though so that is all that really matters I think. One class that was a bit more advanced asked what kind of music we like. I said country. They wanted to hear what country was... so they asked me to sing. Sadly the mission has not made my singing voice improve at all. So I told them sorry I dont know how to sing. They refused to take that for an acceptable answer. Usually 5 minutes of saying no and people will give up and move on. Either these kids werent understanding (which I am pretty certain they did understand when I told them I cant sing) or they were oddly persistent. I was really embarrassed and I couldnt think of literally any music except the Kenny Chesney song about his tractor... which I thought would  be a bit inappropriate. So what happened? I sang the nationaly anthem. Ha ha ha. This I dont know if I have described this situation very well or not, but oh my lanta, probably one of the most embarrassing moments I have had. The rest of the classes that asked about music I told that I like listening to instrumentals to avoid any more embarrassing situations. 

Cat-woman. We found a woman when we were walking down the street. She was sitting in front of her house so we stopped to talk to her. She has a ton of stuff around her house. I think she would be identified as a really extreme hoarder. Anyway we talked for a few minutes and she started talking about her cats and she said that she was sad because someone killed 9 of her cats. I was thinking wow that is horrific and odd. I started to look around better and I realized that she had several living cats around her. They were all on leashes about 2 feet long. Literally 2 feet... and attached to random objects around the area. I hate cats. But somehow I felt bad for these cats. I counted I think 7 that were tied up all over the place.  

I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese for the first time. I read it all outloud which was probably annoying for everyone around me. I still dont speak super well... so I think I will read it again. This time it will be in my head though. We also have a new rule in our zone that we always have to have a book of mormon in our hands while we are walking. It was kind of an annoying rule and we complained to each other, but the night of the first day we did it, a man stopped us on the street and asked for a book. We gave it to him and we are planning his baptism for the 21 of Abril. Needless to say we have stopped complaining about that and we learned a pretty valuable lesson. 

This week I had my second interview with President Gaertner. He came to interview everyone in our zone in our chapel. We were told by our leaders before hand that we absolutely cannot show up late. So, what happened. We had lunch before with a member. We left as quickly as possible, but we realized that we were going to be late. So Sister Coombs and I literally ran to the chapel (My second time literally running in a skirt with all my stuff to avoid being late). We showed up 2 minutes before the hour, all the elders in our zone were already sitting and President and Sister Gaertner were already up front waiting to start. We were both really red. In retrospect I think it would have been less embarrassing to show up late. But, its funny to think about now. What made it even more ridiculous is that our interviews werent until the very end so we waited 2 hours for our interviews. Everyone was taking a long time in their interviews, but by the time I got in there President asked me how I was if I was happy, how the people here in our area are etc. I stayed in there for maximum of 4 minutes. I think I broke some sort of record. 

I got news that Duke won the NCAA and that BYU didnt win the NIT. To be completely honest I think I am a little homesick for basketball. Luckily the work here is going good. We have an investigator, Debora who has been visiting with the missionaries for almost a year now, she is 16 almost 17, and her mom refused to let her get baptized. Her mom is seriously one of the most stubborn people I have ever met in my entire life. My best news of the week is that Saturday morning before conference we visited them and got her to sign the permission for Debora to be baptized. She said no again at first, but we waited and finally I just took the paper and the pen and stuck it in her lap (Probably one of the bolded things I have done on my mission) and we waited and she looked at it and looked and finally signed. It was seriously a wonderful moment to get her to sign it. So, everyone pray that our baptism of Debora next Sunday goes smoothly! 

After we saw a man in his car rocking out to Girls Just Want to Have Fun. I dont know if he knew the translation of the music he was listening to alone or not, but it was funny either way. General Conference was good. I missed several talks so I will try to get them real quick before I end my internet time, but the talks we heard were great. We had an investigator that made it to the last session and loved Jeffrey R. Holland. His talk was perfect for him and for me too I think. 

At the end of a rough day we had last week, we decided that we were hungry and we didnt have any food at home. So we bought a carton of eggs. We boiled them and ate them all. It was a terrible decision and I am pretty sure that are Brazillian roommates put something about it in their journals on the page that says... ´´Remember that one time when those weird Americans did...´´ I can honestly say that I dont have any sort of desire for eggs right now.. still. 
Okay this was a scattered letter, but hopefully somewhat informative. Yesterday I made it to the 5 month mark of my mission. Time is going fast and slow at times and my body is pretty tired. I am loving my life though so all is good. 

I love you all, 

Sister Hoopes

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