Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cows, Dirt Roads, and Lunch!

It's hard to tell sometimes where the fields end and the city begins.  My companion and I will be walking to an investigator's house or to the Chapel and a couple of cows, or pigs, or goats will cross the street in front of us or walk past us heading into town (probably to do their weekly shopping)...we just give them a 'bom dia' and continue on our way! 

Traveling to the member's houses for lunch is usually only a 15-20 minute walk.  However, this past week we had a 45 minute bus ride on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere until we finally arrived in a much smaller town where the member lived.  I tried reading letters on the bus, but all the pot holes in the dirt road kept me more focused on not throwing up then on reading.  As one companion told me, 'who needs roller coasters when you've got buses in

I've developed a tactic for eating at member's home so that I can avoid being compelled to eat more than my stomach can handle.  I dish up what I want to eat, and then eat as slowly as I can, pausing between every bite to ask questions.  It usually works pretty well even though I have to eat one medium size plate of food in the same amount of time that the Elders eat two or three huge, heaping plates of food (this is truly the hard part...).  At one member's home I had finished eating and the Irmã looked at my empty plate and asked, 'já parou? porque?' (You've already stopped eating? Why?)  Thank goodness we have two Elders to make up for what we Sisters don't eat. 

A very common dish in
Brazil is Feijão Preto (or black beans cooked with just about every part of the cow or pig).  There is always rice, pasta, lettuce, and sometimes couscous to go along with the Feijão.  You pile everything on your plate, all mixed together, and then eat.  It's pretty much fantastic!  The only slightly adventurous aspect of eating like this is that you can never be quite sure if you'll eat something that probably shouldn't be eaten...*picture this*  Everyone is sitting around the table, four missionaries conversing with an Irmão and Irmã, members in the Branch.  I'm happily eating, listening to the conversation and commenting every once in awhile between bites.  Then, I put a fork full of rice, beans, pasta, and lettuce in my mouth.  I bite down.  Instead of the usual, normal texture that I'm used to, I bite down on something a little gristly, something that my mouth certainly doesn't want to keep chewing.  I look around at everyone sitting at the table.  Everyone is oblivious to my unpleasant discovering.  I look across the table at one of the Elders and he notices the look of terror in my face, but can't do anything to help me out.  Instead, he only gives me an encouraging smile and tries not to laugh.  After glancing around the table a couple more times to make sure the coast is clear, I slying spit out the foreign object and conceal it on my plate!  Whew!  No one saw that...or at least that's what I'll keep telling myself! heehee!

This past Sunday, my Mission President visited the Branch in Guarabira.  He spoke about the parable of the rice man who came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to be saved in the
kingdom of God.  When Jesus replied that he needed to keep the commandments the rice man confirmed that he already did this.  Then, Jesus told him, 'one thing thou lackest'.  Each of us are like this rich man.  We are each striving to keep the commandments and follow our Savior.  Yet, we each have the favorite sin, that one thing that we hold back.  We need to have faith in the Lord that when we truly give up all that we have to Him, He will bless us in ways that we can't even imagine!!

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