Thursday, July 25, 2013


This week, my companion and I planned a great FHE with our recent convert, Pedro, and his family.  We are trying to help his wife have more spiritual experiences so that she will have the desire to come to church with Pedro and start receiving the lessons.  We gave a terrific lesson about eternal marriage and the importance of the family.  It was touching to watch the 7 year old daughter of Pedro say the opening prayer with Pedro helping along when she needed it.  I can't describe how much I love this family!  After the lesson, Pedro and his wife invited us to stay and eat dinner with them.  As we finished eating, we began to converse about the strange animals and insects that we had seen in the Paraiba.  I told a story about being in someone's home when a scorpion came out from under the sofa and the member grabbed a book and smashed the scorpion.  A few minutes later, Pedro pointed to the sofa where Sister Meireles and I were sitting and said with complete calmness, "barata".  I figured that he was just joking with us because we were talking about insects and he wanted to startle us.  I hardly believed I would see a 'barata' at my side when I looked down, but I decided to check just to make sure.  I only needed less then a second to see the barata, register in my mind that Pedro was not joking, and leap of the sofa and to the other side of the room!  Sister Meireles still thought that all of us were joking until the barata began to crawl up her back!  hahaha!  I was glad that I was on the other side of the room! hehe  Em fim, we all laughed for awhile after Pedro's wife saved Sister Meireles from the barata on her back!

Our ward in Bessa doesn't have a chapel yet.  It has only been about 3 years since the ward was formed, and the stake wants the ward in Bessa to have enough members to divide into two wards before they build an official chapel.  In the time being, the ward is meeting in an old warehouse...I love it!  Every Sunday I get to sit up front to play the piano or direct the music, and I can just observe.  This Sunday, I watched as two or three birds flew in between the open windows near the ceiling.  I smiled as a member ran to unplug a fun that was making a very strange noise and appeared to be on the verge of exploding.  I noticed the large, bulky door at the back of the warehouse and a member with his small daughter ducking out.  As I observed, I thought back on all of my crazy apartments that I have lived in on the mission.  The apartment that had a toilet that didn't flush.  Or the apartment that flooded everytime it rained, the apartment with only one window in the basement of a building, the apartment with a door that only shut when you slammed it, the apartment with a shower that didn't drain, the apartment with the window that we climbed in and out of, and the apartment with bats, lizards, and spiders.  As I thought about all of these things, I realized that for as much as we complain about these small annoyances in the moment, they are what we remember in the future, and look back on with fondness.  It's not the perfect, well kept chapel that makes a unified ward and creates great memories.  It's not the smooth running, sleek car that gives a family stories to tell.  But it's those moments when we don't have the 'perfect'  or 'ideal' situation that we end up learning and laughing the most.

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