Well, well, well...Halloween has made its way. Rumor has it that Halloween isn't too big of a deal in Brazil. Much like the Spanish, they celebrate a little thing called Day of the Dead (Dia Dos Mortos), which sounds like a big mess to me...people crying with candles and spooky music. It kind of reminds me of my next-door neighbors. I got up at 2 a.m. one night to get some water and I heard drums beating. At first, I thought nothing of it and then I thought a little harder and realized this just isn't right. It was much too early to be playing drums. Being the curious person that I am, I peered down out the window to see a circle of candles lighting the backyard and shadows swaying against the wall. Reminded of the movie Skeleton Key, I decided to just get my water and go back to bed and let them continue on with whatever it was they were doing.
So, the teaching is going really well. We keep meeting new people every day that somehow have a connection to the Church, which makes it much easier to get things started. The best way for us to meet people isn't knocking (clapping) doors like one might think. Don't get me wrong, we spend many hours doing this every week, but the best thing for us to do is ask for references. When we teach someone that is progressing, all we do is ask, "Who do you know that can be blessed by this message?"...and we receive names. Also, the streets here are pretty unorganized, so we get people walking by while we're in the middle of a lesson and they just sit down and listen. This usually results in them asking us to teach them. Why do we often times teach outside? Well, a lot of the houses are so small that we can't all fit inside to carry on a lesson. Another reason is they sometimes don't have lights, so it's pitch black inside after dark.
This week was a magical week of members not preparing lunch for us (since last Saturday there hasn't been one). We walk to their house, which usually takes 20 minutes or more, and then knock on the door to find out they didn't know we were coming or didn't have anything for us. It would make much more sense for us to call to confirm our appointment ahead of time, but we can't since they don't have phones. In my rage of hunger, I bought a chocolate cake mix and baked it. To my surprise, this dollar equivalent mix produced a delicious cake that I also ate this morning.
They had a re-count for elections here (sound familiar?), which turned into a re-vote and the craziness from elections just ended last Sunday. Back to baptisms...Elder Rocha and I have four this Saturday. Here are their names for those of you who are curious: Fabiana da Sousa, Marielley de Oliveira Holanda, Sandra (Elizandra) Kiod Gonzaga, and Luana Oliveira de Matos. This week is somewhat of a landmark in the pursuance of hitting the goal given to the missionaries of Missâo Brasil Manaus. The best part is we keep having progressing investigators, and through prayer, we continue to be guided in the right direction which leads to additional baptisms. We already have two scheduled for next Saturday and will most likely have more. It's really awesome to see all the teaching and work come together with the baptisms, but it's even more rewarding to see the smiles on these people's faces when they realize they have finally found that ONE thing they have been blindly searching for all their life. In closing, Happy Birthday, Grandma. Try not to do anything too crazy...remember, cats are the ones born with 9 lives!