I'm falling in love with Brazil and her people already. Last week we took a bus to the biggest subway station in Sau Paulo and each companionship had 4 copies of the Book of Mormon and 30 minutes to place them. We couldn't proselyte in the station so we walked around the surrounding streets. There are so many people here. The first young man we talked to had a cigarette in one hand. After we parted ways he had a Book of Mormon in the other! That was the greatest feeling ever and I couldn't help smiling for the next few hours. There was an energy inside me that felt as if I was about to burst. When we talked to our 2nd young man it hit me that I was actually communicationg with these people. Evern though I spoke with my broken 3-week-old Portuguese, they understood, and when they responded I understood. we'd been talking with our Brazilian instructors every day but this was the real deal. All 4 of the poeple we spoke with accepted the Book of Mormon and they promised to read it and call the number we provided. Each time I had them read the introduction and then I shared some of the my favorite scriptures. They were always surprised when we told them it was freee. They were so inviting and open. They would help us out when we struggled with the language and were always surprised when we told them we had come all the way from the states to live here for 2 years witout pay and that we'd only been learning Portuguese for 3 weeks. I hope they all read the book and become members.
We also had the opportunity to listen to a devotional by Elder Richard G. Scott broadcasted to all the MTC's around the world. Some of the things he said really stood out to me: "Don't rush through your opportunity to converse with your loving Father in Heaven. Take time to listen for His response."
"Everything good in my life has come from my decision to serve a mission. Take advantage of the time you have to devote 24 hours a day to serving the Lord."
Then yesterday it was our opportunity to listen to the 1st Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, Elder Causse, speak to us during the devotional. This one was special to me for 2 reasons: my companion, another elder in my distric, and I sang "Creio em Cristo" (I Believe in Christ) for the MTC which was quite an amazing experience, and because Elder Causse had visited my home ward twice before I left for my mission. After the devotional I got to shake his hand again and we were able to talk briefly before he had to leave to catch his flight. Best part about it was he recognized me! He spoke on how our weaknesses make us humble and that they are essential to being a good missionary and for obedience, charity, and success. 1 Corinthians 1:19-28 really ties into what he said.
I love you all as always and wish you a wonderful week!
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com