I can´t say how much I am thankful that I was called to serve in this country. There are people who have been prepared for the missionaries everywhere. Something that would rarely happen in the states happened to us one day as we boarded a train to head to a neighboring city. One of the maintenance ladies sweeping the floor saw us and recognized us immediately by our nametags and suits. She came right up to us and asked if we would teach her more about our church and pray for her children (as if our prayers were somehow paid more attention to by Heavenly Father or something haha). We wrote down their names and her address just before she had to leave. Give her 1 week and she´ll be the newest member of our church! The Lord certainly moves His work forward.
I have really gained appreciation for the members of the branch here. Even though many of them are poor, they take turns feeding us every lunch and making sure our needs are taken care of. Many of them remind me of my own mother. Without them we´d have a difficult time having enough to eat. They help us to spend all our attention on missionary work instead of trying to live. When I´m in their position one day, I´ll be the first to sign up to feed the missionaries, because that is really important in missionary work. Something I´d never even thought of before.
Something cool about Brazil is that they don´t tax stuff in the store.What you see on the price tag is what you pay. However, they do tax electronics and cars heavily.
It´s funny because we somethimes refer to the missions in the states as vacations, becasue here we don´t have iPads or cars, we walk everywhere we go (sometimes up to 15 miles a day), and we don´t take an hour out of our preaching time to stop for dinner at a member´s house, we just keep working. I like that because not only does it keep me in better shape, but we get more opportunities to find and teach people at a critical time of the day.
In closing I´d like to share a scripture found in Ether 12 that has stood out to me this week. In verse 12 it says, "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them." I love how Moroni uses the word ´miracle´ because I have surely seen many of those miracles manifested during the week, but it was only after we had faith and showed our faith by working hard to accompilish our goals.
Until next week! Oh and have a great Halloween, because they don´t celebreate that here!
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com