Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Brothers Are Going to Liberate

It was a pretty good week.  I've found that the week following a baptism is usually a bit difficult.  We've kind of hit a dry spell, but we recently found some pretty cool investigators.  So I guess the work is hastening, slowly, but it is hastening!!!

Something interesting I learned this week is that there are a group of people called "Pessoas Sem Terra."  Usually in the cities the really poor people live inside Favelas or Grotas, which are like slums built on hills.  Here in the lovely interior they don't really exist.  Instead they have Pessoas Sem Terra.  They're usually people who are super poor and don't have anything.  So what they do is form a band of poor people and invade some land, usually on the side of a hill, and build shacks out of wood and plastic tarps.  They then start to farm on these hills and sell the food to make money.  The thing is, it's not very legal and they have their own laws and weapons.  We don't talk to them because it's not a very effective use of our time, but you can see them on the side of hills and stuff.  
The restaurant we ate at in Maceió.  It has a lovely view of the Grota!

So the other day we were returning from Maceió to Viçosa, because we had a meeting, when the bus we were on pulled over and turned off its engine.  The bus driver got out and there were a ton of cars and people on the road, all stopped for about two miles.  We got out and we saw that there was a fire up the road and a ton of people were surrounding it.  We, like the helpful little missionaries we are, decided that we would go help out the problem and provide blessings to those who needed it.
Chaos in the road.

We set off down the road with our stuff and a banner with Jesus on the front (we needed the banner for a future activity) not knowing what kind of adventure would await us.  We got lots of comments from people on the road like, "The Brothers are going to liberate!!!!" and "Ya, you wave that banner of Jesus!!  Liberate!!!"  When we got closer to the fire, about a kilometer (yes I think in metric now) away from the fire, one of the onlookers said that a bunch of Pessoas Sem Terra built this fire in the middle of the road and made a blockade so nobody could pass by.  We then turned around realizing that it probably wasn't the best idea to get involved and we headed back to the bus.  The hardcore police showed up and they started their negotiations with the Pessoas Sem Terra.  We waited for about three hours and it was starting to get dark by the time all the commotion ended.  When it all cleared up one guy shouted at us as he was driving away, "See I told you the Brothers were going to liberate!!!"  Nothing really happened, nobody was hurt, but it sure was eventful.
Gonna liberate!

I also finally saw Capueira for the very first time.  Capueira is Brazilian martial arts that resembles an African style of dance.  When the Portuguese came over to Brazil they brought lots of slaves with them and they developed this style of fighting.  It's really cool looking filled with lots of flips and kicking really high into the air.  They also use colored rope cords for belts, which is pretty cool.  A gang of them were doing it in the park close to our house so we stopped to watch for a bit.  There's lots of bongo drums and strange instruments.  Pretty cool.

Went and visited another waterfall today.

They've got these weird looking cows everywhere.
A flower for mommy.
Serenity  (lol)

I also had the opportunity to give the lesson in Elders Quorum yesterday.  And by Elders Quorum I mean the missionaries, the branch president, and an investigator.  I talked about the blessings of the priesthood and I felt I did really well.

Hope you all are doing well, love you all, and have a great week.

- Elder Johnson

I buy a lot of fruit now.

Yep, me and Elder Rutledge again.

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