Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Rain Came Down and No One Comes to Church

Elder Johnson's old companion Elder Coon came to drop off some of Tanner's things.
We couldn't resist having him take a photo with Flat Tanner, which he hates.  :-)

Another week has come and gone in good ol' Maceió Brazil.  Things are pretty much the same as ever.  Lots of walking around in the hot winter sun, crazy people talking with me on the streets, and all sorts of good times.

So we had a lady come to church yesterday.  She lives in a town called Coqueiro Seco, which is about an hour outside of the city. We've been teaching her at her work in our area and she came to church this week!  She went an hour out of her way to come to church and we didn't even think she'd come, so that's pretty cool.

This ward here is great.  It is definitely the most organized ward I've ever passed through.  People here are willing to help us and the bishop is awesome.  His focus is to get knew baptisms in the ward so I really can't complain about it.

One thing that is absolutely awful is when it rains.  When it rains, everyone uses that as an excuse to not come to church or do anything.  Rain = Excuses.  It could rain just a few drops and people would say that they couldn't come to church because of the rain. People could live across the street from the church and they wouldn't come because of the rain.  People could have a car! and they still wouldn't come because of the rain.  (That last example was a bit of an exaggeration.  I just wanted to let you know how soul killing it is whenever it rains).

We had our bimonthly integration activity this last week.  The members brought a few people for us and Elder Rutledge and I gave a message on the atonement and then we got to the games.  I love playing the integration activity games just because everyone gets super competitive.  We did Pictionary this week and it was a huge success.  Next time's activity:  Duck, Duck, Goose.  #BichoVaiPegar

Well it's election time again.  Well actually not, that's a lie, elections won't start until October, but apparently that's no excuse for everyone to start promoting themselves.  Elections here are different.  Everyone is required to vote, like, it's against the law and everything.  Also, the primary way of getting your name out there is not by television ads, or other forms of media, it is indeed, the good ol' fashioned Carro de Som.  A "Carro de Som" is a car that drives up and down the roads with a huge speaker on top of it. They usually are used to advertise local stores and what not, but when election time comes around, they double in number and they never stop.  During election time, they drive around playing a catchy little song, usually based on a popular song that has been twisted to advertise the candidate.  They drive up and down the road all day, and if I have to deal with this until the end of October I'm going to shoot myself in the foot.  One's capability of fulfilling public office is not based on past experience and work ethic, but is indeed based upon who has the most Carros de Som and whoever has the catchiest song.
Carro de Som

So we were walking down the road the other day after leaving an appointment when we heard a ruckus.  It sounded like a very violent and loud ruckus so we went to go check it out.  Turns out it wasn't any acts of violence, but it still was really loud, it turned out to be one of the popular local church chains having a meeting, so we thought we stand outside for a bit and watch.  Churches down here are different than they are in the states.  Here, churches that aren't Catholic churches, are usually made out of a house that someone had reformed to be a church.  Anyone can basically grab a microphone, a bible, open up the garage and call themselves a pastor.  The church that we were observing had lots of yelling and talking in strange tongues.  They were actually very nice to us though.  They told us we were welcome to come back anytime we wanted and that we could be counted as one of their own.  Very considerate if I do say so myself.  They did scream very loudly at us though telling us we needed to believe in Jesus Christ.  At least they were concerned for my own spiritual well being.

We played basketball at the church the other day.  That normally wouldn't be that big of a missionary update, but is here in Brazil.  I didn't do to bad if I do say so myself.  I scored a few points, which is pretty great for me and my handicap for any kind of physical activity, so Go Elder Johnson!!!!!

Anyways, that's enough for now, hope you all are happy and reading you scriptures.  All is well in Tabuleiro and I'm loving my time down here.  Love you all and have a great week!

-Élder Johnson

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