Monday, September 15, 2014

I Am Elder Johnson, Mixer of Cement

Hey Everybody!!!!

This week was pretty interesting.  I was a "Pedreiro" which means "Brick Layer."  For those of you who don't know, all the houses down here are constructed using red bricks.  My life is filled with red bricks, all I see everyday is red bricks. So there is this member who asked us last Sunday if we could help him with a construction project at his house.  He said we'd "Bater um Laje."  What in the world does that mean you might ask?  That means we were going to help the guy install his brick/cement ceiling.  Everyone told me that this task was something really heavy and really exhausting and last Wednesday I figured out just how heavy and just how tiring it really is.  I got to mix a bunch of cement in the road with a hoe and I also got to take all the cement I made and carry it up to the second floor of this guy's house.  Cement is heavy!  Really heavy!  I swear, (figure of speech, missionaries don't swear), I must have carried two tons of cement that day.  Needless to say I was very dead for the rest of the day.  It was a good experience though.

Oh, it turns out that one of our investigators is likely to be schizophrenic.  Which makes progression kind of a challenge.

I also talked with a lady this week who said she grew up in the "Sertão Brabo."  The "Sertão Brabo" means in the middle of the desert.  She told me where she grew up, they didn't have water or electricity and that they had to go to another town to wash their clothes.  She told me that the town she grew up in is governed by a local Indian tribe and that they have conflicts with some of the farmers who try and take their land.  She said that they'd have little wars and that the Indians would attack the farmers with spears, bows and arrows.  Mind you this was like ten years ago and people still wage wars with spears.  I thought it was worth noting.  You don't hear stories like that everyday.

I hate it when I have conversations like this:

SOME GUY:   Hey!  Are you from Italy?
ME:   No, I'm from The USA.
SOME GUY:   Oh all right...

1 minute later.

SOME GUY:   So what's it like in Italy?
ME:   I told you, I’m not from Italy, I'm from the US.
SOME GUY:   Oh sorry...

1 minute later.

SOME GUY:   So did you leave your family behind in Italy?
ME:  No, I left them in America.

30 second later.

SOME GUY:   .....So how long was the flight from Italy to Brazil?
ME:  (face palm)  It took about 10 hours to fly down here from Italy.

There's literally no way of winning these kinds of discussions and they happen rather frequently.

Well this next week we should be having a baptism.  Praying that everything goes well.  Love you all!!!  Have a great week!!!

Só Batiza e Edifica!!!!!!  (Only Baptize and Build!!!!)

-Élder Johnson

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