January 11, 2016 (week 13)

Christmas Card of all the missionaries in the Brazil, Fortaleza mission

Christmas Card of all the missionaries in the Brazil, Fortaleza mission

I literally spent a solid 5 minutes trying to think of a subject line and I came up with nothing, so Jan 11 is as creative as I could get.

So people here sometimes think we are police.. I didnt understand it at all, but then my companion explained that people watch a lot of CSI here and since we´re wearing dress clothes they sometimes think we’re cops, it’s kind of funny.

I honestly wish I had a video of this. For those of you who play fifa, you will understand. So we’re walking in the street (more of an alley, about 12 or so feet across) these kids (8 year olds) are playing soccer, and this one does a perfect rainbow over another kid and scores. I swear it was exactly like fifa 15 I couldnt believe it but he didnt even celebrate or anything, everyone was acting normal! Needless to say, I was impressed.

So they drink coke here, ALOT of coke. Like every day. I like coke as much as the next guy, and it is better here than in the states, but it cant be healthy to drink that much coke! So I’ve been trying to drink less, but every lunch (we eat lunch with famlies that are members of the church here) they give us coke, and you cant say no. And when you finish the just start pouring another glass. What I’ve found out is that they will only pour another glass if there is still food on your plate and if your glass is less than half full. So what Ive been doing is making sure my glass is at least half full while I’m eating and then I drink the rest after I finish eating. Its been working well so far! I worried I’ll be addicted to coke by the time I come back though.

Great news today! There’s a tiny shop that sells bananas and some vegetables right next to our house, but theyre only open until like 11am. So today I found out I can get 8 small bananas for 25 cents (I dont know exactly what the conversion from dollars to reais is, so thats probably a little off) or 4 big bananas for the same price. Big bananas are about the same size as bananas that you buy stateside. Also mangos are suuuuuper cheap. For about $1.50 I can get 7 mangos, and they are usually pretty big. So about half my diet is mangos and now bananas haha

Im going to attatch a picture from our Christmas conference. Its of all the missionaries in Fortaleza! I hardly see any of them, but on Christmas we had a conference with everyone and it was awesome! I dont remember if Ive already sent it, so sorry if I did.

So for a spiritual thought this week I thought I’d share something that happened last night. So I still am really struggling with the language, learning, but struggling and so last night I was praying before bed and after I got the thought to read from this journal I have. I find that I often forget spirtitual experiences I have and so I while back I decided to write down whenever I have spiritual expeneriences in this notebook. Since one of the biggest roles of the Holy Ghost is to testify of truth, a majority of the experiences are when I feel the Holy Ghost testify after learning something. Anyways, I opened it and the first thing I read was “Give us today our daily bread” I dont know where that comes from, but it definitely applies to my with Portuguese and learning how to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a foreign language. What I wrote underneath the quote was “Dont ask or sometimes even try to fix long term issues. Those issues are fixed by dat to day actions. Sometimes all we have to do is make it one more day” Like many of the challenges we all have, we need to take them one day at a time. A long term goal is important, but we need to focus on what we can do in the day we are living!

A little later I read something I had wrote about the sacrifices people make to serve missions, and serve God in general. “No sacrifice is too great when someone’s exaltation is the reward” Again, I dont remember was from, or if it even was an actual quote. But it really hit me, because seriving a mission, for me, is deffinitely not easy, but sometimes I need to step back for a second and look at the reward. When I think about the message we are sharing and actually start to realize what it can do for the people who accept it, it gives me a lot more motivation and learning Portuguese and spending two years teaching the gospel seems like a small price to pay.

Sorry that this email is a little long, I hope you guys have a great week and are enjoying the cold!! I actually miss the cold haha

Elder Lawrence 🙂

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