January 18, 2016 (week 14)

Hey everyone!

Here kids are alllllllways flying kites, and when they don’t have a kite they find something else to fly. I’ve seen grocery bags, french bread bags, and even pieces of paper. They tie the string from whatever they are flying and wrap the other side around a bottle or can. I’m not exactly sure how it works, but they try to cut each others strings while they are flying them. So we always see kites falling from the sky because of this.

I don’t think a lot of people here have seen a white person, other than movies. Or at least don’t on a regular basis. I haven’t seen any other white people in my area. And so people always stare at me while we’re walking. It makes me feel weird but hopefully I get used to it. The kids often ask what time it is because they want to figure out where I am from from my accent. They assume I’m brazillian but are confused cause I’m white, and when I respond in far less than fluent Portuguese they are even more confused. So earlier this week these kids said to each other “He’s american” one of them said “liar”, then they asked me what time it was and I told them. Then like 15 minutes later we were walking by the same spot and they asked again what time it was and before I could respond my companion said “You guys want to know if he’s American, yes, he’s American, yes he speaks English.” Then they told me to speak English so I said “Will you guys come to church with with next sunday?” Almost in unison they said “huh” and so I told them to say yes and then after I told them what I said and we gave them a card thing to give to their parents and to come to church with them, but none of them came.

Saturday this guy was talking to us and then he started talking to me after he asked if I was a foreigner and I didn’t understand anything so I just kind of nodded my head. After we left I told my companion I didn’t understand anything he said to me and my companion said “He was trying to speak English” haha so that made me feel a little better at not understanding.

Spiritual thought for this week is James 2:16-17 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” A lot of people that we meet and teach say that they have great faith in Christ, but they don’t do anything because of it. If our faith is solely a belief, and doesn’t provoke action, it’s dead and essencially useless. Our faith should make us want to be a little better, work a little harder, love a little greater, in short, to be a little more like Christ. A living faith, a faith that drives our actions, is something that completely changes us. I love that I have the opportunity to see this faith in others and try to help them increase that faith through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone has a good week!
Elder Lawrence 🙂

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