Yes I made the Subject of this week’s email a quote from a Sith Lord (Count Dooku to be exact, although he wasn’t all that bad when you take everything into consideration, but I digress)
So we had multi-zone training this week. We were given some information about the Zika Virus. It is big in Recife Brazil, which is about the distance from Manassas to the middle of Nebraska, from us. It also is especially dangerous to pregnant women. It is carried by mosquitoes, and there are actually hardly any mosquitoes here in the city because the military wages an active campaign against them (it is quite hilarious, almost like the Great Emu War the British Empire fought in Austrailia). All this in mind I proudly claimed that I was “immune to all diseases”.
Well Brazil just had to prove me wrong.
The day afterwards I became super sick. As did essentially half the mission. We are not quite sure what it was, although my bets are down on the chili. Elder Neves, vegetarian that he is, did not eat the chili, so he didn’t get sick. So we did divisions with members. A member stayed in the house with me Friday and Saturday while I tried to sleep. Another made visits with Elder Neves.
It was really hard. I hated being in bed, unable to eat or drink anything and keep it in my body. Saturday evening my body finally allowed me to eat one orange and one carrot. I still haven’t returned to full eating capacity yet though. No longer sick, but I do believe my stomach has shrunk. You would have never believed that eating enough at meals would be a problem with me but Elder Neves says I don’t eat a lot. Even though I leave every meal full.
While I was lying in bed I was wondering why I got sick. I thought that if I had enough faith I would not get sick. I had received a blessing, I was a missionary of the Lord, I was working my best and being obedient. Why did this happen. I got super discouraged and the temptation to want to return home was so strong.
Saturday afternoon, when I could sleep no more, I was studying about faith in the book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven by Grant Von Harrison. President Dalton gave us all this book. I was reading a chapter about how our faith will be tested and tried before miracles occur. And it gave me a little more insight on my predicament. I am a soldier of the Lord, so of course the adversary will use every weapon to try and stop me, yes even bad chili. But the purposes of our trials are to prove that we are strong in our committments, to purge us of all uncleaniliness (Humour for Dad: I certainly am now), and to strengthen our faith.
I am glad for this opportunity to learn. Unfortunately a lot of other missionaries are still sick, but I know they will get better.
Got to confirm Caio this week. Here are pictures from his Baptism. His sister is standing next to him.
We had no baptisms yesterday due to some adversity, but I will work harder to overcome them.
I love you guys and I hope everything is well with you guys.
Tim sent me an email today subject line “Snow” with just a picture of the backyard. It was great. I sent him replies. He has yet to respond. Audrey should write me more emails as I love receiving them and try to write back. I’ve been trying to send this letter for her for forever, but it is really hard when we don’t have a post office nearby. Whenever I have a meeting in Santo Amaro we either have an appointment right after, or in the case of this week, it was closed…
QUESTION: why do you wear your name tag on the right lapel? It seems as though it should be on your left lapel. Is that a mission thing? Lots of missions make a big deal of it being on the left lapel.
ANSWER: In the CTM they told us to wear it on the Right lapel so that when we shake hands our name tag is forward. But I get 50/50 comments on it. So I switch each time.
QUESTION: How was Carnival?
ANSWER: Carnival was quiet here too. Although that might have something to do with a police presence that would make the locusts of egypt jealous. It was Beautiful.
QUESTION: What does the money look like?
ANSWER: Here are some coins we use each day. Elder Neves thinks Americans are crazy for collecting coins.
Brazil Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission Dec 2015- Dec 2017