Welcome to my letter,
Tuesday night I rode on a bus to Brasilia. Elder Reese and a few other missionaries from my MTC group came along too. We renewed our visas in the Brasilia airport. I got to meet "THE WHITE DRAGON". What a privilege. The white dragon is one of the people who works at the visa place. She never smiles and only says things once. She's really white and appears so fed up with things to the point that she will probably set you on fire if she breathes close to you. The mission secretaries named her the white dragon. I smiled so wide when she called my name and took my fingerprints, but her mouth didn't arrange a smile. Anyway, I enjoyed the time (5 HOURS) we waited in the airport because I got to talk with other missionaries (which you don't actually have a lot of time to do on the mission) and talk to people from my MTC group. We stayed the night in Cruzeiro, where Elder D. Call is working (he's from ARKANSAS!). Elder Reese and I had some time to go on splits and work in his area a little bit. We knocked on doors and did contacts. It was funny because the rich people there act like they're not home or give really funny excuses. Sometimes they even combine all their possible excuses to not answer the door into one sentence. One lady didn't want to come to the gate. We asked for a cup of water and she came out. As we talked to her a little bit, she put her arms out to her side, blocking her kids from coming closer to the gate, as if we were angry barking dogs on the other side. I don't know what it is, but people were scared of us there. We finally found someone who came to the door to talk to us and we ended up talking to him for some good time. He explained his beliefs and told us why he doesn't agree with our doctrines. I was glad I was with Elder Reese because we have the same way of talking and teaching people. We got to be really good friends with him, laughing and discussing religion. After hearing that Nephi built a boat, he said "this book (the book of Mormon) should be made into a movie!" I said "I know it should! Will you help us make it?!" He was commenting from the side of "wow, this book is ridiculous, how could anyone believe in it?" but it didn't really bother me. We made a good conversation out of it and became good friends. You have to learn how to laugh with people and to not take things so serious all the time like some people do. It was interesting to watch our conversation with him unfold. I could pinpoint pivotal moments in the conversation--moments in which we could either take offense and argue, or we could smile and explain our point of view in a light invitational way. I was happy that we had a chance to bare our testimony of the Book of Mormon. Even though he disagreed on many points, the conversation we had was enlightening and positive for both of us. I'm glad that we had time to work in Cruzeiro before going to bed and I'm glad that we made use of that time and found an excellent person.
We took a double-decker bus on the way home. You guys are probably wondering whether I sat on the top or not. Drum roll please....I did. Oh it was cool. I wish I would have taken a picture because I know you guys probably think it's super cool that I rode a double-decker bus, but I forgot to take a picture. Maybe I'll ride another one in the future.
I lost my planner in which I wrote a few things to tell you all, sorry about that. This week was great, though. Fabrício got baptized by his great uncle. We're starting to teach his family now, which is exciting.
Thanks for the pictures Brooks and Braxton! And thanks for scanning them in, Dad.
Here, the penny doesn't exist. There is no such thing as a coin that represents one cent. The smallest amount represented by a coin here in Brazil is 5 cents. So when the cashier owes you in between 1 and 5 cents in change, he gives you a little piece of candy. I enjoyed this little fact last week as I received a piece of candy in exchange for 3 cents. I decided that the next time I want to buy something and don't have enough money, I'm going to give the cashier a few pieces of candy and walk out the exit.