Last week the power went out in Santa Maria so we couldn't send emails. Sorry, mom, I know you probably worried about that. We do have good plans for Christmas. Irmá Rita, who is kind of like the grandmother of all missionaries who come to Santa Maria was so excited to hear that we wanted to eat lunch with her on Wednesday and started talking about how she's going to prepare the turkey and everything. Then we'll skype from her son's house. I've gotten to know their family pretty well and I love the friendship we have. Sorry about the lack of pictures. There are just a lot of things to think about the whole week and I don't have the same kodak moment awareness that I used to have.
Last week I wasn't able to tell you about the graduation we participated in. Nearby Santa Maria, a language school had their graduation at the stake chapel, in Gama. They have it there every year, but this year our zone decided to participate in hosting the event. The public events rep for the stake organized our participation. Our zone, 14 missionaries, acted as hosts to show people around. We handed out books of Mormon and other things as people walked in. Weeks before we learned and rehearsed the Brasilian National Anthem. Luckily I found the sheet music online and practiced as much as I could the week before the event. I played the accompaniment on the piano and the rest of the missionaries sang the song in front of about 400 people at this graduation. It was funny because almost our whole zone is American, and we knew the words to the anthem better than the Brazilians that were there. This event was a good way to associate those weird kids who walk around in nice clothes (us) with the church. It was a good missionary opportunity as well. I was glad we could do something new and creative that week.
The night of the graduation, after getting off the bus at our stop. We started walking a different way home without really realizing it. Maybe Elder Magana did and I just wasn't paying attention. It wasn't until after we got home that I realized it. On our way we noticed an old man with a bandage on his head leaning against his truck. He was thinking about what he could do to get the furniture on his truck into his house. His wife had gone to get the neighbor to help. We asked if we could help and he thankfully accepted. I could tell he wasn't in good health conditions and he was very grateful for the help. I was happy to see how all the little occurrences of the night, including our taking a bus route we usually don't take, led to us finding that old man in the window of 1-2 minutes that he could have been helped.
This week I started reading Grandpa Royce's journals again. I love reading the stories found in them. They've helped me escape stressful days and moments for a time. I really enjoy seeing how the beliefs and ideals of Grandpa shaped Dad's childhood and future as a Dad.
Yes, I'm with the same companion and will be until at least January 6th.