Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Power Came Back On! March 23, 2015

Okay, I lied!  It wasn´t just another week, this week was crazy.  It was crazy good, but also crazy tense at several points.  I´ll explain piece by piece.

First, I´ll explain how it was intense.  I think it was early Tuesday morning at around 2 o´clock when we got a telephone call from the sister missionaries saying that someone was trying to break into their house.  We live a ways away and hence couldn´t do much to help them, but they called the police and a couple other men from the branch who live close by.  The man who was trying to break into their house ran off, but needless to say it put us on edge.  The sisters live in one of the more dangerous bairros, or neighborhoods, in Itumbiara.  If you go deeper into it it´s practically a favela.  The live outside of that part, but it is still not a very friendly place.  So, the next day my comp and I were walking and... Someone tried to rob me!  He was an aweful thief though, so he lost.  It wasn´t a Shaolin-Ssu packed action story, sorry about that.  He came up to us saying that he needed money for food, and we told him that we didn´t have any.  After that he tried to put a piece of paper in my shirt pocket, and then grabbed everything in my pocket and tried to pull it out.  I grabbed it too so that he couldn´t take it, and then we left.  It was kind of wierd.  I normally wouldn´t have let someone put their hand so close to my pocket, but he was acting like he was a little mentally challenged so I figured I´d cut him some slack.  I´m not doing that again!  Next, in this same day, we were heading to another lesson.  The sun had already set.  We were following a road that should´ve taken us close to the chapel, but we missed the road we needed.  Next thing we knew we were in the favela I talked about, and didn´t know how to get out.  Dangerous neighborhoods in Brazil aren´t like dangerous neighborhoods in the US, it´s a different level entirely.  The ones here aren´t so bad during the day, but they transform into a completely different animal at night.  The streets they´re are a mess, so it´s very difficult to leave the neighborhood.  We were wandering around trying to find our way out, when a little girl came running out to meet us on the street yelling "Elderes!  Elderes!"  It was the little 8 year old girl that the Sister missionaries had taught that asked me to baptize her!  "I want the one who says ´um.´"  Does that ring a bell?  She lived in the house that we were walking past, and knew how to get to the chapel.  She described how to leave the nieghborhood and off we went.  
   The next day Elder U. and I were on our way to a lesson when the power went out across half of the city.  The sun went down, and then we were in the dark.  The sisters called us and said that they were on their way into that same neighborhood that I just talked about when the power went out.  We said "Don´t go in their Sisters!"  We arranged to meet them in a safer part of town, and then we were going to walk them in to their house.  We met them at the house of a recent convert, and just stayed their for a little bit.  We were hoping that the power would come back on so we wouldn´t have to walk through this neighborhood at night with absolutely no light.  We waited, and waited, and waited.  The lights stayed out, and it was getting later.  We decided that walking through that neighborhood at 8pm without light would be better than at 9pm without lights, so we started to get up to leave.  I was literally in the act of going from a sitting position to a standing position when the power came back on!  The sister missionaries started screaming and chearing with relief, and Elder U. and I just sat down and took a deep breath.  We were pretty happy that we didn´t have to go into that neighborhood at night.  God takes care of his missionaries!
   That´s the gist of the week.  It was an awesome week, definitely not one to forget anytime soon.  We reached all of our goals, and we saw the hand of the Lord in our lives almost everyday.  It was tense at times, but we learned and grew from it.

Have an awesome week, family!

Elder Sweet

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