Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Sprawl I (Flatland)

Elder Crooks and Elder Massey

 Upon arriving in Sal, I felt very much like Win Butler, when he sings about taking 'a drive through the sprawl', one because the city of Santa Maria happens to be quite more developed than what I've been used to so far, and also because of how flat it is here, as the song's subtitle references. In my last area, Elder Martinez told me to not worry about how much weight I gained in Maio, because I would definitely lose it in my next area, but when I found out my newest area happens to be likely the flattest area in the mission, I very quickly realized that the weight gain will likely continue.
 (Ever considered adjusting your eating habits???)
Santa Maria, Sal - clearly a little more modern than Maio!

I'll update y'all if any more pants find a way to rip. 
(He requested that I send some new larger pants...hope he can last a few more weeks until they arrive!)

In the Arcade Fire song, Win Butler sings about how, in driving through the city, he sees that the town is 'built to change', and, as such, we're here as missionaries to change the people of Santa Maria! A lot of the work that we've been doing this past week has been in finding new people to teach, as we already have some solid investigators, but not necessarily a lot, and in our goal to be teaching 3 lessons a day, we need to find more people to teach! A lot of how we spent our week revolved around contacting people, which was actually very enjoyable; it's been about the first time on my mission so far that I've actually ENJOYED talking to people randomly on the street! Maybe that's because the people here speak more Portuguese than Creole and I can actually understand them, but either way, it's becoming something Elder Crooks and I have had a lot of fun doing. We've actually had more than a fair share of people call us over and ask us to come over and talk to them, which was super legit. The only problem has been actually coming into contact with these people again... 

For this week, not a whole lot of incredible significance happened, but lots of little funny things did happen. In our contacts, we've had a few classic ones. One day, we were sitting on the side walk, and this guy came over and sat in front of us, and pulled out this like air filter box or SOMETHING, I have no clue what it was, BUT he proceeded to tell us that it was top secret, in dead seriousness with a smile on his face, and that he's a spy. Kinda weird that his name was something like Elohim... uhhhhhh

Another classic one was this guy we met inside a place where we get shwarma.  Before I continue, I want to mention, that the shwarma we get is just about the closest thing existing to fast food here and it's wonderful. It's hamburger, with french fries, tomatoes, onions, ketchup, AND mayo, ALL inside a tortilla. If that doesn't sound like heaven to you, then I feel very sorry for you (unless you happen to be vegetarian, then I apologize). 
(Here's an idea:  Cut back on the shwarma and maybe you won't be busting out of your pants!...)
ANYWAYS, we were waiting for our shwarma, and this guy came up to us, who had had MORE than his fair share of drinks, and he was speaking English to us, and going all weepy on us and stuff, so we gave him a pamphlet with our number on it, and to call us when he wants to talk and such, after which he graciously said a tearful thank you, and resumed dancing to the relentless funan√° for a few minutes, before coming back, and telling Elder Arteaga the whole story he gave us all over again, getting even more weepy. It was pretty classic watching him go from dancing like crazy to crying to dancing to crying again. We ran into him again the next day and marked with him to talk, but we never had luck finding him again. It was a funny experience for all of us. 
(The little guy in front's name is Messias but goes by Messi - which in Portuguese sounds just like Massey so they have developed a strong bond!  He and his brother are "robbing" the missionaries or as they say in Portuguese "cash or body".  Let's hope this never really happens....)
One other classic story from this week was how I resumed my duties as Branch Pianist, even though I'm on a different island. Apparently nobody here knows how to play, so I got to step up and play for our slightly larger crowd of almost 60 members. Since it was not known before hand the limits of my playing abilities, I was told to play the already chosen hymns, which, for the most part, went perfectly fine, until I hit the last hymn, 'Jesus, Minha Luz', or, 'The Lord is My Light'. That one did NOT go well at ALL for me, I caused  so many flubs that the British couple who were seated right in front of me (on their honeymoon) were practically killing themselves laughing. All in all, it was an enjoyable AND embarrassing (perhaps humbling...) experience. Thinking I'll be asking our Branch President to pick hymns out of the simplified book from now on ... 
(Apparently it wasn't completely awful as he has been asked if he can teach some members there how to play....might be looking to Mama for a little help with that job!)

 Anyways, that's just about all I got for this week, hoping all is well wherever this finds you!

Elder Massey, the ever-so-slightly-heavier 
(He now weighs more than his dad....)

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