Monday, March 2, 2015

Vila Sônia - Week 5

Hey everyone! Big news this week...Vicente got baptized! His friend baptized him, and then the Branch President confirmed him. It was really awesome to see my first baptism, and it happened really quickly too! That just goes to show how much easier our jobs can be when the members find the people for us to teach. Yeah, I'm looking at all of you! :)

On Tuesday, we had a zone conference with President and Sister Cabral. Out of all the stuff they talked about, one thing that kinda surprised everyone was their announcement that as of now, our mission is following the example of the rest of the world and us missionaries will now stay in our areas for at least 6 months! So that's a pretty big change. But it's designed to help us work with the members better and make more lasting changes, or at least that's what I think it will help us to do. So I'll have a lot of time here with Irmã Barbara and Vila Sônia, which I'm happy about :) I wonder if that will make the time feel like it's going faster or slower, to have fewer areas? My only concern is that if I get an area without a piano, I will cry :)

Zone Conference

The rest of the week, lots of stuff fell through and just in general didn't really work out, because we were focusing a lot on getting Vicente baptized. But at least that happened! He has two kids, so hopefully they'll be able to learn about the gospel too.

Just kind of an interesting development this week, I've got little red dots all over my arms. Not like super tiny, really red pin-sized dots, but kinda like...I don't know. Not chicken pox or anything haha :) A bit like super early zits I guess? But it's not that. Just kinda faint red spots. I don't know, I don't want to alarm you :)

This last Sunday they gave me 7ish minutes to practice for the hymns we sang in sacrament. Which is pretty much no practice :) So I'm getting lots of sight-reading practice...which would be a good tip for Jake. Hymns, hymns, hymns, if nothing else.

Our weather has been pretty hot (although a little bit cooler than recently, only hovering around 85ish) except for the days when it rains. So we've had some awesome breezes and such.

[About air conditioning] There's AC in the office in Santos (we went there today to deliver the baptismal form) and in that one house, I guess. Not really anywhere else that I've noticed. But fans work nicely, when they have them. Except it makes it really hard to do paperwork and stuff, haha :)

I will tell Irmã Barbara thank you, for sure :)  [With the coxinha] it was...pineapple juice I'm pretty sure. She does really natural juices, so they're really good. And she made a lime tea thing for us when we got a little sick a few weeks ago, I don't know if I told you about that.

I talked to Elder Richards about [the book] Quiet the other day, because a few people had called me "tímido" (shy) and they thought it was the language, which I felt was incorrect. I pretty much know how to say everything I want to say, it's just that I don't talk that much. But I'm not shy! Haha :) But I think I will use that to my advantage here.

On Friday we walked into a McDonald's to see how expensive it was (I was naturally curious), and a quarter-pounder was like 22 reais [about $10]. Which is ridiculous.

Some interesting things that happened this week:
  • We got a super natural sugar cane drink from this guy driving around in a van, he just ground up a load of sugar cane with this machine and it went into a cup, and he filtered the non-liquid bits out and we drank it! So that was pretty good.
  • We've ordered pizza a few times (I haven't, but the other elders have) and it's pretty good, for not being much like American pizza.  
  • I got a bag of yogurt this week, and the brand is called...Very Gurt :) which is pretty funny. But yeah, those are good to just drink for breakfast. It's a 1 kilo bag, so I obviously don't drink all of it.  
  • We've been having some cool lightning storms.  
  • Also, I finished going through the Book of Mormon (Portuguese and English) and marking it, which I hadn't done before. It was really cool, it helps to remember important stuff by doing that. 
  • The son of Irmã Barbara was dancing and singing to All About that Bass the other day, which was adorable :)  
  • Also, we went to the padaria one day this week and they had chocolate sonhos! Which was basically just brigadeiro mix inside of the bread thing, like normal, with chocolate sprinkles. It was amazing.
  • We were on the Onibus the other day and I saw a V-Strom [motorcycle] parked in somebody's garage! It was pretty neat :)  
Not a lot of other news, we're going to work a lot more this week on working with the members to find new people to teach! More work as usual, which is good. Thanks to everyone for their support and prayers. Until next week!

Elder Bratsman

A super sketchy apartment building


  1. So happy about your baptism! I can't believe you know the language so well so soon! You are amazing!

  2. Wow, reading these are getting me excited for Keaton's! Which is good, since his is coming up quick...!

  3. Wow, reading these are getting me excited for Keaton's! Which is good, since his is coming up quick...!