Monday, November 26, 2012

Oi, familia e amigos!!! 

   How strange it is to hear about Thanksgiving plans at home when it's so hot here. Summer in Brasil has just begun and every time I see a Christmas tree set up in someone's house, or Christmas decor in the stores, I think it's the most random and tacky thing ever. Then I remember that Christmas really is on its way and these people are serious. I wish you could all see the contrast between the hot beaches with their palm trees and the people walking around in Santa hats, along with their short shorts and bikini tops. 
     Mussurunga (Sorry, I keep changing the spelling because I swear its spelled different every time I see the name) neighbors the airport, and every 5 minutes or so (sometimes more), an airplane flies overhead so low that one would think we're on the tarmac. So this is how our lessons always go:
       "Joseph Smith wanted to know which Church he should join, and so....." AIRPLANE!!!!  "... and today we have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Needless to say, we really have to rely on the Spirit to convey our message.
       Things I learned this week:
    I have a crinkle in my forehead which creates a trail for sweat to drip perfectly into my left eye. I spent quite some time trying to furrow my brow in different ways to create a new trail, but to no avail. I'm currently working on plans to build a dam. I'll let y'all know how that goes.
    I learned what it really means to sweat. I'm really ok with people seeing me look my worst now, because there's simply no way around it.
    There's a family here who feed us quite frequently and the dad remind me of my dad. I miss you, daddy! This Brother was looking at pictures of my family the other day and he said, "Your dad is Steve Martin?! Tell him I want his autograph!"

    Yesterday, we ate dinner with some members who kept putting more food on my plate and filling my cup. Just when I thought I was going to die, I took my last bite of food and, resisting with all my might the natural urge to throw up (not because the food wasn't delicious-- it was! But because there was so much of it), determined I would throw my body over my plate if they tried to give me more. Then the husband brought out dessert. I was about to pop, but I couldn't refuse them when they were so happy to make me eat. I don't know how I did it, but I turned off my brain and made myself eat that dessert. Then the wife, smiling brightly at me, said, "Comer mais!" (Eat more!) 
   "Não, não," I tried to tell them,"não posso!" (I can't)
    But, not the least bit deterred, the husband took my dessert bowl away and returned with it completely full again! 
    I ate that, too.
    I'm learning that right when we think we've taken more than we can bear, we can always take more. And I'm not just talking about food. I wrote a poem about it. It's called "Sister, Comer Mais":

           The first taste of Bahia is a yummy treat,
            Fruit juice and meat with a mild spice.
           I smile as to me they entreat,
             "Sister, comer mais!"

           Farinha, alface, acáraje, and always
             Beans and rice.
            I've hardly taken my last bite, when:
              "Sister, comer mais!"

           I'm stuffed now, I really am.
             I can't take another bite.
          "No, no, you can! Of course you can!
             "Sister, comer mais!"
           I try, I sweat, I do my best
            In the sun, the rain, the lice.
           And just when I think I can have a rest,
            "Sister, comer mais!"

            Who'd have known it would take so much
              To melt my heart of ice?
             To swallow my pride, eat humble pie.
              Sister, comer mais.

            Did not His cross weigh so much more
             Than my flimsy little pack?
            Especially with the added sting
            Of stripes across His back.

            Spat on, mocked, scorned and torn,
              Honor stripped at roll of dice,
            No murmuring word escaped His lips
              When the Savior paid the price.

            His cup to drink, my plate to eat,
              With naught but God's will to entice,
            Through blistered feet and Bahia's heat,
               Senhor, eu vou comer mais.

Yeah, it's a little rough, but who has time for editing around here? And ok, no, I don't really have lice, but it rhymed and we do have a lot of tiny bugs all over our apartment. They aren't bad, though. I'm healthy and happy! This language is really challenging, and sometimes I just want a break from trying to understand it, but I know one day I'll be gratetful for this full-body immersion. And someday I will understand these people when they speak! I can understand Sister Rosado sometimes now, which is good! There's hope for me yet.
   I would love, love, love to hear other peoples' mission language-learning experiences! (AKA, PLEASE tell me that there are other people out there who have experienced what I'm experiencing now! Any words of encouragement for me?)

    Funny story of the day:
    For P-Day, my zone got together for some brincaderas (volley ball, water balloons, etc), and our volleyball got stuck in a tree. All the Elders tried throwing things at it to get it out, and finally they pulled out a ladder. One of the Elders climbed up with a broomstick and a few minutes later, tons of HUGE bats flew out of the tree! I've never seen bats so big outside of the zoo! It wasn't until they'd all cleared away that I realized I was the only one still standing under the tree. Everyone else had run away and hid! Sister Rosado laughed at me because, apparently, I'd been smiling at all of the bads in wonder, as if all of my dreams were coming true. Silly! It was pretty cool, though. Elder Duncan, my District Leader, nearly wet his pants from fright.

    Well, in the words of Porky Pig, "Dee da da lee blee, That's all folks!"

-Sister Whitaker

P.S. Family, I love every single one of you so much it hurts and I miss you more than I knew it was possible to miss people!!

No comments:

Post a Comment