Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brazil Teresina Mission stories

The following are clips e-mails sent by the mothers of some of the Elders serving in the Teresina mission. They give us a small look at the adventures and blessings that await James in the mission field. Andrew started out in Imperatriz. When the President sent him there his question was "How do you like camping? The city is southwest of Teresina on a tributary of the Amazon, the Tocantins river. He had many fun adventures there. During the rainy season, when it is impossible to maintain the roads, the bus service is very interesting. They had to ride the bus a 12 hour trip to get to Sao Lous for zone conferences. At about 2 am into the trip, the bus stopped they told them all to get out with all of their stuff and walk a mile through the washed out road and another bus would pick them up on the other side. Andrew thought it was so interesting that everyone just accepted it as the way it is. In America they'd go another route or demand their money back but in Brazil, that's just the way it is. It was a place where the church has been there for awhile. He liked the exoticness of Teresina, the river, new flora and fauna that was cool, the tropical fruits that somehow compensated for the rice and beans and beans and rice and rice and beans that he eats everyday. The members feed them and that's what they can afford. After 7 months there [they teased him that he was serving in the Imperatriz mission instead of the Teresina since he'd never served anywhere else since arriving from the CTM] He only mentioned the heat and humidity once. He decided not to complain about it so he could cope with it better and it worked for him. He was transferred to Teresina last month. It is so incredibly hot there. And October and November are the hottest months. The best thing so far about being in Teresina, is the attention the president is able to give them, living so close. He called them one night and told them to open the door cause he was coming in. He stayed for 4 hours, teaching them and helping them plan their program. When he promised me that he would care for Andrew as his son, he wasn't kidding. Elder Carter’s mother, serving in A├žailandia: He seems to like Acailandia and the members there. He said his trainer, Elder Iglesia is great...they just have a hard time communicating due to the language barrier. He ate lunch at a members home where they make cotton candy for a living. They have 3 teenagers. They are very poor. The teenagers sat at the feet of the elders while they ate lunch. It was humbling for Mason. He said he didn't realize what a luxurious life he lived in the USA. He is learning as much from the people in Brazil as they are from him right now. He got "hissed" at by girls for the first time....that is how they flirt I guess. They call those girls "snakes". About the hissing. In South America, you don't get someone's attention by yelling "Hey you" like they do here. They hiss through their teeth. Friends even do it to each other. So that is why the girls and creepy men in the street do it to the missionaries, they are trying to get their attention, and yes flirt. We always ignored it. Sometimes members would chase us down the street and ask why we didn't respond when they were trying to talk to us. But we learned to not even look when we heard hissing. Written by Elder Blackham’s mother: during transfers some missionaries would ride a bus for 12 hours, some times the bus would make it and some times it would break down and then they would be stranded, some times over night until a relief bus arrived. She also said that some would travel by boat during transfers and sleep in hammocks, where they would sleep next to and above people they didn't know. To fill some of the fonts for baptisms the Elders would make bucket brigades to fill them, working in their white shirts and ties the whole time. Some Baptisms would take place in the river where members would stand by keeping the piranhas and other creatures away, while the baptisms take place. They told of the members faithfulness: traveling long distances, and in floods and mud to attend meetings, When members want to attend the Temple they save their money and take a 2 day bus ride from Belem to Recife. They told of one man who made a 6 hour canoe trip to church, one way, to fulfill his calling each Sunday

1 comment:

  1. Hi, my name is Alexandre. I'm a member of the Church. I'm from Campo Maior, Piaui, Brazil, a town few miles away from Teresina. I knew Elder Crittenden on last conference. I can tell you that almost this things about Teresina Mission are true. I didn't know about the troubles of buses, but I saw girls and creepy men whistling to them many times, and like you said we call them "snakes". Well, I just wanted to say you that E. Crittenden is a great guy and he is doing a great work helping our Father builds His kingdom here. I'm going on a mission next month too and I am very anxious to do what missionaries do. Bye :)