Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brás Cubas – Week 8


Hey everyone, 

Another week in Brazil has passed by.  I'm sorry for the late entry.  Monday was a holiday and we couldn't find any place that was open that we could send emails from.  Anyway, this week was really cold and I was sick.  Not a great combo, but I learned some good things and had a few great experiences.  For now, suffice it to say that miracles still exist in the world.  I know that more now than I ever had before.

This week was hard, not just because I was sick, but because people kept canceling our appointments.  We would walk for 30 minutes to someone's house just to have them cancel.  And it was not time well-wasted, it was just time wasted.  And then on Saturday we spent all day visiting all of our investigators and inviting them to church.  Sunday morning came...only 3 investigators came to church, and none of them were invited by us.  What did that tell us?  To drop all but 2 of our investigators and start over from scratch.  Our goal this week is to do as many contacts as we possibly can and not stop until we have people to teach who will come to church and keep their commitments.  We will embark on this new journey starting this afternoon as soon as we finish emailing.

I now understand about 97% of all the Portuguese spoken to me and I can write almost fluently.  I still need to learn a lot of vocabulary, but I can communicate nearly any idea (in a roundabout way) that I want to.  We were at a member's house for lunch on Sunday and I participated in making several jokes and even told a few humorous life stories in Portuguese.  The problem now is embarrassment.  I don't speak as much as I really could because I can't make the sounds come out of my mouth correctly all the time.  I am learning to get over it as I hear more Americans speaking Portuguese.  Elders who have been here for almost 2 years have American accents so thick I can barely understand their Portuguese.  I may not have a large vocabulary, but my accent is pretty good.  Eu não vou ter vergonha mais. (I will not have embarrassment more.)

The quote of the week is taken from an article by Brad Wilcox about the importance of laughter.  He told this story: "Some time ago I was a passenger on an airplane that was coming in for a landing.  As we neared the airport, the other passengers and I began to realize that we were traveling much faster than normal.  I could feel the anxiety level in the plane start to rise.  Suddenly the airplane hit the ground with great force and then began taxiing down the runway.  Shaken, we passengers sat in stunned silence until the captain's voice came over the sound system: 'Take that, you bad, bad runway!'  We all erupted in laughter.  With a humorous viewpoint and a shared laugh, and uncomfortable situation had become bearable."  That story is beautiful.  Just like the captain in a tense moment was able to be the catalyst for relieving the pressure, we must also learn a few jokes to help others to be comfortable in difficult situations.

Para sempre, (forever, or literally for always)

Elder Tyler Andrew Bushman

 Two beautiful sunsets.
 A sweet mural on a local street.

1 comment:

  1. If you can joke in your language, you're doing really well! Having also served a foreign mission, I wish I had learned more "everyday" words, such as occupations. Doing so would have made it easier for me to communicate when I got home and could take about something other than the Gospel. I was fluent in Gospel-talk!

    Sister Cochran