Tudo bemmmm familia e amigos. I write this time from the chapel in West Bridgewater, MA as the rain/snow/sleet/stuff continues to fall outside. And seeing as P-day ends very soon I don't have much time to write. HOWEVER.
Welcome to Brockton.
The Brockton Portuguese branch is CRAZY. Crazy awesome. And a mercurial shift from Bloomfield. Lets just say... at sacrament on sunday, I was more than a little envious of the kids who got to wear the translation headphones. It would be bad form for a portuguese-speaking missionary to use the translation, but then again, who says I really fit into that category anyway?! I think maybe part of why I didn't understand the talk was because it was in Portuguese creole, which leads me to the most interesting discovery that---
something like 70% of Brockton is from Cape Verde. So the (small amount of) portuguese doesn't sound like the portuguese of the ward and most of the people we teach. So I must learn creole! Or perhaps just portuguese first... Adventures of missionary life neh?
My companion is Elder Lopes, who was born in Recife, Brazil and moved to the US when he was 8. He's lived in the states since then but visits Brazil often and his dad and some siblings live down there now. There are 6 missionaries in the branch, 4 elders and 2 sisters. the other 2 elders live with us, and they are both from brazil also. Sao Paulo I think. Its me and three brazilians and its FANTASTIC.
The work is on fire here. We have 4 baptismal dates and on sunday we had 7 investigators at church. But it is not without work. I'm busy trying to learn as fast as I can and open my mouth when I don't know what's gonna come out. That's hardest for me, because I'm used to expressing myself easily, and now its like BACK TO KINDERGARTEN ELDER JACKSON and I'm struggling to accept it.
BUT. One of our investigators, Socorro, is a mom who's husband is in Cape Verde (like many many families here) and has 4 kids, 3 of whom came to church on Sunday. And Socorro's brother served a mission in Portugal but is less active and she wants us to go find him. And she accepted a baptismal date on Saturday. And unlike most of the branch, we didn't have to wake her up to go to church-- we showed up and they were all getting ready. AHHGHH. beleza.
The lyme disease is sticking around and being a stupid butt BUT I got good news kids.... I'M GOING TO YALE! They accepted me as a patient and will see me sometime in the near future. So maybe they'll discover something and I will know I was called here for a reason. The Lord works in mysterious ways, neh?
I know the gospel is true, people. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know Cape Verdeans are awesome. And I know that talks on the Law of Chastity in Portuguese Creole are THE BEST.