Hey, sorry I didn´t write last week. We were really busy and we had to scramble around to get everything done. But everything is great here in Bahia and I'm loving the mission more and more. No doubt I face challenges but nothing that is too difficult to withstand! .. Our last two weeks really have been kinda sad. We have been working, but we haven´t found a ton of success and I think the saddest moment on my mission occured last week. We met a family the first week I was here in Camaçari and they are awesome!! I love them soo much and to be around them is always fun, the only real drawback about being around them is I'm getting fat from all the juice and cake they give me!! It's starting to become a real problem ha. But they have a very interesting story that I'd like to share with you.
Maria, the mom of the family, is really the rock of the family who really makes all the decisions and is kinda the head that moves the body. and she is so nice to us and is always giving us stuff to eat or whatever she has to give. But when we arrived to the house last week she was crying and we didn´t know why, so we go in and sit down and kinda get ready to ease into what had happened and we notice that her son, Andre, is watching TV and eating some dinner. And so we figured that something had happened with him and her that caused her to be way sad. You can't just go barging in there with guns blazing asking question after question, so I start teaching something from the Book of Mormon and about 5 minutes into the lesson when we started talking to her and asking what is the matter, 2 guys show up at the front gate. In Brasil everyone has a front gate or really front door that is always locked that is generally about 6 feet from the front door of the house and these 2 guys bang on the gate and ask for André. So André goes over to the gate and they begin to talk a little and then they start raising their voices and within 30 seconds they are yelling at each other about something. So Maria, the mom, goes over to the gate that André had opened and that is when I looked at my companion and he said to me, "dude, he's got a huge knife!" I looked again and he really did have a huge knife and his grip around the knife was getting tighter. And just when I thought he was gonna stab André, Maria jumped in front of André to keep him from the knife and the thug almost cut Maria and started screaming at André, " Sem Vergonha, Sem Vergonha!" Which is like, iI'm not embarrassed to kill you in front of your mom. And when he started saying that André went nuts and started going after the dude to fight him but Maria closed the gate and locked it before he could leave. And when she locked it, the 2 guys got in their car and drove away. And needless to say my message about how when we are baptized our homes can be more peaceful was pretty much laughable at this point ha. Because everyone in the house was on edge. Maria was sobbing and André was pacing the house now in anger. And just when I thought maybe we can salvage the lesson and teach André somthing or resolve the problem for them 2 other dudes rolled up on bikes and when André saw them he exploded. He started screaming at these 2 guy and they were laughing in his face and yelling back. And the only thing that i could really understand was when André said pretty much this, "I'll meet you up the road, I'll meet you up the road!" It was way intense, and when André said that the guys rode off up the road to who knows where. And after they left André went into the kitchen and when he came out to the front to really go meet those guys he had in his hand a machaddy! .. Maria instantly when she saw the knife jumped in front of him and stopped him from leaving. And no doubt that act saved his life because if he would have left those guys would have killed him.
After all of this happened my companion looked at me and said, "you want to go find those guys and talk to them?" And I responded, "yeah," and off we went to look for what I later found out to be drug dealers. We left Maria´s house and looked; followed where we thought the dealers went but after about 10 minutes we couldn´t find them and knew they were in there safe house far away. So we went back and talked to the family. We talked to André, we talked with Maria, We talked with everyone in their house and we found out that André is addicted to all kinds of drugs and owes people money.
Elder Augusto and I have worked nonstop to help him and his family. I am so physically and spiritually tired because what we have been doing for them and the saddest part is, that I know what will bring them more peace and relief then they have yet experienced. Baptism, baptism will bring a new life and power into the house and more important the covenants that if we do all we can do and we keep the comandments we can have the spirit with us all the time. I think that I have really found the sad part of missionary work, people who are ready and beleive but don't have the faith to "jump" into the waters of eternal life. I love this work and I will WORK, to help everyone I can. I am starting to learn to be grateful for adversity and I know that through difficulties is where we can grow the most. I know that we have the capacity to endure all things as the greatest creations of our Heavenly Father, butI do know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can truly endure all things, with a smile. I love you all very much, I think about you indivdually everyday and say silent prayers that you are safe and happy. It is my prayer that we this day leave our pride, our addictions, and desire to sin behind and we have the courage to "jump" into the arms of His love, is my prayer in the Sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amén.
Love Elder Brown
P.s. Pray for André and more importantly that the family will have a desire and see that the Gospel can change their lives.