I love being a missionary, it is so great!
There are a bunch of stories and things that I need to tell you.
First, a miracle story from last week that I forgot about. We were walking along the street and I saw a sign for Churros (shu-hus). Well, that was exactly what I felt like eating, so we stopped and I offered to buy some for my companions also. Well, the lady cut up the dough for the churros, and I was like, "that is the most pathetic churro I have ever seen. I can buy one 3 times as long as that for 1 dollar at Costco!" Well, my doubts were soon pacified when the woman then took the churro and filled it with leite condensado (sweetened condensed milk) and chocolate (chocolate). Oh my goodness, that churro was out of this world! Anyway, we were standing there eating our churros and I started talking to the lady about the Church. I wasn't able to pay yet because another car drove up and the lady had to start making more churros. Well, a man got out of the car and stood there waiting for his churros as we talked more about the gospel. The man hadn't even said a word, but when the lady finished his churros, he asked if he could pay for our churros as well! What a blessing! Nephites still walk the earth, and the Lord is fulfilling his promise to his servants that they shouldn't worry about what they should eat or drink because they will be provided for. :D
Second, the greatest contacting story of my mission. We stopped by a church waiting to cross the street. As we waited, I look around and noticed that there was a wedding in the Church. And what do you know, the bride was sitting in the car. As I thought more and more about the situation, that weird feeling started bubbling up inside of me that I was going to do something crazy and irrepressible. I consulted with my companion; he advised that I not. And yet there was that nagging feeling. I did it quickly before I could think too much about how ridiculous it was. I walked up to the car, extended my hand through her open car window to shake her hand, and said, "Parabens, nossa presente para voçê," (Congratulations, our present for you) and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I walked quickly back over to where my companion was. Once we walked across the street, I looked back and noticed some things I hadn't realized before. The church was the Assembleia de Deus, a church which despises our church. I also noticed that the bride was no longer in the car. I had given the Book of Mormon to her in the most likely most terrifying few moments previous to the beginning of the ceremony! Well, I know that she will now always remember the Mormon missionaries, and I hope that our encounter helped calm some of her nerves. :D
Also, that breakfast stuff is called mingau. Apparently there are several ways to prepare it. I learned about one way this past week. Heat 1 cup of milk, two tablespoons of corn starch, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a pan over the stove and stir until it thickens. There might be more steps, but that's the basic gist of it!
Also, musical ability is really lacking here. Most people can't sing the melody of hymns very well, and no one sings the harmony. Well, yesterday in Church, the singing was sounding pretty stable and intune. I decided to venture from my position of support and test out a harmony. It was great! I felt so good to sing a little harmony again. Well, Brazilians don't mince words. Later, my companion told me that it was annoying to other when I sing the "other notes". hahaha Now I'm supposed to sing hymns they way they're supposed to be sung. OOPS! :D
Can I just tell you that I love the rules? I love obedience. Here, there is a culture of disobedience. It's been a little hard to be patient with this. I can just tell you that obedience is so freeing. When we obey, we have the promise of the Lord that He will bless us. He WILL! How can we hope to affect the lives of others for eternity if we don't have the faith to be obedient? I love the words of the Savior from hymn number 185. "Be obedient, I implore. Prayerful, watchful, evermore. And be constant unto to me that thy Savior I may be." We allow the Savior to save us when we are obedient. I love you all. There is so much I want to say, but so little time. I only have an hour for email. I love you!
Love, Elder Parker Ayer