Dear Family and Friends,
I was not only surprised with the support from home, but also in the support here in good ol Uruguaiana with my birthday! So I will start off with that... So first, I made a delicious cake sent from home (thanks mom+dad) to which I ate plentifully with Ice Cream that my comp bought me. My comp knows how to make me happy.
Then Carol surprised us by bringing us brownies. She was really happy that she found a recipe to something so American. That’s something that Brazil needs, btw. Brownies. Não existem aqui :( (they don’t exist here) but carol made me some and they were good. Different (I think she added vanilla) but good.
Then we went to Lucias for a family night and she surprised me with some strawberry-tangerine cake and... hot dogs.
From there, we went to Irmã Delmací, where she surprised me with... a cake, that’s right. It was a chocolate formiguinha-brigadeira cake with extra sweetened condensed milk. It was quite delicious. That was enough calories for one day :)
Later on in the week, we had a family night with Josemar and Elizangela, where we made a cake. We had a baptism of Irma Zaira, where there was a cake. We are celebrating today at her house with more cake. SO I think y’all understand the title of my email. I had lots of cake. I didn’t actually have any of the cake AT the baptism of Irma Zaira, but that’s because... I was halfway dead with the stomach virus of the century. Oh, and Elder Matoso gave me the bagual Brazil Soccer jersey.
So anyways, to respond to Francesca, yes, I was definitely spoiled by the Members on my birthday. I was not egged, thankfully. Their Birthday song has a melody like ours, just with the words:
Parabéns pra você (hei!)
Essa data querida
Muitos anos da vida!
Congrats to you (hey!)
that beloved date
many years of life!
And they sing it, accelerating the tempo, and clapping on beat. Many people asked me to sing it in English, but I explained to them that Americans aren’t creative enough to make a birthday song longer than 5 words.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear _____
Happy birthday to you
So let’s talk about Irmã Zaira. She’s awesome. Mom would call her a "cute" lady. She was the one that we just contacted one day, and invited her to church, to which she accepted. She never missed a Sunday since. And 3 week later, was baptized by Elder Matoso. She’s funny. The other day, we asked her "hey who are those people that live in the house next to you?" She responded "Them? Those are my neighbors." She just accepted the gospel with open arms. From day one, she just loved it. Day 4 she said she knew it was true. She’s way poor, can’t read, super super humble and a great lady.
At her baptism, there was a HUGE turnout. She was baptized with João Vitor from Ala Santana, so there were two wards there. The Santana Ward conducted the service. They announced: "and now, we will have a musical number by Elder Uchoa Sousa and Elder Wassom!" As I worked my way up to the front, the youth from my ward messed with me, saying "Eyy, Wassom. Dá o tom!" meaning "Hey wassom, give us the pitch" I responded honestly, with "I would, but first I need to know what song I’m singing." I never liked having things thrown on me like that. So anyways, I sang "A child’s prayer" with Elder Uchoa Sousa, who... attempted to play the violin. He says he has been playing violin since he was 12, but he still didn’t grasp the concept of tuning, and especially key signatures. So it was nothing short of a musical disaster, but... it just was. Pois é. It was in the key of Bb, and he missed, like, every Eb, and the final Bb, causing there to be no resolution to the song. To my choir friends, in short, he made the song end on "di." That’s only supposed to happen on a pickerty third in a minor key, which was not the case. I was pretty embarrassed to be a part of that, honestly. Elder Uchoa Sousa is a great person, and a good missionary. But he’s got some work to do on the whole violin thing.
I am approaching the end of my third transfer here in Uruguaiana. On Friday, I find out if I’m staying or not. I feel fulfilled here, like I don’t have much unfinished business to take care of, if I head off, but I would also be happy to stay here another transfer :)
Hey, so my time was cut short with all the pictures, but I’ll catch you up next week, tá?