MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015
I would like to share with you the legend of the red chicken. This is a well-known fable by all of the missionaries belonging to the Brazil, Santa Maria Mission. There was a city boy on a business trip in a small town. He asked the hotel clerk if there was anything fun to do in the town. She told him that the only thing there was to do in town was to attend the cockfight downtown. So, the man thanked her, and attended the fight. He showed up very unexperienced, as he had never attended a fight before. But he could see there was a white chicken and a red chicken being prepped for battle. Before hitting the betting booth, he decided to ask an experienced native for advice. He said, "excuse me sir, which chicken is the better chicken?" The man responded "The better chicken is, without doubt, the white chicken." So the city boy obliged, and decided to bet on the white chicken. The fight starts, and in seconds, the white chicken is just thrashed by the red one. Disappointed, the city boy looks up at the booth to view his advisor collecting prize money. So he said, "Hey, what’s your problem, man? You told me to bet on the white chicken!" The man responded "I said no such thing. You asked me which was the better chicken, and I responded correctly. The white chicken is a fantastic chicken. Well-behaved, cute, and very friendly. The red chicken is a FEIND!" Presidente Parrela likes to use this parable to describe us. At times, we need to be the red chicken. That is a sentence that, as Brian Regan would describe, I can’t believe I had to organize and aim at another member of our species. Anyways, so instead of telling people perhaps what they want to hear, at times, we have to tell them what they need to hear. Yes, we do need to be friendly, and work to build the confidence of the members. But we also need to put effectiveness over friendship, and, instead of seeking to be everyone’s favorite, be Ezekiel's "voice of warning."
So that’s that. Happy Mother’s Day to every mom out there! I sure had a fantastic one! I got to talk to my momma over skype! It was awesome. It’s always hard to hang up at the end, but we sure had a good chat.
This week was much better than my first two here in Ijuí. We had 10 more new investigators. The trick is, to turn these investigators into investigators that progress. That trick is GETTING THEM TO CHURCH…not quite happening yet. Sad, but we'll keep working on that. We are working really hard. Walking a lot. In Ijuí there are a lot of hills. Big ones. I’m getting my workout in, believe me. Cool thing is. It seems like the last 45 minutes when we're just exhausted and want to go to bed - those are the 45 minutes that we're having the most success. For example, both of our couples that show a lot of baptismal potential (Gabriel&Andressa, and The Couple on 7 de Setembro) were found between 8 and 9 at night, clapping doors.
As some of our pictures show - I say some pictures because the computer is way slow today, I have more - We had a little expedition last p-day. First, Sergio (recent re-activated member - same one that let us use his computer on Mother’s Day) wanted to take us to "Ijui springs" I was excited to go, thinking that it would be a pretty place for pictures, so I brought my camera along. However, we stopped at a bottled water factory, one that we couldn’t go inside. Sergio then directed us to a spicket outside the factory, and proudly said, "This is where people come to get good fresh water!" and we cupped our hands and tried some. It was good water, but it wasn’t worth driving 10 miles outside the city. Haha.
I was less excited about the second half of the expedition.
However my lowered expectations were elevated again when we stopped at a really cool cultural village. Every October, there’s a festival where all 12 of the "cultures" that comprise Rio Grande do Sul are presented. For example, there’s a Germany house, where there’s German dancing and German food. And there’s a Latvia house, where there’s lots of Latvian food, Latvian Dancing, and so forth. It was abandoned when we showed up, but it was still really cool.
Something else really cool - Aline and Clayton invited us over for an American Food dinner. Presented by yours truly, haha :) They asked me "give us something that we've never had before. So I made Navaho tacos :) They were really good. I had to improvise, though, because I talked with Aline in the afternoon to make preparations, and I can’t just say "hey can you have a bowl of homemade bread dough ready to fry up in a few hours?" So we used French toast instead of scones. It did the trick.
Hey. So I love you guys a whole lot. I’m super happy. My knowledge and burning testimony of the realness of Jesus and His Church grows every day. It's crazy. Until next week, people.
Elder Mitchell Wassom
A pair of shoes...gone!