Written September 7, 2015:
Look, sorry that I didn’t get to write you all a letter, It’s just that today is a holiday here, and the Cyber Café is closed. So I worked with what time I had. All´s good around here, and I’m looking forward to talking more in depth this following week. But as a brief overview, it was just another week. Elder Sena and I are getting along well. Marrone received the Priesthood this Sunday!
(Elder Wassom hand wrote and scanned this letter attached with his email.)
7 Setembro 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
So today is Brazilian Independence Day. While this is perhaps a day of celebration, it also means that the Cyber Café will most likely be closed. And so amongst the festivities and churrasco, I will be slightly on edge not knowing how I will be able to get a letter off to you, and, even more importantly to me, read all of yall’s letters. My hope is that the assistants will approve the use of members’ computers, and everything will be A-OK. With the best-case-scenario, however, is implied the probability that we will not have a full hour to write yall, as in times past. Therefore, I will write yall in paper and cheap blue pen form.
Although the celebrations occur, the patriotism in these parts is extremely low. First off, Rio Grande do Sul has, for the past few decades, been threatening to secede from Brazil. But Brazil doesn’t want that to happen, because a ton of natural resources and agriculture come from here- and practically sustain Brazil. Therefore, the 20th of September is even more recognized here than the 7th because the 20th was when Rio Grande do Sul won some important battle against Argentina, or something like that. AND comically, everyone seems to know the State Anthem more than the National Anthem. And if that’s not enough Anti-Patriotism, the government associations from the whole state have been on strike for the last 2 ½ weeks. Amongst these government agencies are the schools, the local buses, the healthcare agencies (one more reason why national healthcare is so… well… I’m a missionary; I can’t debate political issues) and, as frightening as it is, even the police are on strike. Now, Mom, if it is any more calming to you, with the lack of police, the crime rate here is Ijuí hasn’t risen all that much. Just more weed-smoking teenagers is all. But with no police, the 7th of September parade was cancelled. To me, that’s not that big of a deal; I’m not a huge fan of parades anyway. Plus, I’ve already seen my share of “parades” recently, but those “parades” involve protests and pickets instead of face paint and floats. So, Happy Independence Day!
While we’re on a comic-sarcastic note, there’s a funny story with a bad excuse not to let us in the house of a street contact. I remember Blake had a story about how there was one lady who said, “I have hot tea in my mouth and can’t answer the door.” My story isn’t THAT radical, but it’s still pretty funny. So we clapped the door of a house to which a teenage girl told us to return the following day when her dad, Flademir (not a name I would give to my son) was home. So we returned the following day as directed. There was a 5 year old playing with toy trucks in front of the house. I asked, “ Is Flademir there?”
“Yeah, I’ll go get him”
“Thanks.” He returned with Flademir. “Hello, Flademir?”
“Uh, no…Flademirs…in the shower. Come back another day.”
Then the 5 year old shouted, “But Dad, YOU’RE Flademir!”
“Quiet Son! Er, Flademir’s….washing clothes.”
So, at this point, I would just let it go on a normal day. But I had a long day, and I’m like my papa and I don’t like it when people lie to me. So I continued, “Flademir’s washing clothes in the shower?”
“Um, no, Just in the shower”
“Hmm. And what’s your name sir?”
“No! No! Look, Flademir had a long day at work, alright? He wants to rest a bit.”
“Looks like he won’t be able to, though, if he’s already gotten to his ‘in-the-shower-clothes-washing’ duties”
“Er, yeah. Pass by another day.”
So…Turns out I’ll just have enough time to send you this letter. Details about the week, and about our 7th of September party to come.
Love you all. Sorry for the brevity
Pictures taken at the 7th of Setembro celebration: