I don’t have time to write today because I had to go golfing on the beautiful 9 hole golf course in our area, so I told mom to write my letter for me. I knew it would be a challenge for her since she is not here to see our day to day activities, but I figured she could pull together a quick letter from the experiences we talked about last night, when I called her at bedtime, and she lovingly stayed awake to talk to me.
This area has been a little harder than some of our others, because it lacks both a high school and a university. Our best and most receptive investigators are students who are open to learning new things and willing to study things out for themselves. Many people tend to go along with the social norms, and will say they are one religion or another, but they really can’t tell you what they believe. Anyway, last week we found a group of about fifteen young men who were parading around shooting off firecrackers in the name of some religion (that mom can’t remember the name of). We stopped to talk to them. They were happy to engage with us but told us they were not interested in our religion because they already had one. When we asked them to tell us about their “God” (who mom can’t remember the name of either) they kind of looked at each other and then started laughing. None of them knew anything about their God or their religion. They were there for the social aspect of gathering and lighting firecrackers. We find that kind of attitude a lot. They really don’t have much of a faith in anything, but they like the social part and get their fulfillment from the things of the world.
One of the people we have been teaching was already a Christian and that helps. She has been reading from the Book of Mormon, but because even Christianity is new to her, we are having to go slowly and review a lot. She is great, and she loves what we are teaching her, but she also feels a sense of responsibility for her Pastor in the other church. She is afraid not to go and pay her tithing for fear his children will not have anything to eat if she does not show up to pay him.
I am on the home stretch and plan to finish strong. Next week we have transfers on Monday, and I will transfer to the office where I will have my final interview, have dinner with the President’s family and then head to Taipei to tour a famous National Monument, go to the temple and catch a flight. Then, 36 hours later I will see you in Brazil.