November 25, 2019


Ala 1, Livramento, Brazil


Elder Matthew Odenwalder

Week 23: We've Gone Viral

Brothers and Sisters,

This week I had the chance to go on splits with Elder Giménez and visit Ala 1, my first area of the mission. While I was there, I got to talk with a few of the same people that I knew while I served there, I noticed very clearly the black and white difference in my Portuguese. I was talking with some of the people that I couldn't understand when I was there, but this week I was not only able to understand them, but I was able to teach and have meaningful conversations with them. I'm not sure if the people there noticed so clearly, but it was a huge confidence booster for me.

Later this week, after I had returned to my area, we were delivering some cookies to a member and she asked if we had seen the picture of us that was all over Facebook. Of course, we hadn't because we don't use or have access to Facebook in the mission. She invited us in and showed us a meme that she had seen on a Facebook page. The meme said (in Portuguese) "Admit it you've run away or hidden from these guys before." The meme had a picture of Elder Odenwalder and I that someone had taken without us knowing. Later that day, we took cookies by a member’s house. She had already seen the picture on Facebook and took a picture of us and commented to the post a picture of us holding the cookies that we brought and she said "I didn't run away, and today they brought us cookies". After she posted that, the post went viral. It has over 14,000 shares and thousands of comments. All the members in our ward were telling us about it, the other missionaries in the city all heard about it as well as a few missionaries that we know. The comments are full of people telling stories, sharing photos of missionaries, and asking how to contact the missionaries, mostly all positive about missionaries and our message. We have yet to see any teaching opportunities from the post because it's a page that people all over Brazil follow and not just concentrated in Livramento, but it's clear that it's bringing more attention to missionaries all over the country.

Elder Walker

Notes from phone call:
This week was the first time they walked all the way out to the farthest neighborhoods in their area to contact. I think he said it is a 7 km walk one way. It is a far walk to contact, but it is hard to find success out so far because very few people have cars and that is a very long walk for people to attend church.


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