Monday, September 24, 2012

Greetings from Brasil!

This week I was able to experience the biggest holiday here in the Rio Grande do Sul......Semana de Farroupilha. This holiday celebrates the time when the Rio Grande do Sul rebelled against the rest of Brasil because they wanted to be their own country. Obviously, they lost this battle, so I don't know why they celebrate defeat.......but whatever floats their boat. Anyway, it was pretty awesome (besides the fact that NO ONE wanted to listen to the missionaries that day). All of the men dress up in traditional Gaúcho clothing (cowboy hat, boots, bandanas, etc. I will send pictures) and the women in dresses called prendas. They have this huge parade with about a billion people on horseback carrying flags of the Rio Grande do Sul. I think it is a cool tradition. I enjoyed myself! We had District Meeting that day, so the Elders dressed up in their traditional Gaucho clothing. I am working on buying all of my traditional Gaucho clothing. One piece at a time. (I am a poor missionary). BUT, I have a pair of traditional pants called bombachas and a pair of traditional shoes called sapatilhas. 

One more week until transfers! After 4 months here in Montenegro, I am kind of looking for a change in scenery, but I will do whatever the Lord and President Wright want me to do. Also, one more week until my birthday! Praise the heavens that my birthday fell on P-Day. I am quite content with that fact! 

I am counting down the days until General Conference! I love it soooo much! I can't decide if these last 6 months went by fast or not, but I am just happy to be able to hear the words of the prophets again!

Sister Marques and Sister Castro have said that I have been talking in my sleep BIG TIME lately. Every night practically. According to them, I have introduced myself as Sister Barnes, tried to hold our weekly planning session, and talked about one of Sister Castro's investigators in my sleep. I am also eating A LOT lately. I have problems! 

This week, a 25 year old guy in my ward got his mission call. He was baptized 2 years ago and has been working since then to be able to pay for his mission. However, after he sent his mission papers in, he soon after heard from Salt Lake saying that they wouldn't be able to issue his mission call until he lost about 40 pounds. He has been working, exercising, dieting, praying for MONTHS to lose this weight so he would have the opportunity to serve the Lord. After months, he had only lost about 20 pounds. I saw him cry multiple times, discouraged that he would never be able to serve a mission. The other day, I got a phone call from him. I answered and he said, "I'm going on a mission to LONDRINA!!!!" (another mish in Brasil). His mission call came as a surprise in the mail the other day! I am so happy for him! I know he will make a great missionary because he will not take a minute of his time on the mission for granted! 

Love you all! 
Sister Autumn Barnes
McDonald's! Never really liked it at home, but I was in the mood for American Fast Food!
Stuck in a rainstorm!
My district in Gaucho clothing. 
 My Zone Leader, Elder de Oliveira. He will be going home in one week. I am wearing bombacha e sapatilhas. (traditional pants and shoes)
A traditional Prenda dress
Horses in the parade

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