Can’t Beat That Smile

Letter #33

Dear Family and Friends,

Dad asked if I’ve gotten his letter. I haven´t yet, but I don´t know when he mailed it. We were invited to lunch with the secretaries, the only senior couple of the mission today, so perhaps I´ll get it today. Are my letters arriving? No one´s said anything about them, and I´m wondering if I addressed them wrong or something.

Thank you for the family history pictures. They are wonderful.

We visited the dentist again, as he had asked for a follow up. He said everything looks a lot better. And my mouth feels a lot better. So, I shouldn´t have any more problems, I hope.

One thing I think is interesting, many of the doctors here are Cuban. It’s super expensive to go to medical school here, and Basil really doesn’t have the sort of programs that are needed, so the government of Brasil pays the government of Cuba money to send doctors. The Cuban government takes a bunch of money off the top, and then pays a pittance, really just living expenses, and sends doctors here as an assignment. And many native doctors of Brasil study there, and then return here.

And I don´t live with communists, but almost every single missionary I know, when we go to the store, wants to split the purchase. As in, let’s buy some food together, and split the price. I don´t understand it (and don´t do it). If I could think of just one reason, I´d do it.

Last Monday, after lunch, we went and played basketball. It was weird being the best player. We played for three hours and the next day, I was awfully sore.

We had a division with the Zone Leaders Thursday. My companion for this, Elder W. Santos, and I made lots of new contacts and knocked lots of doors. The first one we knocked on, was amazingly prepared. She couldn´t move her left arm, as she had crashed on a motorcycle 4 months earlier. We asked what happened, and she shared that she crashed, and woke up in the hospital three days later. During this time, the only thing she remembers is a dream of being in water and then coming out feeling new. She said she feels like she needs to be born again, i.e. through baptism. She attended conference both days.

Another person we met, became super excited when she saw our name tags, and said she had dreamed about them. Before seeing us, she had never heard of our church, but said she had a dream about our name tags. But, it’s interesting the different responses between her and Angela.  She thinks the church is too far away, and didn’t visit this weekend.

We met a young woman, Rafaela age 19, and she came to conference and loved it. We will be going back Tuesday to teach her whole family. And Dayani, who we baptized a couple weeks ago shared the gospel with some new friends, and they too attended conference with us yesterday. One, Isabela, is 17. A week ago, she smoked 60 cigarettes per day. I think she was waiting for someone to invite her to stop. The day after teaching the Word of Wisdom, she went down to 3. Then one, and hasn´t smoked for a couple days now. Lots of miracles.

General Conference was wonderful. We didn´t get to see all of it, and I´m anxiously waiting for the talks to come in the Ensign. I don´t personally know the apostles, and yet, I love them and aspire to have that sort of character. When President Monsen announced the new temples, even though Belem, Brasil, is really far away, everyone in the chapel gasped and was really excited.

Love,

Elder Schenewark

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