It has been a weeklong storm here, I love it! Our area is green as can be with all the planting, or "cimenteira" that has been happening this month. Achada Gomes looks like the jungles of Jurassic Park now.
The rain also brings out the flies, I'm flicking and typing at the same time here. They swarm the Mango pits in the streets and all the vending ladies have pom-pom looking things they wave back and forth over their fish or fruit to keep the flies away.
This week we stopped to help a Senhora whisk flies away from her batch of "friskinia" as she scooped spoonfuls of the sticky sweet treat into little bags to freeze and vend the next day. I asked her if she had ever heard of our church, to which she responded in Creole, "Yes, but I cannot switch to your religion even if I wanted to. Jesus will be annoyed with me."
All the buildings have flat roofs, and so to keep the water from pooling they're slightly angled and the water pours out of the roof spouts jutting out at different lengths and angles over the sidewalks. So if you're not careful, you'll walk right under a waterfall.
The work is hard with the rainfall, but it's also easier to find people in their houses, which is a blessing.
One day this week I was reading several of the General Conference addresses from last April. I was feeling really down in my little area and four brown walls - I needed to know God was aware of my bad day and when I flipped open my Conference Liahona this talk was staring me in the face, "The Cost, and the Blessings, or Discipleship" by Elder Holland. The talk was a direct answer to my prayer, I especially loved when he said, "Sadly enough young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat, but don't even row it... Christ like love is the greatest need we have on this planet because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it. Friends, take heart. Pure Christ like love flowing from true righteousness can change the world."
This is missionary work. We're just kids, out here trying to teach pastors and preachers, children and elderly, singles and families, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, that seems like a pretty daunting task; but if we choose to be obedient and we choose to love, we can change the world.
Have a happy (and dry) week.Sister Hanzel