Several weeks in a nutshell

David has been sending voice recordings rather than letters this past month so he would have more time to work on other things during his limited computer time. Thankfully we are about to end that era and go back to nice long and descriptive letters! Anyway, here are some photos he has sent these past weeks along with a few snippets I transcribed from his recordings. It’s almost a shame that you can’t hear his recordings. Besides being funny and proving he’s acquired a new accent, they are proof that he is completely immersed in Portuguese, and by completely I mean that he struggles to remember English words when he speaks.

“…and they said it was… delicio, delicio, delicio—it was very good.”

While being a fun diversion from letters (and we love hearing his enthusiastic voice and grin that is audible), I have missed his clever storytelling in writing.


David was working as the District Leader in Arvore Grande, Sorocaba until last week. He tells these stories:

Thursday, we went to another area of my district because I needed to do an interview for them, and the person being baptized had a real fear of water. And so we had the area leadership arrange for a pool, so that she could play around in the water and then we could enter the water after that and we could baptize her. …We had a lot of trouble getting her in the water, and when we finally got her into the water, she was like a beanpole. She really, really wanted to get baptized, but when she got in the water, she couldn’t manage to put her head underneath the water, she beanpoled—she got all straight—and it was really difficult to baptize her. In the end, we had seven people in the water trying to help her go under the water. Eventually she was baptized, which was sweet.


One night we were returning to our house and we passed by the zoo. We asked the zoo closes. They said, “It closes at 5:00.” and it was about 6:00. But the security dude said, “It’s all good; you can come in and walk around for 30 minutes.” We were all excited that we got in for free after hours. It was already dark when we walked around, and we saw emus, a lot of birds, lions, cheetahs. We saw tigers—and it was all in the dark. We were playing hide and seek with the tigers in their cages—we weren’t in their cages with them—but we would hide and then jump out at them and they would chase us. It was cool! We were the only people in the park. And when our time was used up, we left and returned to our house.


We were visiting some recently baptized people and asked them if they had a service project to do. They said that they had a beam high up on the roof that needed to be refinished again since it gets a lot of sun and rain. It was awesome! We climbed up onto the ladder, and my companion was on the roof painting the board. It was fun. And I had the chance to put a finish on my cup—it’s like a cup that you use to drink chimarrão, that green stuff that I am always drinking. I put a new finish on it since I use it all the time and it was starting to wear.


In July our zone broke the record for having the most baptisms in a month in the history of our zone. We baptized 27 people in one month. And so the mission president made a party for us. We went to a pizza restaurant and had all that we wanted to eat and the president paid for most of it. So that was awesome. The whole zone went to the restaurant and drank and ate a lot!



We had a funny thing happen. We went to do a service project at a member’s house. His name was Jose.…  His wife started freaking out, and she had trapped a rat—a big gnarly rat bigger than my hand—in the bathroom. And she didn’t want to get close to it. She had closed the door so it couldn’t escape. And so I and my companion and Jose all got brooms, and I opened the door to the bathroom. And there wasn’t a rat. And we were all looking for the rat, and I was like, “What the heck—where did it go?”

And I saw the mirror move. I was thinking, “What? What is this—the mirror is moving.” And then I saw the side of the mirror had this little nose, with whiskers, peeking out from the side of the mirror. I tried to move the mirror and almost broke the mirror trying to get the rat out from behind it. But the rat jumped on the floor and then he starting running around the room in circles. And I was trying to hit him with the broom, he ran out of the bathroom, and I managed to hit him with the broom. He kept trying to return back to where my feet were, so I was doing this crazy dance trying to hit this rat with the broom, and every time I would hit him, he would turn back to my legs and then I’d hit him again, and he would turn back to my legs—it was like playing hockey with a hockey puck that kept trying to return to your feet.

It was really funny and we were all laughing like crazy. And then finally, he ran back into the bathroom. I went into the bathroom, and Jose went back into the bathroom as well, and this rat—he climbed up another broom that was in the bathroom and he sat there for a second. And we were thinking, “Uh oh. What’s he gonna do. What’s he gonna do. What’s he gonna do.”

Then he jumped towards me and almost landed on my stomach! But Jose was fast, and he got a bucket, and he caught him in midair—BOOM— against the wall. And that was when we trapped him and we let him go outside and he scampered off. But, oh man, it was really funny. I don’t know what this rat had with me. But he was like a rat-spider; he was crawling up the walls and bouncing off whatever…craziness. But that was that.


Saturday we had an activity at the church: Master Chef. It was a missionary activity. All the members made a dish and they all brought it to the church, and we all invited a bunch of people, and the dishes were all judged. Everyone got a piece of paper so they could all vote for each category (within sweet or savory): best presentation, best flavor, best original idea, and most creative.

And so I took the chance to make cheesecake for the first time here. Oh man, it was expensive! It was very expensive—because cream cheese here is very expensive. So I doubled the recipe and made a lot, cut into little pieces, and I put a bunch of strawberries on each piece, and—it was gone. It was gone within two minutes of starting the activity. It was gone—boom. Done. Feeling that I should save a little bit in the fridge—of course, because I gotta save some for me and my companion—I went back to the fridge for more. I cut some pieces, even smaller this time, put strawberries on them, and I went back out and I was swarmed with a ton of people trying to get the cheesecake. They were excited:  “AAAH! Cheesecake! Cheesecake!” They all took a piece. Everyone who tried it, loved it and said it was delicio … delicio … it was delicioso—it was very good. They said it was very good.… It was delicio … delicious! They said it was delicious—yeah, yeah. But by the time I had come back with that second portion, most everyone had already voted, so I was thinking, “Aw, too bad.” At least I knew that everyone had loved it. Because you don’t have cheesecake here in Brazil, it’s only in bakeries, very fancy and expensive.


So they went to read off all the winners, and the last one read was “most original dessert.” And it was me! Con cheesecake. Everyone said that cheesecake was more original. So—I won. We won. It was really cool. We won a little spoon and a little apron.






One thought on “Several weeks in a nutshell

  1. Loved this post except for the rat part…that really made me squirm!! You are doing so well, Elder Burt (hard not to call you David since I’ve known you forever). Your attitude is great. Austin is going to do a report on your mission so his classmates can write you notes…we’ll send them off soon.
    Your mission is so uplifting to everyone…not just the people in your district. I love reading about what you are doing and accomplishing spreading the Gospel. Bless you and your fellow missionaries. You are missed and loved here.


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