Saturday, December 25, 2010

Da Silva Family

BD again. President Jailson and his family have been members for well over a decade now and are a true testament of how the Church really functions on a fundamental level. They treat everyone as a child of God and serve one another infinitely. Jailson is currently the ward mission leader and his wife, Jacira, teaches the Principles of the Gospel class. Because of this they are heavily involved in missionary work. They know seemingly everybody in Salvador; while driving in neighborhoods far away from theirs we would inevitably run into someone that they knew. They have been more than hospitable to us while we've been here and Jacira and Lucy, da Silva's maid, prepared an amazing breakfast for us one morning.

Breakfast at da Silva's house
Gina also got her first taste of cashew fruit. Yes, I said cashew, it actually has a fruit associated with it. But you have to be careful not to eat the shell that the nut is inside of because the grayish colored shell will cause your mouth to swell up. The fruit is a little different and leaves a funny taste in your mouth so they usually make juice with it but I made Gina try the fruit itself - it wasn't her favorite.

Cashew fruit with the cashew nut still attached on top

As the ward mission leader, Jailson has a good handle on the needs of church members in the area. He was able to help us pick out 3 families that particularly needed help during Christmas time (out of the hundreds of thousands that need help). These families are people that have testimonies of the gospel and have the strongest faith we've ever seen. Jacira made a shopping list of some staple foods and necessities that people here need and Jailson helped us navigate the shopping. Simply grocery shopping was an adventure in and of itself. He took us to the government-owned Cesta do Povo (meaning The People's Basket) because it is so much cheaper to buy the staple food items there. Gina could walk up and down foreign supermarkets looking at all the unique things for hours. Here she is checking out in the obscenely long and slow lines, characteristic of all Brazilian supermarkets.

The next day we delivered the bags of food to the families. It was so amazing to get into the favelas again where house is built upon house upon house. It was especially nice to go with Jailson and Jacira and give them the opportunity to make that additional connection with these families. They already do so much for the people here, everything from helping to pay for better schools to helping people find the joy that exists within the gospel. It is members like them that make the Church such an amazing organization. We felt so much joy and love for these people. We wished that we could do so much more for them. There were plenty of tears shed and lots of love spread. A Christmas we will not soon forget.
Walking down to Lucy's house at night


C*K*J said...

This post made me choke up! You guys are the best. Merry Christmas!

Ben said...

This looks so rad.
Hope you 2 had a great christmas!