Thanks for all the birthday wishes.
I always knew the mission would be an adventure, but I never expected so many crazy things/miracles to happen. For example, this week we had the baptism of Nauã, my birthday, the best member lunch in my life, fondue in Gramado, and much much more. You are probably curious what a birthday is like in the field… Well, for me it was just about the same as every other day… Work. We had an awesome/productive day of teaching, contacting, and feeling the spirit. The only difference was that I was 20. We ended the night with pizza provided by a member and red velvet cake. Overall, a normal day with a little party to celebrate. My birthday was just about the most normal day of the week.
We had a crazy wind/lightning storm Wednesday, crazy fog on Friday, and an hour long bible bash on Saturday, but now let’s talk about Sunday... Something happened on Sunday that I’ll never forget.
Right now, to experience this situation how I experienced it, I need you to imagine every detail I describe and create almost a film of what happened in your head.
7:49 à Elder Robert and I say a prayer, bear testimony, and leave the house dressed in our Sunday best.
7:53 à We casually walk and talk heading toward the house of an investigator to pick him up for church.
7:55 à We pass skimo lanches, a restaurant, two blocks away from the gigantic cathedral in the center of Canela.
7:56 à We are talking about our plans for after church, side by side. (Elder Robert on the left, I’m on the right.) We go to take a left turn into a cross walk, in which Elder Robert takes the lead.
7:57 à As Robert enters the cross walk, I see a white Toyota Corolla zooming toward us… I yell, “Cuidado!!” …BOOM. Elder Robert gets hit by the car, goes airborne, flies 12 feet from the impact zone, hits the ground face-first, rolls 2 times, and finally comes to a stop, laying motionless.
7:58 à I start to feel the adrenaline rush/panick, and quickly say a prayer for my comp and for myself to stay calm. I run to my comp and his eyes are closed. I expect the worst, and think he’s unconscious.
7:58.30 à He opens up his eyes, spits out his cough drop, and tries to stand up, but immediately falls back to the ground. The driver jumps out of his car and exclaims, “Desculpa, desculpa, nao viu voces.”
7:59 à We call an ambulance as blood starts to pour from his face.
8:00 à A crowd of 30-40 tourists gather around us, pointing, taking photos, and making comments.
8:01 à Talk with LZs of our Zone (President was in a meeting and didn’t answer). Elder Robert starts talking, saying that only his face/head hurts.
8:02 à Police show up and start to ask me and the driver what happened. Miraculously, a couple in our ward were walking to church and came and helped.
8:03 à Paramedics put Robert on a stretcher and carry him into the ambulance. I ride shotgun.
8:05 à I talk with President Campos and explain the situation. He tells me to stay calm and pray for my companion.
8:08 à Arrive at the hospital, where Elder Robert is taken to a room and receives several stitches to the cuts on his nose and above the eyebrow.
8:10-8:30 à For the next 20 minutes, I talk out with police, fill out medical forms, and talk with the man who hit my companion (all with the help of the members who were with us at the scene of impact). Luckily, it’s a rule for missionaries to always carry identification, so he had everything he needed.
8:30-10:30 à Elder Robert receives x-ray of his head, kneck, back, and legs. Also receives a blessing. We wait anxiously in the waiting room to hear the results.
11:00 à Elder Robert is released with no fractures, contusions, no nothing. Only swelling to his face and five or six stitches. Elder Robert returns home with Elder Cerrano, and Elder Amorin and I head to church.
12:30 à We have the baptism of Nauã. He was thrilled to be baptized, but super sad that Elder Robert couldn’t be there with him. We have lunch, return home, and I stayed in house with my comp for the rest of the day.
The promise of protection for missionaries is real. I watched my companion fly like a rag doll through the air, land face first, and roll on the ground. I expected the worst, but miraculously he should be back to normal work in just a few days. I love Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He will help us in all things. Always trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This week was an adventure. Thanks for your support and prayers. Don’t worry about my comp, he’s a lot better today. Have an awesome week and always trust in your Father above.