Well, for now that’s all I can think of. Well, until next week, Tchau from Brazil!
Other than that not much happened, just always running, trying to do all our contacts, teach all our lessons, and getting back home really tired. Ill try to do something more exciting this week to write about.
Alright, to answer your questions reallly quick, no I cant believe Ive been in Brazil this long. Let alone home much time I have left. My new companion is Elder Sanchez from Paraguay, yes I like Louveira a lot, the members here really help a lot, and we walk everywhere. You can probably find Louveira on a map, its near Campinas. We have to ride the bus to meetings and stuff. I havent tryed corn popsicles yet, I have had corn on pizza (just corn and cheese) and my favorite treat here is Goibada. Its Guava fruit (Goiaba) and its kind of like those fruit flat things they give out for desert at the cafeteria.
Well, its Pday again! This last week has been really busy, we have a bunch of people that we’re teaching and trying to get them all ready for the baptismal meeting this Sunday. The biggest problem we have with our investigators here is that no one is married. There are lots of couples who have children and have just been living together, so they cant be baptized. They have to choose either to get married or seperate, or they’re breaking a commandment. So were working on getting some people married, it definitely helps that the owner of the cartorio, or the marriage office, is a member. So he really helps when he comes with us to visit our investigators and he explains the whole process nice and simple. Some people hear that they need to get married and it freaks them out, they get worried about having to do a ton of work, but its not that complicated. I think. I dont really know how it works, but I dont really have to. We just need these people to be married! We have two families who are ready, but we can only baptize their kids until they figure out what theyre going to do.
I got more rain this week. It’s been really cold, and on the coldest days it always rains. It poured so much that it began to drip through my umbrella. So my head was wet, my legs were wet, and my feet were soaked. I had to leave my shoes out to dry for three days. I cant help it, my umbrella doesn’t cover my feet, and there are giant rivers of water flowing down every street. I’m thinking about buying a canoe. Every where we go there are hills, it’s not fun to walk up and down them all the time, but it keeps peoples houses from getting flooded. Every house also has lots of drains, they all have pipes running out to the street so their house doesn’t fill up with water. Most of them are under the sidewalk, but if it’s the second floor or something there with be pipes sticking out and waterfalls pouring out onto the road. Next time it rains I’m going to use my poncho and my umbrella.
I did the funniest contact ever on Saturday, I almost cracked up laughing. We saw this guy walking towards us with a BYU sweater, so of course we had to talk to him. We asked where he got the sweater, and he said a friend gave it to him. Then he said, its a college right? It was even better that Elder Warr went to BYU Idaho before the mission. He’s been buying a lot of stuff since he’s at the end of the mission, like guarana, pao de quiejo, and lots and lots of soccer stuff. His favorite team is the Corinthians, so he’s been getting everything he can with their symbol on it.
The only other exciting thing this past week was that a member bought us a ton of food. It was awesome, we had lunch at his house, and when he picked us up he had a bunch of groceries and he said it was for us. Then we ate a ton at lunch too. I got to try sweet rice, it’s a pretty popular dessert here, it’s basically like oat meal but with rice. Rice meal. I liked it. Then that night an investigator who works at a chicken killing factory gave us a bucket of eggs, because she gets them for free and doesn’t eat them a lot. So were pretty much set for food for a while. There are a bunch of factories in this area, like one that makes shampoo just up the street from our house. And you can smell the chicken processing factory from pretty far away, it’s pretty gross.
Well, me and Elder Motta both got transferred. My new area is Louveira!
So last week for P-day we went to Gabriel’s house and went fishing in his back yard. They dug a pond out of a little hill, and filled it with water and fish. It was really fun, I caught three fish, but I think I might have caught the same one twice. Elder Motta caught one too, but it was tiny, so it was really funny. We had a baptism for Sunday, but unfortunately it fell through. He wanted to wait a little longer before getting baptized, so it will happen eventually, just not with us. I can’t really remember everything that happened this last week, I forgot my journal again, but I have a bunch of pictures to send. It was a good week of hard work, normal missionary stuff. Sunday we had a lot of investigators at church, so that was fun. Monday was a really sad day. We went around our area and taught like normal, but we had to tell everyone that transfers were happening the next day, so one of us was going to leave. We got a call from one of our zone leaders, and he said that it was most likely going to be Elder Motta, so that’s what we were telling everyone. Irmã Cida was really sad, she almost cried. We just wanted to let everyone know that I was going to be teaching with a new companion, so it wasn’t as big of a surprise. Irmã Nalvas family was sad too, we took pictures with them. We had always visited them every day that we could, always left a good message, and they fed us dinner a lot. When we left one of her sons started crying. It was sad, but I was okay because I thought I was going to go back the next day and see them again. We worked hard, even though we knew transfers were coming up, and we got three baptisms set up for this coming Sunday. At the end of the day we went to Vanders house and had Pão de Quiejo and Coca Cola. After we got home Elder Motta packed up all his things, and we traded ties, after writing on the backs of them. Then about 10:00 at night we got a call from the zone leaders, to find out for real about transfers, and they said we both were leaving. It was awful, Elder Motta got really upset. We were both mad because we had so many good investigators, we had a ton of baptisms on the way, and now two missionaries were going to come to the area without knowing anything about it. The members of the branch in Vida Nova all loved us, we were getting references from them, especially the young men who would go tracting with us to their friends houses. The new missionaries there have the Area book, which we write about all our investigators in to help after we leave, but they don’t actually know anyone there. It would have been so much easier if I had stayed there and could have introduced my new companion to everyone, gone to all of our investigators houses and tell him about the baptisms we were going to have. It’s really annoying, now there’s a chance that the baptisms we had will fall through, that the new missionaries wont teach the same people that we were, and a lot of the work we did will be for nothing. I don’t mean that we didn’t do anything, but there’s a chance that someone who would have been baptized in the next few weeks will get passed up, and they wont get taught again until some day when the missionaries find them. I also don’t like that everyone thought I was staying, and now I’m gone. I guess it happens, but it’s still really lame. So Monday night I packed up most of my stuff, then finished packing Tuesday morning. We went to the bus station with our suit cases, and ended up waiting for the bus for half an hour. When we passed by the Terminal in Ouro Verde, two other Elders from our zone got on our bus, so that was pretty cool. One of them had been transferred too, so we all went to Rodoviaria (where everyone was going to meet up with their new companions). There were a lot of missionaries there, I got to go around and say hi to everyone I knew. I saw Elder Lines again, some missionaries I knew from the MTC, and all the Elders from my district. I met my new companion, Elder Warr, and then said bye to everybody, including Elder Motta. I miss him already, I was really lucky to have him as a trainer. It was great that he was Brazilian, it really helped me to learn Portuguese. Hes only been on the mission for 9 months, so Ill probably see him again before he leaves. Me and Elder Warr hopped on a bus and rode thirty minutes to our area, so at least it wasn’t a long bus ride. We hopped off at a roadside restaurant, where we waited for our ride to our house and to lunch. It was taking a really long time, so we started walking over to the church which was a little ways down the street. We bumped into the Missionary work Leader of the branch, so I got to meet him. The church is just a floor above this workout place, it pretty funny. I sent a picture of the church building in Vida Nova, and a picture of the one here too. Its just a little chapel with a bunch of rooms set up in the back. Its not very different from the building in Vida Nova, except that its only one floor, in my last area the chapel was the first floor and the second had all the classrooms. After an hour of waiting in front of the church, our ride finally showed up. They took us to our house, where we dropped of my suitcases, and then we went to their house for lunch. It was really boring, two hours long and my companion ate so slow. I ate like I normally do, just like I always had with Elder Motta. We would eat and talk with the members during lunch, share a message, and then leave, it usually took half an hour or at most just one hour. We shared a message with the members there, it was just really annoying to me that it all took two hours. After we got home I unpacked a little. It’s a lot bigger than my old house, two big rooms and a bathroom. Each of the rooms is about as big as the other house, just on their own. We went out and did contacts until six thirty, when we went to the church for a meeting with the Missionary Work Leader. We waited half an hour until he arrived, the meeting was long, and then he drove us to the only appointment we had scheduled for that day. It was only my first day in the area, but I really felt like a lot of it was wasted, I’m so used to working all day long. Me and Elder Motta always were teaching, getting references from members, or doing contacts. I guess it was the day of transfers, and just my first day in a new area, but I hope we work a lot more on normal days. I need to throw my self into the work so I don’t get homesick, or even are asick for Vida Nova. Its been a hard transfer so far, because we haven’t done a whole lot, so Ive had lots of time to miss Vida Nova and Elder Motta. I’m not used to this whole transfer thing, its really sad. My companion is American, and its his last area before he leaves. He really doesn’t speak Portuguese very well, when he speaks it its really slow and he always asks people to repeat what they said, because he didn’t understand. He knows a lot more than me, most of the time he understands whatever people say, but he speaks it like an American. I would rather have a Brazilian companion so I could keep learning until I’m fluent. I’m going to keep studying, doing contacts and talking to investigators, so that should help, but I will talk with Elder Warr a lot more than anyone else. It’s going to be a hard transfer, but by next week I think I should be adjusted. Miss you all, thanks for the emails, and I will write again next week. Tchau!
Here I am in Brazil and five weeks have already gone by. I only have a week before transfers, but there’s a chance that I will stay here because my companion and I don’t have any problems and were working really hard in our area. It sounds like graduation was pretty exciting. Now both me and Jordan have graduated high school, at least it will be a little while before Tanner graduates. Ill be home before it happens. Bowling was really fun last P-day. The bowling alley was really run down, with only two lanes working, everything covered in duct tape, but it was still fun to bowl. The bowling balls were basically rocks with three holes drilled in them, and the pins were just tied on to string, so they would get pulled up and then set back down when it was reset. We played two games, and in the second I scored a 104, beating Elder Motta by one point. We went back after and had ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner, then went back to work. Our golden investigator, Gabriel, had gone to seminary without us, and hes been to it every night since we invited him. Hes also gone tracting with us every day, its really great when he bears his testimony. I finished the caricatures for our district, and gave them to the zone leaders when they came to do a baptismal interview for us. I had been really fubeca (A lazy person) Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I didn’t have any contacts for the week. To make up for it I did a ton everyday the rest of the week. I learned how to play the song from Titanic, one of the young men taught me. Another one of the young men let us borrow his guitar, so every night after planning my companion jammed out. He pretty good. I definitely want to learn how to play guitar. Saturday was hard, because at lunch I drank a bunch of maracujá juice, without knowing that it makes you really sleepy. Nothing is worse than walking around in the hot sun and falling asleep on your feet. We had to take the bus to Shopping Ouro Verde to get some money, because we realized we were almost out. Shopping is what they call malls here. We don’t have a bank in our area, and we needed money to get to stake conference on Sunday. We took Gabriel on the bus with us, because we were going to have his baptism after conference. It was good because we don’t have a baptismal font at our church building, just an inflatable pool. Stake conference was good, except that I got lost and couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. Its alright though, I only have five weeks here, and I can speak and understand pretty well. All the American Elders tell me stories about how they didn’t get Portuguese until after six months, so I’m actually doing really good. We did our baptism together with three others, two other missionary companionship’s from nearby. We had one of the members baptism, because were going to leave eventually, but the members will keep going to church with him. We went on splits afterward, so I taught my first lesson completely by myself. I was with Gabriel, so he could talk about his baptism and things, but he didn’t know any of what we teach. It was really good, afterward when I told the investigators that I only had a month in Brazil they were really surprised. They said they understood everything and though I was fluent, so that was really good for my confidence with Portuguese. Monday morning I sewed Elder Mottas pants again. Then I had my second orientation, so I got to go back to the Mission Presidents house. I saw Elder Lines and other Elders that arrived at the same time as me, it was pretty cool. Elder Lines is doing really well, his Portuguese is really good already. We had another amazing lunch, I ate a lot. It was funny to be back where I was five weeks ago, and to see how much better I am with the language. We got back pretty late, but went right to working again. At 8:30 we got a call from Vander, a member, and he said we needed to get to his house as fast as we could. So we ran over there thinking it was an emergency, and it turned out he had made tacos and wanted us to have some. They were different, but still really good. I learned a lot from the orientation and had some really good food that day. Ha ha, guess who was just walking by and came in to say hi. Gabriel. Were going to play some soccer with him today. Yesterday we had the last district meeting before transfers, so it was the last one with this district. I cant believe how fast the first transfer has gone by! I made some milkshakes while Elder Motta gave himself a haircut last night. I’m going to see if someone else can do mine for me, I don’t trust myself to cut my own hair. I’m going to try to send some more pictures, I took some when we went bowling and I have one of my entire district now. The guy making an ugly face between me and Elder Motta is Vander, and the guy above him is another missionary. We found a store where we can buy a liter of Gaurana for just one Real, but were completely out of money until next P day. Its okay, we don’t need to buy anything, and we always have our fifty reais for emergencies. I have enough to pay for the bus if we need to go anywhere and to go get money next week. I made a cover for the Book of Mormon out of a cereal box, so now I can carry around three safely. We got some cereal and milk really cheap, but its definitely different here. We had coco puffs, they were awful, and frosted flakes, which weren’t too bad but not as good as the real thing. The milk is also weird, its too expensive to refrigerate it, so they have this kind that doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after you open it. The strangest thing about doing email here is reading and writing in English, and hearing and speaking Portuguese. I space out thinking about home and reading about everything that’s going on, then my companion asks me something and I answer in Portuguese, and I realize, whoa, I’m still in Brazil. Its really funny, right now I can hear Bob Sponge a Calsa Saqreda playing in the front of the cafe were at. I think i spelled that right, I cant see it but even in a different language I can tell its Sponge Bob Square Pants. Oh ya, and I got a letter! It wasn’t from anyone I know, it was an RM who found my blog. He lives in Seattle, and he served in the Brazil North Central mission way back in 1977, I think. I didn’t bring the letter with me, so I cant remember his name, but he served in São Paulo, and Campinas, and finished his mission in Campinas. The letter was dated May 4th, and I got it May 23, so I guess that gives kind of an estimation on how long letters take. But I only get letters Tuesday when we have district meeting, so it could have come anytime during last week. Okay, I’m almost out of time, so thanks for all the emails, keep sending them so I can know whats going on in the U.S.! Next P-day I’ll let you know if I’m still in Vida Nova or if I’ve been moved somewhere else. Next P-day my first transfer will be over! Eu te amo, e tenho saudades para vocés! Tchau tchau!