Week 14, I Think

Written by mperry on August 14th, 2011
I got another package today, I don’t know what it is because my district leader picked it up for me and I will get it from him Friday. It’s probably the last package you sent though. It’s almost been six months, so I’m almost a fourth done with my mission already! Woo! It’s exciting and at the same time depressing. Because I have what I’ve already done times three to go. That wasn’t a very well built sentence, but hopefully you can understand.  Im going to keep praying a lot, learning, improving my portuguese, and remember that I only have a year and a half left. Only. A year and a half. Aaaargh! Haha, I think I’ll try not to think about that part.
Anyway, have a couple stories to put into the blog, some exciting things actually happened this week! We were knocking doors (Clapping) over on the other side of Louveira, and finding some new people to teach. We had never been there before, so we were hoping to find some good investigators. I did a contact with a lady who didn’t seem too interested, we invited her to church and left a pamphlet for her. Afterwards we were walking on the other side of her street, still doing contacts, when she came out of the house and called us over. So we walked over to talk to her, and something seemed off. She was really emotional, almost crying, and she was really really excited. She had the pamphlet in her hand, and a movie. I thought it was some gospel movie and she was going to give back the pamphlet and say something like she already had religion like a lot of investigators do. First she asked us our names, and where exactly the church was here in Louveira. Then she said that she had been reading the pamphlet and saw Joseph Smiths name, and couldn’t beleive it. She showed us the movie she had, and it was The Work and the Glory, (a movie about the LDS Church and Joseph Smith). She said she bought the movie almost a year ago, and finally decided to watch it. As soon as she finished it, we showed up knocking at her door. Now she wants to know absolutely everything about the church, and she wants to be baptized. It’s pretty amazing, she has a husband, a daughter and a son, and I’m hoping that we can baptize them all together. She went to church this last Sunday, and brought her mom, whos been Catholic all her life, but they both loved it.
The other story might be a little less amazing, but it was still pretty awesome for me. We baptized Tarsis, the women we found when Elder Warr really needed to pee, a while ago. Her son Junior was really excited to get baptized, and he almost was the same day as Joice and Pamela, but he travelled to Itu to spend a school break with his uncle for two weeks. So we had been waiting for him to get back, and when he finally returned two weeks ago, he didn’t want to be baptized anymore. It was upsetting, he was completely disanimated about church, his mom said he was being really difficult, and it looked like we had lost him. But then I invited him to go to church this last Sunday, and he said he would with his mom. And he loved it. He had been to church once before,  but it was stake conference, so it was different. He made lots of friends, he wants to go to EFY here in February, and he was talking to his mom about how he wants to serve a mission. It turned completely around and now he really wants to be baptized again. The only problem was that he hadn’t been to church for two weeks.

Well, for now that’s all I can think of. Well, until next week, Tchau from Brazil!

Another Week Gone By!

Written by mperry on August 14th, 2011
Yup, its not too hard to talk to 210 people. You just need to talk to 15 every day of the week.
Wow, its even weirder to write in English this week, because I’m thinking in Portuguese and translating back. Its awesome. One of the members in our ward here told me that I’m starting to lose my accent. There are some words that I’m starting to say just like Brazilians. Its crazy after only three months here, just imagine after two years! Its going to be so hard to adjust back to English. I love it. I’m getting better at playing the piano too, I can read hymns really slowly, I just need to keep practicing.
Nothing crazy this week, a lot of walking. My new companion only has one more month than me, and this is his first transfer as a Senior companion.

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.

Well, keep reading every week and I will keep you up to date on all the action here on the mission of Jay Perry!
TCHAU!

Another week gone by!

Written by mperry on July 22nd, 2011
5 months on the mission total, 2 in the MTC and 3 here in Brazil. Its pretty amazing how fast its gone by, next thing I know Ill be home.
I was going to send a bunch of pictures, but I forgot my camera again.
This last week was pretty normal, nothing really exciting happened. We’ve been working really hard, and I’m super tired. I’m trying to draw, read and work out a little every night, but by the time I get home I just want to sleep. We have goals for the mission, where you have to teach so many lessons, do so many contact, meet new people, and at the end of every week we report these numbers to our district leader, who shares them with the zone leaders, who give them to the assistants, who get them to the mission President. The numbers changed two weeks ago, and now there a lot higher. We have to work a lot harder all week long to make sure we get all the numbers. For example, before we had to do 140 contacts per week. Now its 210. Its difficult, but it keeps us working and finding people to teach.
Me and Elder Sanchez (Elder Sanchez and I) found a restaurant really close to our house where for 12 Reais its all you can eat. Its awesome. We also went to a restaurant in Vinhedo with the rest of our district yesterday, and it had the same thing. I ate until I felt like I would explode. I really hope I don’t get fat.
Saturday we did a Multirão with the members of our branch. I don’t know the word for it in English, but basically all the members walked the streets of Louveira knocking doors and getting references for us to go teach. We walked from house to house offering either a free movie about Jesus or a little book about families. There both from the church, so its just to get people interested. We wrote down how many people wanted the book or the DVD, and were going to go back to there houses to deliver them and share our message. It should be great. Afterwards we had a churrasco, which we were late to because we had to go teach some lessons, but it was still really great. Its like a barbeque where you just throw pieces of whatever kind of meat you want on the grill, and everybody eats. There was cake and ice cream too for someones birthday.
Cant think of anything else too exciting that happened, we have a baptism ready to go, but hes on vacation right now. As soon as he gets back well have a baptismal meeting with everyone who’s ready to be baptized!
Elder Sanchez is pretty awesome, its neat to learn more about a different culture, a different type of people. I’m getting a lot better at speaking Portuguese too, I have a missionary vocabulary, now I just need to keep learning words and practice speaking correctly. Its really hard to write in English. Ive been writing in Portuguese, reading and speaking in it, and now my mind is starting to be more in Portuguese. Its hard to switch back, and its only going to get harder. I think its awesome, its going to be really difficult to speak English when I get back to the states. Should be sweet!

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.

Tchau tchau for now!

Week 12? More Transfers!

Written by mperry on July 13th, 2011
This last week I got to go to the Temple in Campinas twice. It was awesome. Last Pday I got to go because Elder Warr is finishing his mission, so I went through the Temple with a bunch of other missionaries and President Tanner. I got some good pictures, it was a pretty sweet Pday. Afterwards we went to the Camêlo, where they sell lots of stuff for really cheap. I picked up a little speaker so I could listen to the music that a member gave us. Unfortunately they didn’t give me a charger, so I had to buy one. Then we went back to our area, and on the way the bus hit a rock and the driver thought he popped a tire. We got back late and I had to send an email really quick to President, I really didn’t have time to write.
Saturday we got to go to the temple again, this time for a wedding. It was a great opportunity to take an investigator to the temple, she loved it. The wedding was awesome too, the first temple wedding that I got to see, and it was here in Brazil! I got some more good pictures. We taught our investigator inside the temple, in the waiting room, and it was awesome. Really spiritual. Then they had a little party for Iloni and Diego (the couple) afterwards, and there was some really great food there. Pão de Queijo, tapioca pudding (it’s really different here), they had a fondue pot with chocolate too.
Sunday we had baptisms! We had to run to Joices house before church because she called the night before and wanted to call off her baptism. We talked to her a little, and she’s just been having some difficulties and was really nervous about the baptism. She wanted to wait longer, but then decided that she really wanted to be baptized. She stopped smoking, drinking coffee, and even kicked her “husband” out of the house, all so she could join the church. For lunch the members threw a little birthday/going away party for Elder Warr, and wow, the cake was delicious. Then we went to the chapel in Vinhedo and baptized Joice and her daught Pamela! It was great. The members even brought food and pop for after. We went home afterwards because Elder Warr still had to pack.
Monday morning we went to the Mission Office where I dropped off Elder Warr and he went home. It’s so weird to see someone leaving who finished their mission when I’ve just started mine. I went back to Louveira with Elder Cunha, who’s from Recife. I asked him if he knew Elder Halverson, because that’s where one of my MTC teachers served. He told me that before he had gone on splits with Elder Halverson, and that he spoke Portuguese so well he seemed like a Brazilian. It was awesome that someone here in my mission knew my teacher back when he was serving. It inspired me to work harder on my goal to speak like a Brazilian. I need to work hard, I want to get rid of my american accent. The language is easy now, I just need to keep speaking it and work on pronouncing everything right.
Yesterday I went to transfers and picked up my new companion, Elder Sanchez. He’s from Paraguay, so that’s pretty neat. We went to the Mission office to get some things for our area and I ran in to Elder Campbell! It was cool, and sad at the same time. He’s been having health problems, so he’s going back to the States. But he’s going to serve the rest of his mission there, he’s not just going home. I also got to see Elder Motta and a bunch of other Elders from my old district. It was cool to get to talk to them all again, see how they were doing, and I heard how the Elders in Vida Nova are doing too. Elder Sanchez has about two months more than me on the mission, and his first area was Vida Nova too. It’s exciting to think that by next transfer I could be Senior. I need to work hard the next six weeks.
We’ve got a lot to do here in Louveira. Our recent baptisms are giving us references, we’re meeting new people, and we have a lot of potential baptisms. It’s exciting! We’re going to do an activity this Saturday where all the members will come out and work with us. In groups of twos everyone is going to walk all the streets, knock at peoples doors and share a pamphlet or book of Mormon with anyone whos interested. We’re going to find a lot of people, so we’ll have lots of new investigators to visit next week. We still need to visit all our recent converts though, I want to make sure they’re all doing alright. All of them are going to church except one, so everyones staying strong. We just need to help that one get to church. We have a lot of work to do! We’re going to turn this branch into a ward and get a chapel built out here in Louveira!
Btw thanks for the picture dad, the car looks sweet. I dont know why, but the computer here can’t read the file with the sheet music, I think it needs to be microsoft word or something. Missing an email from Jordan this week! And I would have sent a bunch of pictures, but my camera died. So I’ll send them next week. Tchau!

First Picture from Brazil

Written by mperry on June 22nd, 2011

Week 9!‏

Written by mperry on June 22nd, 2011
This last Saturday was the Festa Junina. There was a big party at the church in Vinhedo, the area next to ours, and all the missionaries were there. We set up a room with a bunch of pamphlets and copies of the book of Mormon, and a church video playing. It was for anyone who came to the party who was non member and curious about the church. All of the guys at the party dressed up with hats and moustaches, and the girls all had dresses and pig tails. I didnt figure out exactly what Festa Junina is, I just know that they had a big dance with lots of food. It was outside in the church parking lot, they had a bull ride, a trampoline and a bouncy house for the kids, and music playing the whole time. Three times they did this big dance with couples all in the middle of parking lot. We were just there to help investigators and teach more about the church. It was fun though, there was a lot of food, and I ate a ton of cake. Also really cool, this Sister came up to us and starting speaking English. So Elder Warr said, hey your accent is really good, and she said, Yup, I’m American. So we talked to her for a while, and it turned out that she was married to a Brazilian and they were living here with there whole family. Her husband had been a missionary, after the mission he went to visit some old companions of his in Utah, and that’s where they met. They got married, and moved back to Brazil, I think it was like 14 years later, with all their kids. So all their kids speak english and Portuguese, and they have a son whos serving in Japan.
 
Sunday was really exciting too. We had a nine of our investigators come to church, it was great. We had lunch in a really nice house, and the Sister talked a lot about all the movies she has and her favorite actors. It was funny. Then at four everyone met up at the church, and the church members provided rides for our investigators and their families to go to Vinhedo. We don’t have a baptismal font in our little church building, so we have to drive to another area. We had four baptisms, Carol, Andressa, Beatriz and Tarsis.  We had the members do the baptisms, it was great because the whole ward excited. We had basically our entire ward there, everyone loved the baptisms. The water wasn’t freezing, but it wasn’t as warm as it was suppossed to be. We didn’t figure out how to heat it until a few hours before, so there wasn’t much time for it to warm up. After everyone dried off and changed, they were all confirmed, because this next Sunday is stake conference and we wouldn’t be able to do the confirmations then. So now we have four new members in our ward! We would have had at least three more baptisms, but it’s three couples who are living together and aren’t married. It’s funny, two of the girls we baptized have moms who want to baptized too, but they have to wait. Hopefully their daughters being baptized will give them more motivation to go down to the marriage office and finally get married.  
 
Alright then, the only other thing that I can think of happening this week is that I was trying to open a bottle of Coca-Cola, but we don’t have a bottle opener. So I was using the edge of the counter, and I hit it hard enough that I broke it. It was sad.

Another week already passed‏

Written by mperry on June 15th, 2011

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. 
 

Week 1 of Transfer #2‏

Written by mperry on June 8th, 2011
Another crazy week in Louveira, Brazil! Wooo! Sending some more pictures, I think that first one pretty much explains it self. My flip flops broke a while ago, so I bought some Havaianas. Everyone has them, it’s like the Nikes of sandals. The next one is me at our little chapel. We have about forty members in our area. There’s actually two LDS churches in our area, because there’s a big highway dividing the city and enough members live on each side that they opened up our chapel about a year ago. We live in Santo Antonio, and it takes about half an hour walking over to Louveira, so we divide our days working on each side. The last picture is just when we were walking on the side of our area. It rained a lot that day.
So I’m adjusting to my new area, it’s definitely very different. First of all our house is a lot bigger. It’s an apartment above what’s basically Pimp My Ride, so sometimes during our morning studying we get to listen to some very loud music. It rocks the entire house, luckily they don’t ever play it very loud for too long, but it gets pretty annoying. They close before we get back to the house at night, so it doesnt effect us sleeping or anything. We have a microwave, so it’s easier to warm up food now. The stovetop works on our oven, but the oven itself doesn’t, so I’m lucky we have the microwave. Yesterday it rained a lot, and I think we must have had a leak somewhere, because there was a puddle of water in the middle of both rooms. Luckily nothing got wet, but it was still annoying to take off my shoes and step in cold water. I got a hair cut today, it was funny because the first thing the guy asked me was if I spoke his language. I guess he must give missionaries haircuts a lot. I think I found Juanas Portuguese twin on Monday. It was a member, we went to her house to have lunch, and it was crazy. She made me put one of every type of vegetable in my salad, put oil on it, she just kept saying Elder! Do this! Do that! The best part was she gave me the exact same look that I’ve seen from Juana a million times during Spanish class. Kind of a, You can’t be serious, or I can’t believe you did that kind of look. She kept throwing food on my plate, she just said that her house was Mom’s house, and I needed to be healthy. It was really funny. We have some really good investigators here. Yesterday we taught a family, and the eight year old girl read a scripture better than most of the adults I’ve heard read it. Its because it’s the bible, and it has a really uncommon word, Liberalmente (liberally). The mom and her daughter had already been taught by missionaries, but she says one day they just stopped visiting, so we explained to her about transfers. It’s sad, but we’re really glad we found her now, they both really want to be baptized. We also found a great family this last Saturday, and we found them in a really funny way too. We were walking down the street with a member, and Elder Warr really needed a bathroom. So we walked over to a house where we were teaching a family and clapped, but they weren’t home. We tried the store across the street, but they said their bathroom was broken. By this time Elder Warr was dancing around the street, trying not to pee his pants. It was about eight o clock at night, and we weren’t anywhere near anyone we knew. So the member said, hey wait, I have a friend who lives up the street here. We walked up to the house, and the guy wasn’t there, but his mom was. She let my companion use the bathroom, and me and the member started talking to her. He knew her already, but hadn’t seen her in a long time. We learned that she had been having a hard time, so we shared a scripture with her and invited her to church the next day. When we got to church, she was waiting outside, she liked it, and we have been teaching her since. Her name is Tarsis, it’s extremely uncommon, she said her dad gave it to her from a name he liked in the Bible. It just seems like I’m going to learn a lot this transfer. I think that my first was to learn how to be a Junior companion, and now I have to learn how to be a Senior. Elder Warr is a great guy, he’s just had a pretty difficult mission. He doesn’t speak Portuguese very well, but I learn a lot when I speak to the members who help us out every day. The members here are great, we always have someone working with us everynight, it helps our investigators to have friends in the church. Missionaries leave eventually, but the members can make friends and help them go to church, it’s a good way to keep them in the church instead of just being baptized and stopping when we’re gone. Until next Pday, I’ll keep working hard and try to remember every thing that happened during the week. I can’t believe it’s already been four months, it’s crazy! Até mais então, tchau tchau! 

Transfers!‏

Written by mperry on June 1st, 2011

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!

Almost done with my first transfer!‏

Written by mperry on May 25th, 2011

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!