Hello from Brazzzziiiiilllll!!
I have some fun things to talk about this week! I would love to attach photos, but the computer USB isn’t working, so next week! I also have transfers next week, so my prep day will be on Wednesday.
So we had another baptism this week! My fourth one here in this area. I’ve been talking a little about him, his name is Francisco. He is 18 and has a strong interest in learning and being closer to God. He always has questions, and is excited to serve a mission! He was dunked in the water 3 times until the priesthood holder got the baptismal prayer right, and it was so funny! But he was really happy about his baptism. I am so glad that we´ve been able to baptize people that have strong testimonies, and that I can almost have a certainty that they will all continue on strong in the church. It´s wonderful!
Just a few culture things. I can´t tell you how popular Justin Beiber is here. Seriously, I hear the song `Baby!` almost a few times every day while walking on the street. People play it loud, are singing it, it’s so funny! It’s even funnier because they don’t know English, so they just sing jibber jabber and think they are singing in English. I love it! We also always are hearing music on the street. One thing that is so different here is the election propaganda. They pay people to drive around with huge speaker things on their cars and play musical propaganda for these governors, senators and stuff. After hearing these over and over again, day and night, you start to sing their little catchy 30 second songs! It’s actually really annoying sometimes, but so different from home!
I’ve been trying to think of cultural things to share, but I can’t think of too many. I have pictures that explain better, so I will talk about it when I can attach the pictures.
This week it has been getting hotter. I am just getting used to having sweat run down my back constantly. It´s soooo hot! You are just constantly sweaty, and there is almost no relief. I would say that the wind here is my biggest blessing on the mission. It’s the only way I can get by!
1. What is Seminary (early morning class for high school age teens) like in Brazil? - One ward I work in has it at a member´s house at night, and there are maybe 5 students. The other ward has it at the church building at 5:30 in the morning, and it isn’t close to the houses of the students. I am amazed at the strength these youth have who wake up at 4 just to get ready and walk to seminary on time. I thought 6:10am was early for me!
2. Receiving mail- I haven’t received any mail yet because of this; Just so you know what happens with the mail. Whenever anyone sends mail or packages, it goes to the mission office, which is in João Pessoa-2 hours away. I am in another city, Natal. So the mail just sits there until we have some sort of conference or meeting where elders/leaders travel there for a reason, and they bring the mail here. So the package/letters could be sitting there for a month until I get them. Make sense? Ha-ha- so it’s really hard for me to know how fast things get here, because they could arrive fast, but sit in the office and take forever to get to me! BUT- WE HAVE TRANSFERS NEXT WEEK, SO MY EMAIL/PDAY WILL BE NEXT WEDNESDAY. I will get mail then!
3. Have you baptized anyone? Yep! 4 people. Lourena- 25 yrs old and is strong in the church. She is a great friend. Alice- 72 yrs old and she makes the BEST French fries. She sells them in front of her house ever night. She has a strong testimony and tells everyone to go to the church. She is way funny and chill. Laura- 14 yrs old. She has a strong testimony and has already shared the gospel with her friends. Neat girl. Franciso- 18 yrs old. He is really funny, and always has a lot of questions. He was just baptized yesterday and can’t wait to serve a mission. He will be a good missionary. He was a reference from the girl Jaine.
4. Have you had to get new shoes yet? I haven’t had to buy new shoes yet, but I pretty much only wear my sandals every day. We´ll see how long they last. One pair of my shoes already broke!
5. Do you speak Portuguese fluently? Depends on what you think is fluent. I can understand almost everything, and can speak back to people. I have SOO much to learn still, but I can talk to people, teach people, and more. My companion says that I speak really really well for only having 5ish months on the mission.
6. Can you read in Portuguese? It´s a lot easier to read in Portuguese. Of course, there are still a lot of words I don’t know, but I can read and mostly understand. I am reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese right now and can understand!
Anyway- I love you and thanks for your emails every week! I miss you guys, but I am really focused on the mission and am loving every minute. I can’t imagine what I would be like without my mission already, because I am learning so much. Thanks for your love and support.