Monday, June 27, 2011

It would be nice to know a city name

  Pday is Monday now. Every Six weeks we have a transfer on Wednesday. Been Great. I´ll write fast. Tuesday morning we left for the house of the Mission President in Santa Maria. It was crazy leaving the elders and the teachers that I had gotten to know so well. I hopped on a plane with Elder Hollandsworth and other Elders who were Santa Maria bound.  After the two and a half hour plane ride, we took a bus to the Mission President's house with some Elders waiting for us. These Elders had a transfer as well and were supposed to help us on the trip. They have been out for a bit more than a year and speak Portuguese VERY well. Then we went to the mission President's house and ate some good pizza. They have this dessert pizza that is out of this world and I´ll probably not be able to get anything like it back home. My mission President interviewed me and told me how I´ve been sent here especially for this mission at this time. At the end of the night we all shared short testimonies in Portuguese and the Americans did their best in broken Portuguese. The Elders who had been there for a while sang some song about The Brazil Mission and it´s honestly one of the most beautiful songs I´ve heard. Then we got our new companions (Mine is Elder Andrade, he speaks decent English so he helps me)and went to "The Big House" down the street from the President. It´s a house with a few rooms and a living room type area on the top level and pretty much a garage down below. There’s a bunch of bunks in the garage down below where the Elders on transfer sleep. I slept up stairs with the Elders who are serving in the area and staying in the big house. (I have connections through a Brazilian Elder I met at the MTC who is good friends with me.)
 The next morning we all walked to the Church and had a work shop type thing with our trainers all day. Then we all took buses to our different Areas. I´m two hours bus ride from the Mission President now. Elder Hollandsworth is in my mission and I saw him at the meeting but he´s well far from here. We got to the apartment late and went to sleep. Let´s just say...It´s a dungeon; My first day in the field I studied with my companion and he started to say some things in his best English and I translated them to the best of my ability in Portuguese. The first day was tough and we made some contacts but we´re seeing how those pan out. The next day was better and now we´re going back for more lessons with different people and looking for different investigators. We´ve already taught a lot of lessons. It´s hard because I can definitely get all the major points/drifts of what´s being said but I don´t know too much of what they are saying and it´s tough to interject. I have already made good street contacts in Portuguese and I have asked a few good questions in Portuguese during the lessons as well. I´m getting better at bearing my testimony.
  The first two days it rained so hard and it´s really tough because we walk on these roads that are a bunch of uneven stones placed in the dirt. It´s murder on the feet but my feet are getting tougher and the mole skin I placed in my shoes is working well. It stopped raining yesterday and isn´t raining today either, SUNS OUT!
  Sunday was terrific. I felt the spirit so strongly in Sacrament meeting. They had me go up there and speak a little bit in my best Portuguese and then I sat down. Sunday night contacts were difficult. We were cold and not having much success so we said a few prayers in our hearts and eventually stopped and said one together out loud and some woman instantly just happened to be walking down the street. We asked if we could teach her and her house was close so she had us walk with her to teach her. We taught her the main first lesson and we´re preparing her for baptism. We need to work with her a lot. Pray everything works out! There´s a lot of other people that we have taught about the Apostasy and next lesson we teach them about the Restoration and I´m very hopeful for them.
  It´s impossible to describe here but this place is so ...different. We live in a nice area. We´re on a street full of shops and all around there´s shops and parks and some very nice things but then you go another few blocks over and there´s a horse walking on some bricks roads. Then there will be blocks with very nice houses and across the street there´s very poor houses. Some blocks just have two nice houses or so and then there´s a shack. There will be some undeveloped areas with cobblestones and cows and horses and then a grocery store and normal busy road ways. There´s a grocery store where you can get pretty much everything. We´re budgeting our money and we´ve had some great lunches with the members.
 It´s been the hardest few days of my life. But we have some great things happening with investigators and I think we are hitting our stride and going to see some real commitment. The ward building here is BEAUTIFUL. In some ways their class rooms are nicer than ours. There´s a small entry way. The chapel is on the bottom floor with bathrooms, a kitchen and baptismal font. Then you take stairs ...or an elevator to the top floor with all the classrooms. Outside there´s a parking lot and a basketball court. Today we played basketball at the church and I bought cleaning things because the apartment NEEDED IT! Now things are swimming.
I´ll make sure to write more about everything later. I can´t begin to say everything about the past week here. Love you all.
Brian’s going to ...UTAH? no seriously though... Arizona? Idaho?
[I told him Brian was going stateside and asked him to guess where and told him I wouldn't tell him until next week.  I think he did pretty good at guessing.  -Joy]

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