Monday, July 11, 2011

"Coverings"?! ...and RATS no pictures still

WOW! thanks for the update. I´ll try and catch you up on things.
You pronounce Ijui: Eee-jew-ee. It´s a big city, there´s lots of big buildings and many of the cement roads are busier than the roads in Shoreline.  Of course there are also neighborhoods and areas that have sidewalks but no cement roads and I´m just wrecking my feet on the cobblestones. There´s some very nice houses here with interesting architecture and everyone uses tiles.  Most people have tiles for a drive way.  There´s also smaller houses and really poor houses. But most every house is made out of brick.   They put wood or covering on the outside so it looks very nice,  BUT - when it´s cold the houses are FREEZING!   It´s been cold here but I wear gloves and a sweater and usually some thermals and I´m fine.  It´s tough because in the mornings inside the apartment, I will study and be wearing three pairs of socks and my feet will feel frozen solid. We have a washing machine but we dry things on a line.  In this climate it takes a long time for things to dry.  At night I use three blankets over a sheet and the blanket from home.  I´m plenty warm when I sleep and have my coverings.  The last three days it has really warmed up and it was actually really HOT on Saturday.  It´s sunny and should be for a while.  The days are getting warmer and the nights are less cold.  My feet haven´t been cold in the mornings the last couple of days.
Many people have cars, but motorcycles are cheaper and easier to park out on the street.   It´s not uncommon to see sixty year old men riding motorcycles to church with their wives riding along, arms wrapped around them.  What´s funny is that we walk by a drivers ed. area and it´s all twenty something girls teaching the men how to drive.  My companion says this is the only place in Brazil that he knows of that has women teaching the men to drive so much.   Another thing, Gaucho´s are what they call the people here in the south.  Americans like to think of them as Brazilian cowboys but it´s different than just that.  A lot of them wear cowboy boots and you´ll see the occasional guy wearing this poncho type thing but really that´s just for a style.  Most all the people here dress exactly like Americans, hoodies or jackets, similar hair styles, they even have a lot of t-shirts with American brands on them.  Coca-Cola is advertised everywhere here.  Soda pop is way better here because they can use (as I understand it) pure cane sugar vs. just high fructose corn syrup.  They have Fanta, Coke, Pepsi and their own kinds  Another thing about the Gaucho´s is that they all have chimarrao.  It´s a drink that´s this strange grass that they put in a cup and pour hot water in to.  They have decorative cups usually part metal and ceramic/wood. Then there´s this big metal straw and the end that´s in the cup is like a small strainer so you only get the liquid.  It´s not against the word of wisdom but they´ve asked the Elders not to drink it because it can be very addictive.  It´s tough because EVERYONE in Ijui drinks this and if they like you, they offer you a sip from their cups.
They say that Brazilian women are beautiful but here in the south the women or Gaucha´s are so beautiful.  I mean they are literally falling from the trees. Twenty something year old girls of every shade - completely flawlessly beautiful - just in swarms on the streets.  We´ve taken the bus to appointments a few times.  When the bus goes over cobblestones it shakes more than a turbulent airplane.  What´s funny is that with the busses, in every seat there´s some random beautiful girl.  Speaking of falling from trees ... DOGS!  Everywhere.   I mean some houses don´t have them but many houses just have three to five dogs each in their front yard.  Usually they have a few small dogs and then one huge scary one chained up. But they all bark at everyone.  The streets often have a small dog running around and we get chased a bunch.
There´s far more than just Nestle chocolate here.  They have dozens of kinds of chocolate candies I never saw in the states and many of them are fancy and many of them are really good.  There´s also a candy brand called Garoto (meaning little boy) and they have amazing candies.
The Church building is beautiful. I´m taking pictures of it and the town square next week.  We had two investigator women, Ondina and Neuza come to church on Sunday. They are progressing so well. Neuza is the mother of two boys who have been in the ward for three years.  They were waiting for the missionaries to talk to her.  We´ve taught many powerful lessons to the family, and her son hugged me and was so grateful that his mother had begun reading the Book of Mormon.  Her date is set for baptism and she´s ready. We´re preparing Ondina but she should be ready as well.  Then we have Rafael and Inez who are progressing and searching for truth and they are finding their answers about the church and we´re confident in them.  Maria is the sister of Neuza and couldn´t make it to church on Sunday but she´s doing well too.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ make me so much better every day and through every moment.  I can feel my mental capacities physically growing and I´m becoming more patient and controlled every single day.  The Lord´s atonement really does change us mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.  It´s sufficient to make such a great change in us and continue to make us better even still.   I am touched by the spirit so strongly daily.  I´m not afraid to talk to Heavenly Father on my knees and throughout the day.  Every time I talk to Him I feel the heavens open a bit and He reaches out to me.  Each time we talk I´m many times closer to Him. I encourage you guys to pray on your knees on Sunday mornings that the Sacrament will be special for you that day and that you can learn and feel something new.
Mom, you AND Dad should walk every week at least two times a week.  Set a day and a time to walk and then set a fall back time so that if things fall through you make sure to walk!  It´s been great for me to get out on foot.  I´m healthier and I understand Heavenly Father more.
Try using Preach my Gospel in your family home evening.  It´s a solid gold book is what it is. 
I think I know what I want to do when I come home.  I´m going to get a Doctorate in Religion and also study business/finance.  Our mission president manages businesses and funds for Seminaries and institutes in Brazil.  He was an Institute director and teacher.
I have many pictures but I have no time to send them today I´m afraid. Looks like next week.
We actually get enough money to get some good food and I get to cook a lot.  Lunches with members are SO good. They usually have meat, pasta´s, a loaf of bread and these soft potato-ish things that aren´t exactly potatoes.  Beans are usually at every meal but you get addicted to mixing them in with your food.  Have Mckenna send me stickers to put on the back of my tag.  All the elders have them on there. You can pick some out too.
P-days we play soccer. It´s whatever. But it´s cool getting together with all the missionaries in the area to play and joke around.  There´s some people who don´t know how to pray AT ALL.  It´s sad they don´t know how to talk to Heavenly Father of course.  But some "prayers" are so awkward and funny. Sometimes we say can you pray for us and they just start talking so we just guess that we should bow our heads and fold our arms. They don´t address Heavenly Father.  And they say stuff like "I´m grateful for you guys, and the work that you guys do and for you making the world a better place and for my garden and .. ... amen."  
We get to pig out during zone conferences and transfer meetings, really good pizza and sometimes since the members give us hook ups we have like a buffet inside one of those heated buffet tables at the meeting.  It´s really cool.
Stay sweet

No comments:

Post a Comment