Well the first week in the field is officially done and whoa was it quite different than what I expected! I’ve been so full of the spirit and a little down at times and I don’t think I’ve ever walked up so many hills (they really do seem to go up both ways) during the week but it already has been so cool! I also don’t think I’ve ever sweat this much! The weather is out of control down here because it started out just mega hot during the first part of the week which was quite the welcome from Brazil and then it has rained every day since the first couple of days. I think we went 5/7 on rain and you would think that the rain would cool things down and help with the heat but oh was I wrong! It does cool things down but it essentially triples the humidity so you still sweat just as much. There is no escape but it really has already been such a blast! It’s gonna be some major hard work, a lot harder than just sitting in classrooms and studying all day like the CTM which I thought was pretty tough a couple weeks ago but now I’ve got to struggle to understand Portuguese all the time and tend to each person’s individual needs! It’s been pretty tough so far. My comp is an American guy which I was really pumped for at first and don’t get me wrong I still really like the kid but I kind of wish I had a Brazilian comp just so I was forced to learn and understand Portuguese that much faster, because I’ve already kind of become a little dependent at him when it comes to understanding. If I’m ever not sure what’s going on I just look at him seeing as that is sadly happening quite a bit more than I would have hoped. People say that I have good Portuguese if we have taught them because I can talk about Gospel stuff pretty well but person to person conversations I struggle with which isn’t too great because that’s where you make the individual bonds so I just kind of smile a lot and laugh when it seems appropriate. I know that the language will come but oh how I would give anything to be able to understand what people are saying without giving myself a headache trying to decipher it word by word. But back to some details of Inamar, there are stray dogs EVERYWHERE! Before we left the CTM someone said that there are 3 million stray dogs in São Paulo and I’d say half of them are here! Carly would be going nuts because you can’t walk more than 15 steps without another "sleeping" somewhere (I want to think they are sleeping). I can almost understand the homeless dogs and cats though but guess what else they have that are strays…horses. Just doing their thing eating grass like the own the place and for some reason it looks hilarious to me! Seeing Brazilians playing soccer in the street, music blasting and then just a random horse chilling there is funny. The music here is insane! It’s called funk and it actually sounded pretty cool the first time I heard it but apparently its mega bad and every song sounds exactly the same so that has already gotten on my nerves but they have a ton of English music too. If it’s not funk it’s usually Eminem playing in cars, hum what else. They have what I thought were ice cream trucks that play music but found out fast that they were gas trucks because everything is propane down here.
Now I’ll give you a little more details about my comp, Elder Pederson seeing as I had talked to him for like a total of 2 hours last time I wrote my email. He has only been out for 3 months and is already DL and my trainer so of course he has really good Portuguese.
Onto yesterday, the first Sunday in the field! It was really cool to be able to have stuff that I kind of understood because gospel related stuff I can usually get the gist of it pretty well and I got to go up and bear my testimony in front of the ward. I better get used to that because I have a feeling that will be happening plenty of times because the ward is pretty small and the ward building has graffiti on it, that kind of bummed me out but I guess I’ve got to get used to that too! Plus someone that wants to get baptized on the 7 of March came to church so I finally met her and she’s the girlfriend of a priest in the ward! Pretty exciting stuff actually having real people to teach! :) We met some really cool people because Elder Pederson said we essentially started over when I got here because their old investigators weren’t really progressing which I got to see firsthand with some crazy girls we taught my first day but I really love the Brazilian people! They are so friendly and always offer you something when you come in their house even though most have almost nothing. It’s really eye opening but it’s difficult because everyone works so much that we don’t really get any help from the ward and it’s hard to even make appointments with people because everyone is so busy with work and school but Elder Pederson says I’m his good luck charm and street contacting is about the only thing I do comfortably which I have a feeling will really come in handy because most people hate it especially my comp but even when my Portuguese sucks the smile or just playing with their kids is obviously helping.
Now onto today, the first P day in the field! It was great :) I may have slept in a tad bit...but being able to wear normal people clothes for a little bit and to buy some actual food for the apartment was mega nice! I got these candies that the most amazing things ever! They don’t have Reese’s Pieces down here but they have essentially every other American candy of something better but they have these peanut like things called paçaos that taste like that stuff we used to make that’s like peanut butter and brown sugar...:) needless to say I love me some Brazilian candy and the food really is amazing too! I thought the CTM was good but this showed that pretty fast! They have things called coxinhas (deep fried chicken balls) and salsichas (deep fried hot dogs) that are way cheap and since we don’t really have time to have dinner since we are teaching so much I have a feeling ill be eating plenty of those and as of right now I’m ok with that! We also have lunch with a family in the ward every day and although we have yet to have it actually at someones house it’s really nice to get a homemade meal for lunch every day!
But here are some streets that are by our house so you can tell where we are Rua Imbauva, Rua Manacas, Rua Poeta, and Elder Pederson says he thinks we live on Rua Rafiel but ill figure out what it is called and get back to you next week :)
It’s funny how half an hour in the CTM felt like not even close to enough time to email but an hour in the field still feels like not even close to enough time email. I’ll get better though and next week I’ll try actually talking about our investigators more :)
I love you all so much and tell Oliver CONGRATS!! that is so exciting but tell him he is in for a ride in the CTM and to make sure he does something fun every day or he will lose his mind but it’s another world once you get out in the field and he really will love it because I know I do! This place is amazing and I love knowing that this is the place that I am supposed to be, that there are people here in Inamar that have been prepared especially for me. I love this Church and all the blessings that it has given me, I’m so glad I get this opportunity to share all the joys, the pains and experiences I have had with the people of Brazil! Finally :) I so grateful for Joseph Smith and his amazing sacrifice of restoring our Church and all that he went through to do that! I was reading JSH the other day and he really enduring trials and tribulations from day after he had the first vision so there is no way that he would have put up with all of that and that he would have left his wife and kids alone if he did not know for assuredly that this was the true Church of Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful for Christ and his infinite and eternal sacrifice for us, for the blessing that I have to be able to tell and explain that through the love of Christ we can live together with our family forever, with God, with Christ and in Glory. I love you all so much and know that you are protected, that I am protected and that this is the true Church on the earth today.
It’s so hard reading my emails because every single word has the red line under it because everything "spelled" wrong in Portuguese but I think that’s all for now. I’ll work on the Portuguese and throw that in there soon don’t worry ;)
Sua Filho, Sua Irmão e Sua Elder,