Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Roll Over In Bed ... And Other Close Calls!


Sorry its taken so long to write. In the MTC our P-Day was on Tuesday and that was the day we left the MTC. Here in the field it’s on Monday so I didn’t get a P-Day last week. Anyways … to begin … happy late Father’s Day Dad!!!!!! I knew it was Father’s Day but I haven’t been able to write or anything until today. Secondly, “Happy late Birthday Kassie!!!!!!” How was it and what did you do? And now … “‎Happy Birthday Brittin and Belle!!!!! I finally got one sent on time. haha Hope you both have a good day! You'll have to tell me all about it." I love you all!

Sounds like you all are having a good time! Was The Tournament of Kings as good as when we went before? And did you guys buy a boat for the lake with the Aussie’s? And if so … what kind?

Things are good here. Very different from anything I’ve experienced before and very different from the States. haha My apartment is tiny. Probably about the size of our family room and really dirty too. Like disgustingly dirty. I was cleaning a ton today. I don’t understand how anyone could stand it. I was so grossed out there. But it’s a little bit better now that I’ve cleaned. Also, my bed was definitely made for a little Brazilian not for me. The end of it is on my shins when I lay on my stomach and I can’t roll over or else I’ll fall off.

My new companion's name is Elder Henrique (pronounced like en-he-key). He’s a Brazilian and doesn’t speak any English. Ya … NOTHING! I’m the only one out of the other guys with me, that has a Brazilian companion. It’s rough. The first day we were walking around basically in silence because I couldn’t understand him and didn’t know that many things in Portuguese except things pertaining to the gospel and the lessons. haha It kind of sucks cause someone will say something to me that I won’t understand and I’ll ask him what they said and he just repeats it and can’t translate. He’s a very patient guy because it takes a while for me to say anything and it’s difficult for the both of us. But he helps me a lot with the language and I think I’m learning really quick. I’m definitely good at saying "I don’t know" and "I don’t understand". haha I’m also becoming fluent at speaking in charade language. Haha

Yesterday I got bit by a dog! It was smaller though, so I’m ok. On Saturday we had a close call. We were almost mugged. We were in a favella which is a Brazilian ghetto and a pretty sketchy area. Lots of people had guns and were doing drugs. I guess missionaries used to not be allowed in this area but we are now. Anyways, I was walking and suddenly got the distinct thought to take my credit cards and stuff out of my wallet. I just shrugged it off and kept walking. Then I got the thought even stronger so we stopped and I took it out but left the money in there. It’s a mission rule to keep 10 reais in your wallet in case you get mugged you have something to give them. Then you keep the rest elsewhere. We all have sneaky hiding spots for our valuables. Anyways, after I took my stuff out we kept walking and some guys came out in front of us and were looking at us in an odd way. They started coming at us when … at the same time … me and Elder Henrique started walking a lot faster. He must have had the same feeling as me. I had a very strong impression and feeling that we needed to get out of there and I listened. We got out of the situation as fast as we could. It was a little sketchy but we were ok. Later on that same day a huge dog was growling and baring it’s teeth at us. My companion was mumbling under his breath “don’t attack don’t attack“. I was thinking the same thing and suddenly it just turned around and walked away. We are definitely being looked after. That’s another thing ... there are dogs EVERYWHERE here. It’s crazy.

So in other news … we had a baptism on Saturday!!! She already had the date set when I got out here so I didn’t teach her too much but it was still such an awesome experience! Then yesterday, we were talking with one of our investigators and then before we could challenge him he asked if he could be baptized. I guess they’ve been teaching him for a while and he knew everything was true but just wouldn’t commit. When I met him my first thought was, “How is this guy not a member?”. He was so nice and you could just tell he was a great person. I guess he must have had a change of heart and decided he had to be baptized.

It’s great. I’m having such a good time here. At first it was rough. Like ridiculously hard. The first couple nights I went to bed, I would just lay there and think, “What the heck am I doing? I cant understand or talk with anyone including my comp.” I definitely shed many tears the first couple nights but now I’m starting to get a handle on the language, I’ve made some good friendships with the members, and I’m loving it! Two of the teachers at the MTC are in my ward so they speak English and same with this other guy that I thought was an American at first because he looks like one and speaks really good. But no, he just learned it on his mission. People here are really nice. Oh, that’s another thing that I have to do during my mission. Whenever I have a Brazilian companion, I have to teach them English. It’s a little hard to teach Elder Henrique because he has never had an American and I can barely speak Português. haha.

Let’s see … what else? Drives are insane here! Whenever we drive somewhere I’m like clenching my seat or arm rest. I think Brazilians assume as long as they honk their horn to let you know they’re there, they can hit you. Including pedestrians. I’ve pulled Elder Henrique from in front of a car 4 times already. It’s scary and I’m worried one of these days I won’t be there to grab him.

Oh, and something funny about brazil. Sunday is when the soccer games are on TV. The streets are empty during the games. It’s really funny. You can always tell when someone scores because the whole city erupts in a cheer or a boo or some profanity and then fireworks get set off from peoples houses.

Well I got to get going. I’m short on time ... (time must have ran out because that is where his email ends.)

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