March 30, 2013

Email 3-18-2013

Are you on?     It’s like 2 p.m here, I think…But it’s so much different here!!  It’s exactly how I imagined it to be… unfortunately!   I tried to imagine it to be the worst as possible so when I got here it wouldn’t be so bad.  It’s worse! Ha ha.  But that’s what makes it so great!!

Our apartment is pretty big I guess compared to the other.  But it’s sooo small.  One bedroom that could barely fit two beds.  But we only have one bed.  My companion sleeps in a rede (hammock) in the living room every night.  He hates it, but there’s no other choice until we can get a bed over there!!

Remember when I said than all of the trainers understand English?  Ha ha ha  they were wrong…. My companion is Elder P____, from Brasilia, Brazil.  He only knows how to say a couple of random phrases that have nothing to do with teaching the Gospel.  It’s so funny!! 

I have never wanted to just be able to talk this bad in my whole life!   I can’t say what’s on my mind.  He doesn’t understand me when I try to speak Portuguese.  Ha ha   He says people that come from the CTM in Brazil speak much better.  Which is funny because everyone in my MTC district said I spoke super well!!  He says I’m learning super fast.  I just want to be able to talk!! 

Also remember when I said all of the words we were saying before, we were saying wrong?  I thought I learned them right at the MTC.  NOPE!  The accent of the people here is so much different than we learned.  I feel like I’m trying to learn Portuguese again… from the beginning!!!  But it’s all good! 

So people ask me where I’m from and all that, but then they ask me when I used to do before my mission.  I try to explain to them that I worked in a restaurant.  I don’t know about the rest of Brazil, but here they don’t even know what a server does.  There are restaurants but they are like cafeteria style – like, you stand in a line and tell people what you want on your plate, and they put it on.  So then, I try to explain that my family owns a carpet cleaning and installing company.  They all get so confused.  Like they don’t know what carpet is or something.  The nice houses here have tile floors, everywhere.  And the poorer people just have concrete, all torn up, for the floor in their house.  We seriously don’t know what we have until it’s gone. 

All of the streets are dirt.  Some are made with rocks.  It’s crazy.  Elder P____ said this is one of the most poor areas here.  We don’t have a chapel.  We to to church in a duplex.  A church building is being constructed, but no one knows when it was started, or when it will be done!  Ha ha ha  Culture shock to the max….  

Sometimes I’ll be talking to people and I don’t know the word they’re saying, and they’ll try to say it in English.  But I don’t know they’re trying to speak English – I’ll still think they’re trying to speak Portuguese and they say, “Elder, you don’t speak English very well!”  It’s hilarious!  I love it!  I truly am learning so much out here; trying to adjust as best as possible.  J

As to the people – they’re great!  I love all of them.  They have basically nothing, and they’re willing to give us all they have.  For breakfast we usually eat bread, like a roll with butter on it.  Then for almoco (lunch) we eat with members.  So far, every house we’ve been to has rice, beans, spaghetti, some kind of mashed potato thing?  I don’t even know what it is, and some kind of meat; chicken or beef.  One house served us something and then asked if I like it?  I had no idea what it was.  They told me to eat it and have my companion explain what it is after we leave.  It was good but tasted kind of familiar but I didn’t know what it was.  It ended up being liver.  He expected me to freak out about it because his last companion wouldn’t eat it.  Ha ha ha   I was fine with it.  It tasted better than most of the things I’ve tried.  Not that the food is bad – it's kind of bland – but it’s still good.  I’m fine with it.

Most of the time they serve cashew fruit juice with meals too.  I didn’t even know this but the cashew nut grows under a fruit.  The fruit is awesome.  I love it  And guarana too.  I just bought a bottle of guarrana soda from the market!  Oh yeah, and for dinner, we eat whatever, like the equivalent of ramen noodles, or bread again.

During lunch I’ll eat a plate and be full and they tell me to eat more.  So I’ll stuff in another plate.  Then they tell me to eat more.  I have to tell them I’m full!  They’re like, “You’re big and you can’t eat a lot!”  Ha ha ha they’re so funny!  I think it’s because my companion can eat like 4 plates and still be hungry.  He’s super skinny and before his mission he played soccer (just like every single person here).  But he’s going to try and go pro after his mission.  I’m the second person he’s trained.  The other was American too, from Mesa actually.  People say, “Oh you’re from Arizona too!  You must be accustomed to the weather too then?  I have to explain that I’m from the cold part of the state.  And I am definitely not used to the weather. 

Remember when I said I’ve been sweating the whole time???  It hasn’t stopped.  I sweat in the shower, I sweat while I sleep, all the time, Non stop.  I’m basically always soaked.  Everyone thought I sweat a lot back home….ha ha ha   not even close!   I’m at a LAN house right now.  A place with computers and you pay by the hour to use.  It’s air conditioned, and I’m still sweating. 

It’s usually about….well one day it was 88 degrees with like 40-50 percent humidity.   It’s so ridiculous.  It’s supposedly the colder part of the year.  It rained yesterday morning, I think it was, and I was so excited because it wasn’t so hot outside.  WRONG… it was worse!   The humidity was ridiculous.  And rain = mud!  Considering all of the streets are dirt.  With rain, it gets muddy!!!  Not fun  ha ha ha

I sound so negative!  I don’t mean it that way.  I’m just saying it exactly how it is.  The people are so poor!  I never would have thought it would be this bad!  Unfortunately it is.  I love it though!  The people are so awesome.  The culture is different, but awesome at the same time.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but here, without the heat though, of course!  J  I just hope I get used to it fairly quick.

Our area is called Jatoba, one of the poorest.  And said to be one of the hardest to teach the Gospel.  We have one person with a definite Baptismal date, as long as she goes to church next Sunday.  We’ll go get here if we have to!!  Her name is M____.  She’s 17 and I don’t know a thing else about her.  She’s already been taught, she just needed to work out her schedule to be able to go to church.  It’s all good now, and she’s going to enter into this sacred Covenant with the Lord.

Today we went into the center of Fortaleza to go to the bank.  I don’t like it.  People walking everywhere… cars everywhere…  Everyone tries to sell me something.  Cause I’m American, they can obviously tell, they think I have so much money and want to buy everything they have.  It’s funny.  But, it’s fun.  I like our area much better than over there though.  Much more calm and chill.  Whenever we have to go somewhere far, we ride the bus.  It’s insane!!  I would rather walk!!  I honestly think I’m going to die every single time I get on it.  I need to become accustom to that too!!  My companion says I will.  Ha ha   We walk all day, every day.  Elder P____ says I’m going to go home brown, and skinny.  I use sunscreen, but it all comes off as soon as I step outside.

I just wrote my Mission President a letter all in Portuguese… It took forever!  I’m learning so much.. it’s great!  We will still only get an hour of email here though.  Maybe the new rule hasn’t hit here yet?  I ‘m not sure… ha ha  I’ve got a nice blister on my foot too, about the size of a 50 cent piece…right under my toes.  It’s great!!

I hope everything is going so well there.  I love you all so much.  I’m loving it here tons!
Con amor,    (with love)
-Elder Kyler Blane Farr