June 4, 2013

Email 6-3-13

(From Shannon  -  Here's his letter - I have a little more info to send out, but have to get to work so I'll send it asap!  He is so happy - can't you just feel his energy and excitement?!!  It's wonderful!!) 

This week was ridiculous! So, we got to this area knowing nothing. We knew where we had lunch the next day, and the names of the Bishopric, and we had a map of our two areas. We spent the first two days pretty much walking around, trying to find the members at home. It has been crazy. The missionaries that were here before us left the names of only two people in the area book. One lady who just got married to her husband who is a member, and the other of someone we haven't been able to contact. The lady who was just married, her name is E_____. Her baptism is marked for next Sunday. We really don't even know if she has been taught everything or not. We only talked for her for about ten minutes at church! This week we should be able to meet up with her a few times and see what the real situation it. Everything should work out. 

There is one other boy that was at church, everyone said he had been there at church like nine times and already knew everything, just needed to get put in the water! :) Nope.. We went to his house and asked him if he remembered that one young man named Joseph Smith. He said no, so we are just going to teach him everything again and refresh his memory and make sure he is really ready! The problem is, he works all morning and has school all afternoon/night. He said we could come over and teach him while he eats lunch at home! He is super cool, just super busy. The fact that he will let us come over and teach him in his only free hour in the day is great. He is already showing the faith he has! 

So, we have a list that the bishop gave us of the recent converts. So, during the week we have been going around getting to know all of them. I´ll explain our area before I tell this story. . . . . 

Our area is more city-like than Jatobá was, with asphalt streets, real houses etc.. But, one part is straight up favelas just like in the movies! Some of the streets are so small I can barely fit! There´s people sitting outside all over the place! I love it. Everyone says it´s super duper dangerous, but I love going in there and just talking to everyone. They all stare us down and act super tough! I love it! :) --it´s like in fast and the furious when they´re in Rio, like that.. but worse! It´s awesome. (we´re not allowed to go there at night!)

So, we were looking for a house there in the favela and got so lost. None of the streets are organized at all! We just started looking for someone that looked the least scary. We found this lady sitting on a log outside her house. We asked her if she knew where the street was, of course she said no! But she started talking about how she used to go to our church but doesn´t anymore. She didn´t really have a real reason why she doesn´t go anymore, but as we were talking her ``husband`` came out. He started asking questions about what we do and why we´re dressed up and what not. We just asked if they had time to talk right then and they did! We taught them the first lesson there on the street sitting on a log. They all liked the message, It´s the dad, mom, and four kids, three over the age of eight. The only thing is.......guess what!?!? They´re not married.. Of course. But that´s just one more thing that we can help them with!

There´s a little shop down the street from our house that sells all kinds of snacks and drinks. They have Açai!! I can´t even explain it! All four of us are addicted to it though! 

This area actually has a real chapel. It´s HUGE, two stories. We got some members together and just got done playing Ping Pong. It was awesome. We went to this store to get money from the ATM, I just thought it was going to be like a little market like I´ve seen before. NOPE! It´s like the size of sam´s club! And they have a tire section and it smells like rubber. It smells the exact same way as Sam´s Club! So, we got done buying all of our stuff and were walking out and saw........GUESS WHAT!? SUBWAY!!! So, we got to eat a real Subway sandwich today too! Probably the most trunky I have been on my mission is today. You really don't know what you´ve got till it´s gone! It was just super expensive. Like the equivalent of six American dollars. Which with our budget, is a ton!! It was so worth it though!!

Our area´s are called Jerusalém and Cidade Oeste. You should be able to look on any map of Fortaleza and find both of them. And, we went to the doctor this week too, to get the results of all of the exams that I´ve done and everything is perfect. He just told me to keep an eye on my blood pressure at home and if it gets low again I´ll just go in and we´ll adjust my meds. He said everything is exactly how it is supposed to be! :)

Whaaattt!!! L____ coming down here too!?!? That´s awesome! Tell him to get used to walking all day on over 100 degree weather! And cold showers! And mosquitoes! :) There´s more but it can be a surprise. There are so many trials, but the good things definitely overpower the bad! We do talk English more that I expected, but Elder V_____ is from Paraguay and doesn´t speak any English so we have to speak Português! It´s all working out! Everything is great! I love my mission! I wouldn´t change it for anything! Unless I could trade the heat, then I think I would.. But I can´t! So it´s perfect how it is! 
I have three friends from the MTC in cuiabá too!!! Elder K____, Elder S____, and Sister C____! It´s just as hot there as it is here!! It´ll be great! ;)