Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week 2 in Brazil

Holy cow lot´s of questions. First off, I go to a LANhouse just down the street [to email on PDay]. It´s like a ghetto version of LANworks. We pay R$2 for an hour of internet use. That´s just barely over a dollar.
My apartment is two stories. The first story is a small kitchen with pots and pans thrown in a box under the sink. Then the bathroom is tiny. I hate the fact that our toilet doesn´t have a seat. I´m always wiping off the rim before sitting down. The shower isn´t so bad. Then we have the main room with 2 desks where we study and eat. Up the narrow staircase is our bedroom. Two beds with thin mattresses, and two dressers. Mine broke the second night while we were sleeping. I guess my clothes were too heavy or something. I have to hang them between our dressers now with the bar propped up on top of them. It´t not so bad, but the part that makes me a little scared is we actually live in a nicer area near the center of the city. I´m not too excited to leave for that reason.

My companion´s nice. He´s only been out for about 6 months though, so he´s new too. We don´t really know our way around the city very well yet. He does a good job of answering my Português questions, but he´s got a thick accent. It´s kind of like a British accent of Português. He doesn´t pronounce his R´s; they´re more like H´s. That´s probably good for me though.

We don´t get too many new investigators. We´re gonna go try and do some tracting tonight after everyone is home from work. Hopefully we´ll find some new people tonight. We need them. It´s really cold here today though. Finally some winter weather. I´ve got my sweater on under my jacket. It´s about 8 degrees Celsius.

Not many crazy stories yet. We´ve seen some shady people waiting for the bus. Thank goodness our bus seems to come pretty quickly after they arrive. There are lots of gay people in our area too. My favorite was the short bald guy with lots of earings wearings jean suspenders that walked and talked a little like Reniff. I also watched a hobo throw up the other day. That´s about it though. OH! I just remembered a drunk and/or high lady came up to us one night rather angry and told us that the other men here are scared of her because she can read minds. I wanted to ask her what I was thinking, then tell her I was thinking of a scripture about how only God knows the thoughts of our minds. Then I remembered I am a missionary.

The language is getting better. I still have a long way to go before I can be of much help to my investigators though. It really stinks sitting there feeling so helpless. I get a basic idea of their stories, but can barely manange to say what I´m thinking. It´s gotten significantly better since arriving here though.

The favela(s) are pretty nasty, but I have yet to see much crime. Most people don´t give us much notice, but we obviously don´t fit in there. We don´t teach TOO many people in the favelas since their far from the church building and they don´t have cars or much money for the bus, so it´s tough to get them there on Sunday. They don´t seem to keep our commitments very well either. I think a lot of them are pretty unmotivated like you said (Dad). There are lots of kids playing there too, which is even more sad.

Our apartment is actually outside our proseliting area. We have to take the bus to and from every day. It´s up on a hill in a part of the city called `Casa Verde.´ It´s not too bad of a part of town, but down in `Barra Funda´ is a little more where favelas and homeless people are. Speaking of favelas again, there are a bunch of them just scattered across the city of São Paulo. Each area has their own, depending on where the area is.

I still play my harmonica quite a bit. The kids in the ward we have lunch with or meet for references like it. My companion has a guitar, so he or the elders next door play the guitar while I play the harmonica. All I know is hymns though. That´s fine I think. My companion also has a recorder, so I took some note cards and used the lines as a staff and wrote down Come Thou Fount for him to play on the recorder. I play the guitar with him while he does this. It´s pretty cool actually.

Something about the Brasilians here is they really like TV. It´s a rare occasion that the family doesn´t have the TV just sitting there with some random show on. Lot´s of terrible soap operas or really dumb kids shows. There was one in particular that looked like it was filmed in the 70´s. It was about this ´´comical´´ super hero. It was very slapstick. One part I saw was of him with this magical wig that gave him super strenght. It was terrible.

The food is pretty good still. EVERY lunch is rice, beans, a meat, salad, then desert. The meal is always good, but the desert is always a little different. Sometimes their really good, and sometimes their a little strange for me. They ALWAYS have Guarana with lunch too. It´s a rare occasion when there is juice or water offered. I´d like to keep my teeth so I try not to drink too much soda.

Anyway, it´s time to head out now. I´ll be writing most of my stories and stuff in emails since they go so much faster and cheaper and simpler. I wrote today, but who knows how long it will be before you guys get them.

I´ll write again next week. Keep working with Lars and the bike too.

Elder Candland

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