I have successfully survived my first week in Brazil. That in itself is kind of a miracle.I have so much to say and no idea where to start. I also only have an hour to email every week so my emails are going to have to be shorter. Tudo vai dar certo.
I can´t even believe I´m here. I feel like I´m on another planet. I thought I was emotionally and mentally prepared for how different it was going to be but, well, I wasn´t. As soon as I got off the plane, I felt like I was home. I love it here. It is so beyond different but I know I´m going to love it. I already love the people so much. I´m in a pretty...umm humble area. I don´t have any other place in Brazil to compare it to but it´s very humble.
Here´s some random facts about Fortaleza and Brazil that I´ve learned this week:
You don´t even know what hot means until you´ve walked 10 miles in straight sun everyday for a week.
People here don´t like to wear clothes. Quite often they don´t wear clothes. It´s lovely.
Having the main meal in the middle of the day is going to take some getting used to. As missionaries, we pretty much only eat at lunch.
There are no outside trash cans here. People just throw their trash in the road and it somehow goes away. There´s a lot of trash and it always smells like it.
I´m already forgetting English.
Carpet and air conditioning don´t exist here.
People here speak FAST and very different Portuguese than whatever language it was that I learned in the MTC.
There are seriously like no traffic laws and we have to cross the street like 40 times a day. Exciting.
Everyone drives around with GIANT speakers strapped to the top of their car. They blare their music to the world at all hours of the night and day. It´s completely normal. My companions say it swears and is naughty but I don´t know Portuguese so it´s just funny to me.
They love to eat Lasanga here but they put layers of lunch meat in it too.
Brazilians are THE absolute most loving wonderful people on the face of the earth. We were visiting one of the poorer new members of our ward the other night. Their entire house is the size of my old bedroom and they wouldn´t let us leave without giving us food to take with us. People here will literally give you the shirt off their back if you ask.
Our house is very, very nice. I think it´s the nicest in the mission. We´re the first missionaries to use it and so we have no furniture except mattreses and a little baby sized table to eat and study. out house is mint green on the outside and just so cute. The biggest news of the week is that we didn´t have WATER ALL WEEK! It was HORRIBLE. We couldn´t flush the toilet but we still had to use it, we couldn´t clean ANYTHING. It was disgusting but I learned a lot. I learned how to ``shower`` with 2 cups of water. I also found out that I can brush my teeth, wash my face and shave my legs with 1/2 a cup of water. Impressive, na? I´m learning a lot out here.
I bought a rede (heh-gee) aka hammock this morning, I have beans and rice at least once a day, and I eat fruit that I´ve never heard of. I´m really feeling Brazilian. People here call me ``little white girl``. People look at me weird every where I go and probably call me other things too but I don´t know what they´re saying. I´m getting really good at smiling and nodding and pretending like I know what´s going on.
I thought that having some time to be a missionary in Denver would help me but it´s completely different. The standard here is to have at least 2 baptisms every week. In Denver it was miraculous if we had 1 a month. I love being a missionary and I feel so grateful to have experienced both places. It´s amazing to me that even though the culture and weather and food and way of living is COMPLETELY different, the spirit is the same. The teachings and doctrines are the same. The gospel is true in every part of the world. It truly is for everyone in every land.
The truth of God will go forth- boldy, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear. Til the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say ``the work is done``
It has taken this entire week, some tear, hugs and a lot of prayers but I really do love it here. I am slowly but surely learning Portuguese. This is by far THE hardest thing I have ever done but I somehow have also never been happier. The Lord has asked me to serve here and to learn Portuguese. I know that with His help I can do all things!
I love all of you and I´m sorry that I don´t have more time to reply individually.
I know that this is the work of the Lord and that I am merely here to be an instrument in His hands. I have already seen the gospel change lives and I can´t wait to see more miracles.