Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Hey, it's P Day :)  Actually, one Sister Hale just took our passports and documents. She runs the missionary help desk and some other stuff. So, I guess that'll get figured out sometime.

I spent 25 reais today, and I got a cool tie, a couple pounds of candy, and a tray of brigadeiros. So some stuff is super cheap here. You can get ties for 5$-7$ here, and they're super nice. The same stall had watches for 15-30 reais, which is ridiculous. But some stuff is way overpriced, it's weird.

The meals are amazing...there's a soda dispenser, and a juice dispenser, so we can have cashew, pineapple, mango, tangerine, orange, maracuja, and grape juice, or GUARANA (I try to limit myself to three cups per meal, and not on breakfast :) ) or Sukita (which is just orange soda apparently) or a Sprite type thing that I can't remember what the name of it is. But yeah, so I've had a ton of guarana recently :)

The meals are really good, there's all sorts of different things every day, and I don't know what any of them are usually. Like today was some smallish ribs and a chicken-y thing, with pineapple covered in this bread crumb-esque stuff. Weird, but good. And there's always a dessert, some sort of jello or pudding stuff. They've had maracuja pudding a couple times, it's really good. And there's always beans and rice, and some lettuce with no dressing, and other stuff, but usually just the main stuff is fine for me.

Today we spent an hour or so walking around the CTM just taking pictures of stuff, so I think we're set for that. But there's no way to hook my camera to the PC (as in we're not allowed) so any pictures may have to wait until February. I'll see.

And I can have a conversation in Portuguese now, they had us teach a lesson to an investigator (an actor) on Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday, and Monday :)  So they throw us right into the frying pan :)

But today we left the CTM around 8:45, and just walked around looking at everything. We went in a grocery store, which felt pretty familiar except for a lot of things being different. They have nutella though haha. I didn't get anything, but when the other elders (the other three in my district) got in line and got up to the cashier, she said something and pointed up, and lo and behold, there was a sign saying in Portuguese that that line was for pregnant women and the disabled. So that was pretty funny.

We also passed by a churrasceria (that's how it was spelled, I promise) and several pizza places? And some small restauranty things, that were all open and not very big at all. I saw one that sold X-burgers, and another had a rotisserie, and some other stuff. [editor's note - X is pronounced "sheez" in Portuguese]

And right across from the CTM there's a dessert place that sells cookies, milkshakes, brownies, all kinds of stuff. And they do a service that hopefully you'll find out about soon, if you haven't already. So they gave us a free cookie since it was our first p-day, and we finally got to take off the blue dots that they had on our nametags to label us as noobs. So I guess we're official now?

Also, tomorrow I'm calling you guys at 1:30-2:00 tomorrow, so be ready for that :)  Tonight, there's a first presidency devotional and a sorvete buffet or something, and tomorrow there's another sorvete buffet and movies (Mr. Kruger's Christmas and Meet the Mormons, to name a couple) and popcorn and ping pong and stuff. So it should be fun.

We don't have to teach lessons today or tomorrow, and we didn't do one yesterday, so our next one is Friday, and we're getting another investigator. So we'll have two...which is fun. But yeah, for teaching the lessons, we go to a room on the ground floor, and knock on a door and everything, and a guy answers it and we go in and have a little conversation, and then pray, and then teach him and answer his questions, and then pray again, and set our next appointment, and then leave. All in Portuguese. It's pretty intense, but it's coming pretty easily. In the lessons anyways, not out in the hallways or whatever. The gift of tongues is real, for sure. It's hard to have conversations with other Brazilians, but in the lessons I understand everything a lot better. It's weird.

Um...a ton has happened but it's hard to think of it all. Basically, it's going well. We did laundry on Monday and that went okay, and I haven't had to iron anything yet. It's crazy how sleeping from 10:30 to 6:30 genuinely isn't enough, we're always super tired when we get up. But yeah, everything is going swimmingly.

Oh, normally on P-days we would go to the temple, and get up an hour earlier and stuff, but it was closed obviously so we didn't go. Which was okay, because we wouldn't have gotten to go to any shops in the afternoon seeing as they're all closed. So it worked out. I still have ten minutes left, they were a little more generous with the time today. Not much though. So I'll talk to you tomorrow, please pick up the phone!
Elder Bratsman

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