Monday, February 29, 2016

Caraguatatuba - Week 4

I remember when Redge showed us his mission pictures, and I remember that one video of when the road was totally swamped with water after a rainstorm. And so ever since I got here, I've been wanting video/pictures like that :) And last make a long story short...I got it! :) Our road got totally flooded, with water pretty much up until...a little below the knee. So I got some videos and pictures of that, it's pretty good:

Pretty much all of it was sewage water...I think...but don't worry,
I cleaned my legs off in the shower after :)

Elder Hesselgesser called me yesterday from the office and said that I have a package there :) But it'll have to wait for the mission conference probably. Although I think that maybe the conference will be in April still, even though Easter is in March. I'm not sure how it'll work.

One of the hardest things that I've had to do on the think it's got to do with being a leader, giving trainings, following up with the missionaries, trying to help them with their difficulties and stuff like that. Since, you know, I'm not really a people person. But really, the mission is just really challenging in general. There's not a specific area that you get tested, it's in all of them haha :) So, sorry for the terrible answer, but yeah :) happened this week...I think the most exciting thing was the flood, really. At like 10 at night, there we are, us 4, at our gate watching the rain and lightning and flooded street. It's cool. It's still a bit flooded actually, although it got better. It's just so crazy, I can't imagine anything like this happening in the States. Just because the drainage systems and sewage systems are so bad here. The pipes are way too small, and on top of that, lots of people throw a bunch of trash into the drains on the roads, stuff like that. So it clogs easy, and then when it rains a lot, the water doesn't have anywhere to go. So yeah, it was pretty exciting.

Other than has been good. Branches kinda drive me crazy though. Especially when I'm the pianist :) The tiny keyboardzinho is bothering me too, no pedal, too small...ugh. And the last hymn yesterday was...families can be together forever? Is that how it is? And you know how it has the little introduction built in? Well, so I play the introduction, and then I start playing the verse, and NOBODY STARTED SINGING. Agh! So I played the first little bit of that, and then sorta improvved back into the end of the introduction, looked at the...director, and then stopped almost completely, and then started. And THEN everyone started singing. Like, come on people! Have you never heard this hymn before?! And at the end of the first verse, it has the little piano part before the second verse, and probably about 3 people started singing WAY before they were supposed to. Goodness. It was ridiculous. And all compacted by the crappy keyboard. So I hope the new chapel here gets done soon, and that it has a good piano. But, I won't get my hopes up :)

 But yeah, that's all the noteworthy stuff that happened really. So yeah, have a great week! I love you guys!

That dog is the most annoying dog that I have ever lived next to in my entire life.
EVERY morning, it stands up on that wall and just barks at everything that passes. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Caraguatatuba - Week 3

Yeah, I thought that our chapel would look more like a rented place, but they did it up pretty nice, looks adequately Mormon :) There's a new rented place that they're reforming on the highway, a bit close to our house. But yeah, I don't know how it is, I've never seen the inside. 

Here, we're pretty much always close enough [to the mountains] to be able to see the individual trees. Which is pretty awesome. 

Speaking of pasta/tomato sauce, today we got sick of that. So we bought almost a kilo of cheddar cheese, melted it down, and threw it on pasta instead :) And we bought calabresa, which I keep forgetting the translation for. Sorry. But it turned out pretty tasty! Nice homemade, Brazilian mac & cheese.

Editor's note:  calabresa = pepperoni.

Hey, that Brazilian cafe sounds pretty cool! We'll definitely have to go there some time. How was the stroganoff, did you guys like it? It might be my favorite thing here. 

Well, let me try and do a weekly update, this is getting bad. What happened...not much, really. It was a normal week. Um...good grief...

Church has been good, it's quite nice having it at 3:00. We had two lunches last week where we walked an hour each way. Out in the boonies. But it's always really good there. The first one, the irmã [sister] pulled out a whole baked chicken out of the oven! It was quite a nice surprise. I guess because after Christmas, the price lowered. So yeah, that's all I can remember hahaha. Have a great week! 

14 months!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Caraguatatuba - Week 2

Happy Valentine's Day! Wow, that's weird. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! :) Man, you're gettin' old :) Just kidding, hahaha. 42 isn't old at all.

So our house is Rua Caraguatatuba, 68 I think. The chapel is Topolândia (não sei se é rua ou avenida), 55 I'm pretty sure. Something like that. And the neighborhood is Travessão, Caraguatatuba. Lots of the time, people just abbreviate and say Caraguá. Cause it is ridiculously long. 

The chapel

Yeah, the mountains here are super cool. And super close sometimes. It seems like a more beautiful area, and then there are some houses that seem a lot nicer than other areas, but also the same sort of stuff. So...pretty normal I guess.

Packing/fitting all the stuff into the suitcase wasn't too hard. I've gotten rid of a few things along the way, but picked up's a dangerous balance :) But it's been good. I wasn't quite as careful as I have been in the past about putting everything away super neatly, so I got done faster and it was less stressful. Doesn't make too much of a difference anyways.

Letters/packages will only get to me...not very often. Zone conferences and mission conferences are probably the only times. So right now...maybe only Easter hahaha :) It's tough out here in the boonies.

Yeah, I do have a pillow. I've kept the same one with me. And also, when I got here in this house some new pillow things got here, so now I have two like I've always loved :)

Well...I'm not really sure what's news here. I can't remember any of the stuff I've already told you guys about, but let me think...we put together a lot of furniture that looks pretty nice, we've been eating a lot of pasta with tomato sauce because it's cheap and that's what you have to do when you don't have lunch...not that the lunches have been falling through a lot. It just seems like for the past week, we've eaten pasta a good 5 times. So I'm getting pretty good at making it.

Oh, about Carneval...all we did was stay at home from 6-9 from Saturday until Tuesday, studying. It was pretty nice. I think a little up farther north, it got a little bit more crazy. But literally nothing happened here. Just a few crazies/drunks on the ruas [roads]. 

Man...I'm really not sure what else happened. On Friday, we had a conference with President and Sister Cabral, it was cool. Just our zone. I gave a training on our invitations and Gosh my English is so bad. Acompanhamento. It was normal. The day before, we went to have a sleep-over thing with the zone leaders, to plan the meeting and such. And they didn't have an extra mattress, just a small, crappy air mattress, so me and Elder Nascimento ended up sharing it. Except we both used the mattress for our upper halves, and then our legs were just on the floor. It was ridiculously uncomfortable, probably one of the worst nights of sleep I've had. Pretty bad. Especially because overnight, the mattress drained pretty much all of its air, so in the morning we just woke up on the ground anyways. Tile, it's the best. So yeah, that was pretty much my week! :) It was nice, and now I'm looking forward to being back on a normal e-mail schedule. So I hope you guys are doing great, and have an awesome birthday Mom! :) I love you!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Caraguatatuba - Week 1

So yeah, SURPRISE! Early e-mail! :) We're using the LAN House today because Carneval is
starting and so on Monday they will probably all be closed. Because it's about to get I'm just kidding, I don't know if it will or not.

Anyways, don't worry about not having sent an e-mail, it's okay. I'll just give a little update on the area and whatnot. Unfortunately, this dumb LAN House doesn't let us use USB, and all the other ones were closed/too far away. So pics will wait until next week.

But yeah, Travessão is awesome! I'm really liking it so far. It's a branch, which means that all the members want to work and all of the ones we have met so far are super cool. Everyone is super close-knit. The chapel here is a rented building, but it's pretty nice looking. Actually kinda looks like a church, and apparently they're building another one. And...there's not a piano. Just the crappy, super short organ... :( So I'm going to die. Hopefully not...I don't know. I'm going to get rusty. Apparently the new chapel is going to have something decent, although it won't be ready for another 2-3 months probably. Who knows, I'll probably still be here.

Elder Silvestre is cool, he's from Pernambuco, close to Recife, and he also likes games and stuff, so that's cool.

So yeah, Caraguatatuba is pretty cool. The house is nice, easy to keep clean, and it's all going really well. Our church is from 3-6 in the afternoon, which is kinda weird/cool. I think it'll be easier to get people in church. Also, the lunches here are really good so far. Yesterday, we got a little lost, because it was roughly 50 minutes of walking, but eventually we got there to a little rural house. And she had made watermelon/banana/lime juice. It was super good. And another lunch had pink lime juice. Which I don't know if that exists in the US. But it's super tasty. And...I can't really think of anything else. I'm doing well! We're living with two other missionaries, but they work in another area and are part of another branch, although we all go to church in the same chapel, but they go during the morning and we're in the afternoon. yeah, I guess the next time I'll email will be...not this Monday, but the next one. Rapaz [man]...long time. So yeah, sorry for the kinda short e-mail. I hope that you guys are doing well! I love you guys a lot!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Samambaia - Week 18 - and Transfer!

I hope that e-mailing you one day late didn't scare you guys too much. And gosh, I'm so sorry that I'm a terrible person and didn't even wish my Dad a happy birthday...I am so bad at remembering dates on P-Days... :/ And I'm trying to e-mail everyone, but there's NOT ENOUGH TIME!!! :) It's so hard.

So a miracle...alright here we go. So last Thursday I went to bed feeling really sick in the stomach, because we had eaten a lot that day. And I probably ate something that my stomach didn't agree with, idk. Anyways. I went to bed with a lot of stomach pain, and couldn't go to sleep. So eventually at 1 in the morning, I decided to get up and go to the bathroom to see if it helped. And it didn't really, so I knew that it (whatever IT was) would have to come out the other way. Except I wasn't really sure how to make myself puke. So I decided to say a prayer. James 1:5 right? And so I said something that was basically like this: "Dear God, please help me throw up. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." :D And what would you know, no sooner had I said amen than I felt that horrible awful urge! So that was a miraclezinho [little miracle]. Anyways, by the time that was all out and over with and I had cleaned me and the bathroom, I got to bed at like 2:30, feeling a bit better. But I woke up the next morning, sat up, and then ran straight to the bathroom again. And I woke up with achy joints and spine stuff going on. So everyone thought that I had dengue. Including me. And everytime that I moved, I felt like puking, so they let me just stay in bed. Luckily, a young man was able to leave with Elder Hesselgesser to go do some baptismal interviews and such. Another miracle. So Friday was a sick day. And then Saturday I was feeling pretty much better, so I went back to work. No rest for the denguefied! :) But I don't think it was dengue really, or it wouldn't have passed so quick. Or it was dengue, and God's awesome :) So that was my miracle this week.

The swanky bus ride. It had better be, for 50 reais. Good grief.

And in other big news, TRANSFER! I know I didn't tell you last week that there was going to be one, so idk if this is a surprise. But yeah! Our whole entire house got moved! Elder Medrano and Elder Evans went to Iguape, the very south end, Elder Hesselgesser went to the office to be the Executive Secretary, and I got moved to Travessão!!! In Caraguatatuba! You guys should record a video of you guys trying to pronounce that name, and send it to me. I would love it :) Anyways, it's way up in the north. I left Samambaia like 1, got to Santos at 2, then I waited by myself in the rodoviário [bus station] for 5 hours because that was the next bus that left for Caraguatatuba. I bought lunch, a pretty good churrasco sanduíche, and a chocolate banana smoothie. Also some ice cream, because it was hot :) Then at 7, I got on the bus, and we were off! Well, not we. Just me. And a very long bus ride (although shorter than normally, apparently) and at 11:30 pm the bus driver woke me up to tell me that we were there where I was supposed to get off! So it was kinda late. But I got there just fine, my suitcases held up well. And now I'm here! It's SUPER beautiful. Makes every single other area I've been in look like an absolute favelão [big slum]. It's way cool. I'm excited :) My companion is Elder Silvestre, from Recife. He seems pretty chill! So it'll be super good. I haven't really done anything here yet, but the first lunch was very tasty. But yeah, that has pretty much been my week. Thanks for everything! I love you!