Monday, January 27, 2014

First 2 weeks in Brazil!

Hey, everyone! Sorry for not writing last week!

      So, the first night, all the new missionaries (six of us), had dinner, took a picture with the mission president and his wife, watched an orientation video, and then were assigned a companion. Then, we walked to our apartment to sleep for the night.The next day was our preparation day, where we bought groceries, wrote emails, studied, unpacked, and then worked from 6pm to 9pm. The first full day that I was here, I was sick all day. I almost thew up a few times, and whenever I walked, the sick feeling came back. If I was sitting, it wasn't nearly as bad. But, we did a lot of walking that day, so I was just feeling miserable, and rested whenever I could. The next day, I felt A LOT better, thankfully. My prayers were answered! haha!
      These little kids playing soccer outside of th church were making jokes about me and singing to me and asking me to sing, because my last name is "Canto", which means "I sing" in Portuguese (and Spanish!), also "song" and "corner kick" (in soccer), I think. A LOT of people ask me if I sing because of my name, haha! A lot of people also think I'm from Brazil or South America when they are guessing where I'm from. It's pretty awesome. Then I tell them I'm from New York, and they think New York City. Anyways, so my companion's name is Elder Bezerra, and he's Brazilian, and from Sao Paulo (city), Sao Paulo (state), Brazil. He barely speaks Enlgish, so I have to speak Portuguese to communicate with him. Sometimes it's nice, but it can be frustrating, like when I can't communicate something to him clearly. But, we make it work, for the most part!
      The next day, it was time to work. After breakfast, we went out and talked with people on the street, and then went into the favellas, which is the area where the poorer people live. All of the houses they are pretty small, and generally are connected to each other (by the exterior walls). There are some streets, but mostly there are just paths in between the rows of houses, just wide enough for 2-3 people to walk side by side. It's like a maze, to be honest. But anyways, the people there are usually very friendly, and I enjoy talking with them! Well, to be honest, I basically didn't talk to anyone on the streets the first week, because it's hard to understand everything that's being said when people speak so rapidly, and their accents make it even harder for me to understand them! I'm getting better at understanding people though, and I actually talked to people on the street last week! When people speak slowly and clearly, I can usually understand them. Otherwise, I only get bits and pieces. I can pretty much understand the American missionaries when they speak Portuguese at least!
      So, back to that day. After lunch, we studied until 5pm. An elder (Elder Amorim) had been dropped off at our apartment earlier that day, because he's been having problems with his leg, and needed to be closer to the doctor. He's been staying at our apartment the past 10 days, but he's actually going home soon.
      So anyways, Elder Bezerra and him stayed at our apartment the next few days, and I went with Elder Loaiza and Elder M. James every day until Sunday. It was a lot of fun. Elder M. James is from Albequerque, New Mexico, and Elder Loaiza is from Ecuador.
      The past week, I've been with Elder Bezerra again. We're learning to work together better, and I'm trying to help with street contacts more now. Some people give up on talking to me almost immediately if I don't understand them the first or second time, but some people are more patient, and try to help me understand what they're saying. It makes my life a lot easier when people are like this, haha! I oiften feel alone and left out when everyone around me is talking in Portuguese and laughing and I don't know what's funny, or something. It's easier to understand when someone is speaking to me directly, or one on one.
      I've been in Brazil for 14 days now (today is day 14)! I actually wrote this out by hand last night to save some time, since we only have 60 minutes to email, once a week! If I don't respond to you for a while, it's not because I don't want to, it's because I ran out of time! Sorry about that, everyone!
      I guess the last thing I'll talk about this week is the food here. IT IS SO GOOD! I especially like this food called Tapioca (not the pudding). And yes, I do eat beans and rice at every lunch at member's homes. I love eating lunch at member's homes! Lunch is the main meal here, and dinner is usually a small amount of food. The salads here are always the same - lettuce and tomatoes. But yeah, Brazil has a lot of great foods (shoutout to Acai!) and juices.
      Oh, one last thing (get used to hearing about this, this won't be the last time) IT IS SO HOT HERE! Even at night! I can't imagine living in this heat for my whole life, haha! There is a nice breeze a lot of the time though, and it's not so bad in the morning, at night, in the shade, or when it rains (rarely, it's summer right now, and it rains a lot in fall and winter apparently. But it's pretty much just as hot then I think!) Oh, 4 more things. The beach is beautiful and about a 15 minute walk from where I live, but we can't go on the beach, just on the other side of the street from it. :( We walk just about everywhere, or take the bus if it's really far, and occasionally, get rides to member's houses for lunch. Also, everything is in metric here! Lastly, shopping for groceries is confusing. I've done it 3 or 4 times so far. It's hard to tell what's what! Plus, they use Reais instead of USD.
      Anyways, I love you all, and I hope you have a great week! Feel free to ask me questions about Brazil, my beliefs, missionary life, oranything! I would write more, but I don't have time, and this is long enough already, I think!

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Elder Canto

1 comment:

  1. Joseph will be updating his blog from now on. This current post he sent on his own.