hey guys...first pday in the field and SURPRISE i have pday on mondays now!! so much has happened this week, i can´t believe i am really here and that i am a real live missionary now. haha...it feel like i am constantly in a dream...because i can´t understand ANYTHING that is going on around me but i´m just going with it...my first area is called balneario camboriú. google it now!! it is a coastal city and is BEAUTIFUL. everyone says it is the most beautiful area in the whole mission and all the sisters beg to serve here...so i am blessed for sure to have it as my first area. there is a huge cristo here in the city called "cristo luz" it´s like a mini version of the cristo statue in Rio...i´ll send a picture. it lights up at night and shines colors all over the city.
my trainer is named sister fernandes. she only has 4 months in the mission but she is a firecracker...obviously...
thats why she is already training. she is awesome. she is from menas jaeas, brasil...i think thats how you spell it...anyway...she knows some english but we only speak portugues together because let´s face it...i need to talk like now. it is soooo hard to not be able to talk. i want to punch everything. the people here are so warm and friendly and they all talk 67million mph and what do i do? nod along and smile like a big idiot. but it´s ok...we live in a cute little apartment with 2 other sisters. they are named sister martos and sister jones. sister jones is a way tall blonde from oregon.
anyway- we live in an apartment a couple blocks away from the chapel. it is the bottom floor of a small 2 story house. the owner literally patched up the stair case entrance that is supposed to go upstairs and she lives on the 2nd floor...she left the staircase and all. a little redneck. but hey...it works. we don´t have any shelfs or bookcases so the stairs are stacked full of everything. it looks awful and everytime i walk in i want to burn that stupid stair case down. it leads no where. it is just standing there holding all of our stuff. haha...its so funny.
also...the lady up stairs has a dog, which attacks us everytime we enter or leave the apartment. the dog´s name is sasha. i hate that like stinker. she barks so dang loud and tries to bite at our feet...and guess what? sister fernandes is dealthy afraid of dogs...and so am i...but of course i have to pretend that i am all tough because i know dogs can sense fear, and if sasha is sensing sister fernandes´ fear AND my fear we are dead meat. so i just yell at sasha in portugues. PARE! PARE! and i sound like an idiot. and life goes on. i´m getting used to sounding like an idiot.
but not only does the lady up stairs have a dog...but every person in this city has a dog. every. single. person. there are so many dogs here it is literally unbelieveable. they lay in the road and don´t move when cars come. there are more dogs in this city than people. it is ridiculous.
so far we have had lunch with members everyday. the food is SO good. it is unreal. we only eat one time a day and it is a good thing or else i would be a little chubby mclovin! in the morning i usually just have some fruit before study, then a big lunch with a member at noonish and then maybe a little snack after we get home at night. rice and beans for every meal, some type of meat and salad and macaroni...we just barely finished lunch with the ward mission leader today...we had ribs, another type of bbq meat, salad, spaghetti, mashed potatoes and ice cream for dessert. no weird foods so far. only divine foods.
the weather is perfect. not cold at all. it is so humid though that everything in our apartment is damp all the time. and i slightly resemble julia roberts in my best friends wedding. my hair is an afro all the time. but its fine...a lot of women just have crazy wild hair so i fit in. i haven´t used my straightener at all for the past week- just all natural baby.
sometimes we have to ride the bus if we are meeting with a member in the next city over for lunch. so far bus rides are one of my favorite things...it´s seriously like a near death situation every time. every busdriver drives like a bat outta hell here. its ridiculous. and awesome. its like riding a roller coaster everytime. i like standing up and holding on to the strap handle bars and catching air. it is definitly an adventure.
when i got to the mission home, i met a ton of elders and sisters in the mission. we spent the first night in a hotel and met our trainers the next morning. one of the ap´s is from a city in brasil called o espirito santo (yep...holy ghost) and he is probably my height, 1/2 my weight, his skin is dark dark black, he has a huge smile, and huge white teeth...anyway he is a character to say the least. he spoke like 5 words of english but he said i like your ring, and pointed to my ctr ring...and i said oh thanks! and he said can i have? and i was like......long pause......hmmm...sure? haha and so i just gave it to him and he kept it. then for like a whole day i was like...what jsut happened? haha. so if you haven´t sent me a package yet...maybe send me a new CTR ring...i got mine from desert book for like $12. its teeny teeny tiny and i think a size 7 or 7.5?
ok so my favorite story this week is about a man named louis. sister fernandes and i were contacting one night and ran into the super market to grab a drink and i got a bag a peanuts...afterwards, we continued on our way and we saw a man sitting on the corner of the street crying. we sat by him and asked what was wrong...well...sister fernandes asked...i was just the human bobble head standing next to her nodding away like an idiot. i couldn´t understand a lot but he said something about drugs. later i found out that he said that he was trying to stop using but didn´t know how. he had no money or home or anything anymore. he was at just an all time low. sister fernandes explained to him the love that our heavenly father has for each of us. and that through the atonement of our savior, we can all be healed and that we are never too far gone to come unto christ. she gave him a book of mormon, and committed him to read. and then i remembered the peanuts in my backpack. i asked if he had any food, and he said no. i asked if he wanted some...and he said yes. so i told him that i didn´t have a lot but i offered him my peanuts and he took then very gratefully. and then i gave him a picture of christ and told him to remember that he is never alone.
i love saying that kind of stuff to people, because when i hear myself say it i remember that it is true for me, in my life here. i just this young, american girl. living in this crazy dog invested city, not speaking the language, not knowing the name of my street or my phone number, in a lot of ways i could feel alone. but i haven´t felt that way at all. i have felt overwhelmed a few times, a little stressed out because i have SO much to learn...but never alone. i know that this is a blessing from my heavenly father. i know that i am not alone, because right now and for the rest of my life i am working for my Savior. and when we choose to follow him, and do his work, he is with us. and when he is with us, we do not feel alone because we are not alone. and we will never be alone if we strive constantly to follow Him.
this week...if each of you have time, write me a favorite story or memory that you have from your missions. tayler and neil you can write me a memory you have that helped you gain a testimony. tell me that story, and tell me how it helps you to remember that christ lives. if you can hand write the stories and mail them to me in the package you send. it will help me know that you all are actually alive and not just figures of my imagination.
i love you all! have a great week. i pray for you always and hope you can feel the blessings of my work here!
p.s. shout out!!! i got a letter from randi rose when i got to the mission home last tuesday! i´m writing you back today ran! i LOVED hearing from you, thanks so much. i hope you found a job by now, if not i know you will soon! you are awesome schweetie!! miss you, eu ti amo!!!