Saturday, January 25, 2014

I'm in Brazil

Hello everyone!  I am in Brazil.  A lot of stuff has happened in the last two weeks so I will have to tell it all quickly.  I arrived in the Ribeirão Preto airport last Tuesday with eight other American missionaries. We then had dinner with the President and his wife and then we all went to the office elder's apartment to sleep.  The next day we met our trainers and were told our first areas.  My trainer is Elder De Oliveira, but I am in a trio so my other companion (sort of a trainer but not officially) is Elder Leal.  They are both Brazilian so it has been a little difficult.  My first area is Votuporanga.  It is a smaller size city for Brazil but it has about 100,000 people in it.  We three are the only Elders there.  The entire city is ours.

I didn't get to Votuporanga until Thursday since we had district meeting that morning. We stayed in São Jose do Rio Preto (not to be confused with Ribeirão Preto) since the rest of our district works in Rio Preto.  That night we commenced to working.  We have not had a bunch of success as of yet because our investigators don't like to follow up on commitments. But we have a few prospective ones that I am really excited about even though I can only understand about half of what they are saying. There is only a branch in Votuparanga with about 40 active members but the ones I have met are super cool--even if I can't always understand them.

Speaking Portuguese 24/7 is difficult but not as bad as understanding other people. I can mostly understand my companions now (unless they just want to talk to each other and then they talk way too fast),  but everyone seems to talk a little bit different which makes it very difficult.  I will get there.  It has only been a week.

Some strange things about Brazil:  They have no carpets.  Even the church buildings are tiled. Also, Brazilians like their meat covered in salt before they cook it. It all tastes a little bit like jerky but I like it just fine.

I hope you are all doing well.  I love you all

Elder Russell   

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