I am so sorry for the lack of communication that has happened these past two weeks. i missed my p day at the mtc in Brazil. darn it. no temple either but that is okay. So Sao Paulo is huge!!! it was like NYC on steroids but jungle style. It was kind of scary too. We would hear gun shots every once in a while during the night and also this past Monday we went out to down town Sao Paulo to give a way book of Mormons and there were several crime scenes and police cars along the way. I am glad I am not in Sao Paulo. But the mtc was great. Very fun! All of the Brazilians were super friendly and so animated about everything. My last week was just really kind of weird. I got to be with sister hall again we were reunited for our last week! In the mtc there I got to meet the first two Germans to ever serve in Brazil. We sang a verse or two in German every once in a while during devotionals and also in Sao Paulo right now there are two Japanese sisters serving the first ever to serve in Brazil. I am sooo thankful I speak English and that i don't have to translate everything from my native language to English to Portuguese. So I arrived here in Vitoria last Tuesday. I could barely sleep the night before I was just so nervous to go out and speak the language. I could barely speak to any of the Brazilians in the Brazil mtc because I was so scared. They all told me, you speak well, don't be afraid. But I know they are just really nice people. Anyway so I got here at around 10 in the morning and I met my trainer sister Powell. She is an English major maybe you know her Brice. Mckenzie Powell. Anyway she is very sweet and I like her lots and am learning so much from her. We started tracting the very next day. And oh my goodness! After two months of staying in the mtc and just sitting and studying my little body just aches. I have discovered muscles I didn't know I had. And my feet hurt too. But it is good. So I am serving in the actual city of Vitoria. God has sent me to a Brazilian paradise. IT is right on the coast with palm trees and mountains and bridges. It is so gorgeous. It reminds me a little bit of the DR but more civilized.
My day consists of waking up and having a half hour of exercise which is a joke. After prayers and making your bed and the act of getting up you have about 15 min. of exercise. but whatever. Then preparation time. study time. two hour companion study time, and 1/2 of language study time. I wish with all my heart we had an hour. Because I just really need to sit down and learn it. It helps to be listening to it all day but I need to study the rules and the vocab. But I know the Lord will help me. then we go out and visit people and teach them and clap in front of peoples houses and walk everywhere. We also eat lunch at thte investigators home and the phrase which is so common and the phrase I can understand is eat more sister, eat more sister. I thought I would lose weight but now I am not so sure. The food is delicious. Always the exact same. We have two different dishes of chicken or some kind of meat. Rice and beans, pasta, salad, and then dessert. And I can now say I have tasted every type of consistency of gelatin. Things from honey thick to boiled egg thick. They have strange desserts. But I do really love the food. Its real food not massed produced frozen stuff they gave us at the mtc. The fruit is AMAZING mangoes every morning!
The language is all right. Not great. But not terribly horrible. I can understand some people better than others. Everyone is surprised at how much I understand. I cant speak but I can understand some things. So I guess that new program at the mtc is working. I live with two other Brazilian sisters and so that helps a lot. Our apartment is a rat hole. At first I thought if this is what they call pampering sisters I would hate to see what the elders apartment looks like. But turns out we are in an apartment that elders lived in previously. We don't have a toilet seat the bathroom reaks, the walls are a light tan but they are painted white. It just really gross. Good thing I only sleep and study there. None of my companions use the water filters or wash their veggies in bleach water. I do. I also sanitized our bathroom and cleaned up as best I could. Thank you mom for teaching me how to be clean and to perform proper hygiene activities. They don't wash their hands after the bathroom either. So basically I feel like a huge germ freak. But that's okay I will be the germ freak that does not have diarrhea and contracts some ghastly disease.
Funny story of the week. We were teaching this lady and her little dog was all over the place kept jumping up on us and wanted attention. I tried to ignore it but then it just started doing inappropriate dog things if you know what I mean. A real disruption. So I grabbed its head and shoved it into a crack in the couch we were sitting on and held it there and pretended to be rubbing its neck when I was really just trying to keep from getting out. So throughout the whole lesson I did this. When it got out I grabbed and and shoved its head back in. The lady was oblivious and the lesson went very well. We are teaching her again this week.
WE are also teaching a 94 year old man too. He is probably one of my favorites. It super hard for me to understand him because he doesn't have any teeth. But He can understand me. Which is a miracle. And he is always so surprised when I speak. HE says, the American - she speaks Portuguese. So yeah - I]m basically the American and everyone knows it. My companions has a darker complexion and she could pull off being a Brazilian. But me. Everyone looks at me and comments on my blue eyes and says American. Even before I open my mouth they have got me labeled. Oh well.
The mission is such an emotional roller coaster. One minute I am thinking what am I doing here. I don]t speak the language my feet hurt, i don't feel like i am improving etc etc and then the next i think i love this i love this place i love the people. Every day its like that. Its weird. This is just a weird life we lead as missionaries. And to think I voluntarily signed up for this. Ha ha but life is good and the language really is getting better. I have to exert every fiber of my being to understand but it so good.
Sure love you all!