I am writing this email from my first area in my mission! And in an internet cafe!! The name of this area is Vila Medeiros, in the Jacana stake (which is the first stake ever formed in Brazil.) The area itself is very very beautiful, but there's one problem: it was formed on a BUNCH of hills. Seriously, so many hills. I don't mind walking 8 miles every day, but the hills are many, many, many. By the end of my 3rd day, my legs were ready to fall of. Not cripple up and die, but completely fall off, without me feeling a thing. But now, my legs are getting stronger, and I'm starting to be able to handle it. Also, please forgive my spelling errors. Because this is a Brazilian computer, it is saying that every English word is wrong, so if I actually misspell anything, I won't know.
My companion is Elder Casagrande. He's from the southern part of Brazil (which he describes as the Texas of Brazil, being incredibly proud people and probably wanting to sucede from the other parts of brazil.) He speaks English fairly well (he learned from videogames and music when he was younger), and he's a convert from Catholicism. He is an incredibly awesome trainer, and has patience with the fact that my Portuguese is horrible.
The members here are great. All of them are very kind and patient with the fact that I'm probably making little to no sense. Although, on Sunday I gave my testimony/introduction during sacrament meeting (Not Fast Sunday), and they said that they understood everything I said, so that's cool. The members we have are fairly active in the Church. Also, the chapel is beautiful. The building was an old Mansion, and they restored it to look amazing.Also, all of the people are super funny and LOVE to talk. On Sunday, we had lunch with a couple. What was supposed to be a one hour lunch ended up being 3 hours because we could not get out of there. They just kept on talking!
The work here is fairly okay. We've had a couple really good days, and a couple really bad days. In particular, Friday was horrible, and Saturday was amazing. Friday, we ended up having no lessons, and only getting a couple contacts. But on saturday, we got 4 contacts and 6 lessons in. As of right now, we have about 7 or 8 investigators, with another 10 people or so that we need to visit for the first time. When we're not doing these lessons, we're either street contacting or looking up people in our area book that expressed interest in the past, but since then have backed down. But on the bright side, our investigators are really doing well. We have one person, Ramiro (A Bolivian, read more on the next paragraph), that commited to baptism once he prays to know that it's true! So we don't have a date with him yet, but he's progressing greatly.
Also, I'm about 50% sure that I'm going to be trilingual by the time I get back. 3 of our investigators only speak Spanish, so ECG (Elder Casagrande) and I are using what little Spanish we know and mostly just pronouncing Portuguese words differently. Surprisingly enough, it actually works. Probably because he knows less Portuguese than me.
Street contacting has its ups and downs. When we get people, it feels nice, but a lot of people use the exact same excuse, becuase they're too kind to say that they're not interested: "I have to work a lot. Like, every moment." So people, if you want to tell missionaries that you're not interested, be either honest or original. Because that excuse is not an original one.
ALright, I'm gonna try and add my voice recording and some pictures on another email! Have a great week everybody! Write to me!!