Toasted Bread with Honey

ZoneConf

Today was my final day at the pedologist. I woke at 5am to get to the foot doctor so I could be back home before P-Day ended.I just had to wait for machines to clear up in the LAN house and now I am here.

I ate a few pieces of bread and ham for breakfast. I haven’t eaten lunch yet I will after this. The bakery by our house is awesome. They sometimes hook us up with free bread.

I have been eating something 3 times a day. In the States it may not be considered a meal. I don’t really have that much time to prepare a ton of food. But I eat at least toasted bread with honey. I am on a John the Baptist diet.

It is less cold now, but it is raining today. Weather here is the most bipolar thing on the planet. The only certainty is the nights are cold. Other than that you have to guess. When you bring a jacket, it is hot. When you leave it at home, it is cold.

By the way almost forgot, did you guys move? Because last week I got a stack of letters returned to me. The US Postal Service said they tried looking for the house but they couldn’t find it. I was wondering why Mom didn’t comment on my Mother’s Day card. Yes, I wrote: “Par Avion” on the envelopes. They made it to the US. They have the US Post Office return sticker on it. I know because it was in English.

Letter

The members are doing a good job fellow-shipping Antonio. He is really  excited when we talked with him last Sunday about paying tithing when he gets his next paycheck. So at least it appears he is staying firm. We also found a family that is really good to him.. The Ward is getting better at integrating.

We had a service project with Antonio. It went great! When you have six guys with machetes, things go pretty fast. I have never seen so terrifying a scene as Antonio walking up a really steep hill with unsure footing with a three foot machete in his hands raised over his head. We did it fast, now we just need to let it dry, soak in gasoline, then the HP Group can have a bonfire.

Other than that all is well here, continuing to work hard. I am now taking a larger role trying to motivate the District.  My companion keeps saying he thinks I’ll be assigned as a District Leader. I keep telling him not to invoke that curse on me

That’s all for this week. Stay well all, love from the front.

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

2016-05-22

We are working on getting him a  Home Teacher.  I think I have exactly 4 weeks before I will probably be transferred. We need to get him confirmed, ordained, and sent to the temple. Only problem is he works six days a week and gets home late. He only has Sunday off. We will work on convincing him on going to the temple with us one afternoon. We also need to teach him how to use a cell phone; he keeps buying a new cell phone battery each time his dies

It was my first time to  actually be  in the water.  Unfortunately I did not get to use my baptism pants. I wasn’t thinking about it until the day of, they do not fit anymore. But I will take them to a sister in the ward who can adjust the waistline.

The Ward mission leader and the Bishop are really nice to Antonio. The Bishop would like the members to fellowship him. My companion and I are assigned to talk next week. Our topic is Fellowshipping and exercising Christ-like attributes.

I do find it interesting when members talk a ton about helping the missionary work and whenever we schedule to leave with them they never show up, but João Vitor the guy they throw out of their sacrament meetings leaves with us for an entire day and doesn’t ask for anything. He leaves the house without food or a coat, or long pants, or shoes for that matter. We bought him dinner that night and found him an old coat.

He is the victim of:  never going to school. We are trying to teach him how to read. He still has problems with M and N, but he’s slowly getting the hang of it. I have a surprising amount of patience now.

What sandwiches I eat here? The first and last fast food I bought was at Subway. It is incredibly expensive here.  Now I am eating rice in creative ways. Tapioca if I am lucky. Most of the time we get too busy, I don’t think about eating until lunchtime, and then forget about it the rest of the day. I still eat three times a day. A bread roll sometimes or an egg towards the end of the day, not a big  meal. Brazilians really only eat Almoço (lunch) and then the rest are like snacks.. Dinner is a piece of bread or cake with some juice.

It  is  uncommon for someone to be obese here. It is considered a disability like having one less leg. They have reserved seats on buses along with the elderly, pregnant, and military police

Also expensive, Snickers. What do I eat here that is sweet and junk food-ish?  Oreos,  even the knock offs are expensive. I make sweet tapiocas sometimes with bananas and condensed milk. We have a recent convert of the sisters who is home alone with 5 cats and her sick mother. She loves the missionaries. That is the only place I get ice cream, which is quite a luxury at least in my part of the area.

We also  found out this week that at the end of each day the barbecue restaurant across the street from the chapel dumps the leftovers under the gate so Moroni can eat it. He eats better than we do, no wonder this dog has lived so long! Here’s a picture of him. The only problem is he is not like Winston he doesn’t pose well.

Moroni

Yeah he still lives at the chapel. He spends all day chasing cats that slip under the fence

He is a really well exercised dog, he also plays football with the young men, actually plays not just steals the ball. It is cool. My time will run out in 2 minutes. I love you all, have a great week!

 

Favela Figuiera Grande

Risking life and limb I fulfilled your wish and took this picture that overlooks the large favela that is Figuiera Grande proper. Not my area, it is the area of the sisters, but it gives you a general idea of a favela. I will try to send more pictures during the day, but my favelas are all in the valleys so I probably won’t get shots like this again.

Figuiera Grande

You see it’s not clear,…bus exhaust. It is a little like Las Vegas at times. Depends on the day and the part of the state you are in. Out towards Paralelos, it gets pretty bad because that is a major highway. The viella I was in Mario Marconis but I call it Mario Marconja (Marijuana) because it is constantly filled with people smoking at night. We work there;  it is about the poorest area in our area.  João Vitor, the young man with the Word of Wisdom challenge. He lives there and essentially he has become the one everyone in the ward tries to love. The Bishop and the leaders work with him. A lot of the ward runs from him, tries to call the police on him, or leaves church when he is there. The Bishop is quite impressed with the “Christ-like qualities” some have been showing. It is a  good learning opportunity for all of us.

My companion needed to renew his documents a few months ago, to do that he needs a passport. His passport got stolen when the office got robbed the transfer before I arrived. The Church can be a bit of a target. People broke into the chapel in Jardim Angela a few weeks ago and destroyed the place, ripping wire out of the walls and everything. When the office got robbed they broken in put all the missionaries into the bathroom at gun point and made away with the tv screens, computers and the safe. How are those gun control laws working for you Brazil?  If everyone had a gun, crime would drop soooo much. By the way, who is ahead in the polls, Trump or Hillary?

This is tapioca, a new food I found.  It is a ground up plant root that is kind of like flour. You put it a pan alone and cook it. Then you put something on top and flip it like an omelette. It’s really good, relatively cheap and without oil! It is not at all like tapioca in the states. It is like an indian fry bread, it is the closest thing I can think of. The outside is nice and crunchy

Street-side Tapioca

 

I eat it with mozzarella cheese and salt, but I will buy more ingredients to make more varieties this week.

Will  you please  send a quick bread recipe? Something nice and fluffy? Elder Burnside wants to make Pizza crust with bread rolls but his family keeps sending him recipes on Pinterest which we cannot access.

We bought doce tapioca from a street vendor  (sweet, not salty). It was a tapioca with condensed milk, banana, and coconut. This guy sells from his handcart in streets. He’s done this for 30+ years. He obviously doesn’t make a ton of money because his cart is partially cannibalized bicycle parts, but he  works very hard! Quite an inspiration to me. I don’t barter with street vendors here. I paid him the price he asked R$5. He bartered with a teen before us and sold to her for R$3. But I wanted to pay him right. It is his business and you know I admire small businesses. I only try to barter with people in Santo Amaro, because everyone knows the prices there are incredibly inflated (like Washington DC), but here in the real Brazil,  No, I have a pretty strong immune system. I haven’t gotten sick (yet) from street food.

Transfers: Two Men Enter – None Leave

Transfer calls came in last night and…. NOBODY GOT TRANSFERRED! WOOOO! I think we are planning on celebrating with Pizza, we’ve gone about 2 week without ordering pizza and that is a record. We are all really good friends out here in the house so it is good.

Because of the potential for more pictures of Pizza I will save my card tonight and send sometime in the next week but this is a definite it will be out of my hands within a week.

I learned last night why there are always fireworks. They aren’t celebrating anything. They just use fireworks to communicate where police are and when drugs arrive. At least that’s what Elder Burnside told me yesterday. FIreworks just got a little less festive. 🙁

Today I will try to buy food for the house. I have been surviving on peanut butter and local honey for the past week. I spent my last groceries all on fruits and vegetables because someone got it into my head that I need to eat more natural. But then I realize that I need a lot of fruit and vegetables to keep going. So today or when we get money again I will buy a pumpkin and some beef and try to make beef stew and put  in the pumpkin. Beef stew recipes will be much appreciated. I promise pictures.

A wall in my area
A wall in my area

I learned last night to talk with everyone, even though they might be scary. Passed a house and there was a scream from inside, then Elder Martins and I got the feeling to knock the door. Naturally worried. Then the guy who answered was a guy about 21 or so with a band shirt for the band “Slayer”. Again apprehensive, but it was a nice conversation about how he feels his relation with God is and he invited us back. Let’s see how this goes.

Love you all! Until next time!

Million Dollar Shot

I got shot! The doctors told me it was a million dollar shot, but the mission must keep that because I still haven’t seen one nickel.

I had a crazy allergic reaction to a new fruit I tried.In the future I will not eat katchki (sp?); it is a red fruit that looks like a tomato. I had a reaction that was quite dangerous, my throat closed up as did my ears. We were eating in the house of the First Counselor in the Bishopric. Thankfully he had a car and drove me to the hospital.

Mom do not worry, I tell you this story because I trust you won’t worry. Also I will call 4pm my time. We have to finish our calls by 5pm so that it doesn’t interfere with the richest proselyting hours. You’ll just have to leave church early.ALD1Antonio is going to be baptized this Sunday. We were about to move on and say goodbye to him. He wasn’t fulfilling any commitments and he just didn’t seem to be progressing.. So we tried giving another lesson on faith, but it was awful because he kept interrupting us to talk about the history of Brazil as he understands it. His understanding of how Napoleon Bonaparte got his name is funny. It is like history mixed with folksy legends. So we looked at each other and decided it would be our last visit with him, in that secret language missionary companions speak with their eyes. Then we sat in silence for 10 seconds after the prayer because I didn’t want to leave and in essence say goodbye.

Then he marked himself a date for baptism and told us about the way he has been working to break his addictions. Ways he thought up! It was incredible! Shows that it truly is the Spirit and not us that converts. He admits that tithing won’t help a whole lot because he earns basically nothing, but he already wants to clean the chapel, make visits with missionaries etc. He was also talking about me moving here and living close by to continue visiting him. He is lonely but he has the Elders as his friends

I also checked his electricity last night. The dial has changed by four numbers in the three months I’ve visited him. I guess when you are the only one in the house at night and only use one fluorescent light bulb you don’t pay a lot of electricity. His water is almost nothing too, very humble living!ALD2

Actually using jacket now. And we did a deep cleaning of the house. Attached are before and after pictures. Also my zone with President Dalton this past week at training

Got to go too. My time is out. I love you guys!