Most of the people here do not know how to read, the roads are mud, and there are enough stray dogs to revolt against the human population. I have not taken any pictures of my area since I do not think it wise to take my camera (or anything of value) outside of the house.
Let me explain some funny things about the area. The village is São Marcos, but the city I’m in is called Embu das Artes. My goodness the politicians here would make Congress look on them with disgust. Every corner I turn there is the same face smiling at me, a candidate’s picture. When I first asked Elder Neeves who’s that guy, he simply replied “a robber”. What’s more there is a fleet of cars that drive around the city with giant speakers delivering messages about the “Gentleman of Gentlemen” the “Person of the City” advertising this person. I asked if it was an election year. Apparently they just had it and he just won, but the signs are all new and fresh. It made me think of a scripture 2 Timothy 3:1-7.
They also alternate their churches here. There’s the big Catholic Church at the top of the hill, São Marcos, but there are tons of churches all throughout the village. It goes something like this: you have an evangelical church, then a bar, then an Adventist church, then a bar, and then another bar. Some people we’ve talked to have even explicitly claimed the bar as their church.
We spend a lot of time in the fuvellas. They always smell like a sewer. There are rats running in the street and waste is thrown into the street. When I say street I mean the passageway between the “structures” which is really only wide enough for an Elder Neeves sized person to fit through. Good thing I have been losing weight. Actually when I was in the supermarket today a sister commented that my cheeks are getting a little thinner.
We get fed lunch everyday by members, which is usually rice and beans. Otherwise food is up to us.
I can’t send pictures I have taken yet, there is no sd card slot in this computer, I will have to borrow Elder Herbert’s adapter next week. I can send you these pictures though.
Okay so I am given a short time here to inform you that I have safely departed the CTM and am currently at the mission office of Sao Paulo Interlagos, safe and sound. President Dalton also wanted me to inform you that “my captors are treating me kindly“. I have way too many books but I imagine I can get rid of some of the language study books in a year. My new companion is Elder Neves, this is his last transfer so I only get him for 6 weeks, he was a Zone Leader before but he wanted to train an American his last transfer. I am the only new American in this mission. My P-Day is now Monday. Now I have to go to work, and make it to my area. Hope all’s well at home, will email again, this time hopefully with pictures, on Monday.
Where to begin. The language is difficult but somewhat familiar. My companion, Elder Neerings as it turns out is a workout fanatic, so he has been making me run laps each morning… love it…. The food is exactly as expected, rice and beans with some really good fruits. They feed us so often here at the CTM, like once every two hours it feels like, apparently we need to fatten up because some missionaries tell us we only really get one meal once we are in the field.
It takes about 2-3 weeks to receive mail here however I cannot get packages. Please don’t try sending packages it’s like with Elder Cooper. Speaking of which my Cooper Brothers Tie has gotten some attention here, some Elders are apparently writing home to have their parents order them some. President Swensen, the CTM President likes it even. I also met my Mission President when we went to the Federal Police to finish our Processing into the country, he was there reviewing his visa, but his assistant had told him I would be there so he found me and introduced himself. Super cool guy.
Made it safely to Brazil. In the MTC right now. Not much time to write, lunch coming up in 10 minutes. Met up with other missionaries wandering around Atlanta, most going to Durban South Africa. Met my current companion, Elder Neering there at Atlanta. Cannot send pictures right now, will be able to send picture after I leave the MTC. It is beautiful here and I already love the people and the place never thought I could instantly love a place so chaotic and, frankly, dirty. But I love it, even the graffiti. Okay will write more P-Day. Mom do not worry. It is great. The MTC is looking like a prison with many guards and high walls with barbed wire. So I am safe. Love you all! Be well.
I will soon be serving in the Brazil, Sao Paulo Interlagos mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I leave home on 01 December 2015 and will return in December 2017.
The moment when a future LDS missionary opens their mission call is special. For the family it is also special. A lot of work, training (including patience and love) go in to preparing a missionary. A lifetime of preparation comes down to the best possible two years to date for the missionary. Most young men apply for a mission and await their call not knowing beforehand where they will be called to serve. Young men apply for a mission between 18 and 19 years of age, young women as early as 19 years. Andrew’s family thought the moment was so special his sister and father prepared a pretend mission call the night before his real one arrived.
O momento em que um futuro missionário LDS abre seu chamado para a missão é especial. Para a família que também é especial . Um monte de trabalho , formação (incluindo paciência e amor ) ir para a preparação de um missionário. Uma vida inteira de preparação vem para baixo as melhores possíveis dois anos até à data para o missionário. A maioria dos homens jovens se candidatar a uma missão e aguardam a sua chamada não sabendo de antemão onde serão chamados a servir. Os homens jovens se candidatar a uma missão entre 18 e 19 anos de idade , as mulheres jovens tão cedo quanto 19 anos . A família de Andrew pensou que o momento era tão especial sua irmã e pai preparou um chamado para a missão fingir a noite antes de sua real chegou.