Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm in Londrina, Brazil!

Bad news: I lost my USB cable, so I won't be able to post pictures until I can buy a card reader. There is a big store about a half hour away that might sell them. Cross your fingers. I know the pics are fun to see! Sorry...

Good news: We all left on Friday for Londrina at 4 AM (yes folks, 4 in the morning!). We loaded in the bus to go to the Sao Paulo airport. Things went well for all and we were soon on the flight to Londrina. One hour in the air, nice and short. Londrina is absolutely beautiful. There is the main city with lots of skyscrapers and then some suburbs that go for a few miles out, then it’s all Brazil. It is a very pretty country and grassland with some jungle here and there. The dirt here is incredibly red and at the end of the day our shoe soles are covered in it.

We met President Leal, the Mission President, and his Assistants, Elder Tobar and Elder Wolfertz, and then we all went to President Leal’s house, where we had a quick meeting and a nice lunch.

Transfers aren’t until Tuesday, so we were all temporarily put with elders currently serving in Londrina, located at various spots throughout the city. I’m with Elder Nelson, serving in Vivi Xavier.

We walk...a lot. We average about 12 miles per day in this area because there are lots of houses. Elder Parrott from my District at the MTC, said he walked 25 miles on Saturday. We work from 10 AM to 9 PM, with no breaks, except to eat lunch.

The first night we had little luck. In Brazil, all or most homes have walls and a gate, with no door bells. So at every home, you have to clap, it’s quite interesting. It usually alerts the dogs, of which everyone has at least one. Then the owners come out and unlock the gate. On some walls, the top is covered in broken beer bottles that were set in there when the concrete was wet. Consequently, the tops of the walls are full of colorful shards of pointy glass. The wealthy have electric fences on top.

One lady gave us some cinnamon rolls to take home, muito bom!

We did some street contacting which is interesting. You walk up to people, tell them you have a very special message about Jesus Christ and families, then you ask for their address so you can go and teach them in their homes another day. Most agree and are excited to have you come talk to them.

It’s exceedingly hot here. Exceedingly hot! By 11 AM it’s in the 80s, but with a very high jungle humidity, too. So, two steps after leaving the house you´re sweating. We drink 2 liters of water a day, of which we are supposed to purify before drinking.

On Saturday, we had an epic lunch at a member’s home; spaghetti, pot roast and beans and rice. And then a fudgecicle afterwards. That doesn’t happen very often, but it was amazing while it lasted. Elder Webb told me that his first lunch consisted of rice, with feijuada, a mixture of beans and meat. The meat is usually leftovers. In this case, for Elder Webb, it was pig ears with the hair still attached and some other type of unidentifiable beef. Mmmm!

Twice a month we get $115 reis to spend on food and other things. That’s about $57 dollars. Yeah, you have to be careful of what you buy or you may go hungry later in the month.

On Sunday, one of Elder Nelson’s investigators, Fatima, was baptized, so that was exciting. Elder Nelson is a stud, he’s from South Jordan Utah, and his two years as a missionary are over in January, so he'll be leaving to go home. He’s ridiculously fluent in Portuguese. He says it takes about 3 weeks before you can understand most things, and after that it gets a lot better. Right now, people are hard to understand, so I’m hoping I will catch on quickly!

I find out tonight where I will be going for the next 6 - 12 weeks. It could be here, somewhere in Londrina, or as far north as Barau, or as far south as GuaƧu Falls, which is 6 hours from Londrina by bus. Then I will find out my address and send it to my mom and she will post it here on my blog-site. Then you can send all the packages you want! :-) Actually, it’s probably best to send packages to the Mission Home, which is over in the right hand column.

Ate mais!
Elder Titus

PS. It appears that P-Day (Preparation Day, which is my opportunity to use the internet for a short period of time) has been changed to Mondays. So, hopefully posts will be up by Monday evening. Thanks for keeping track of me!

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