Monday, September 2, 2013

First week in Brazil

September 2, 2013

Dear Everyone,
This has been the craziest week of my life.  I left for Brazil on Monday morning of last week at 5 am and then didn't get to the mission home until Tuesday at around 3pm.  Monday and Tuesday felt like one long day of constantly wearing a suit.

President Fortunato and his wife are really cool.  President Fortunato has a strong spirit about him.  Even when he was speaking Portuguese and I couldn’t understand what he was saying.  I could feel that he was like a powerful guy.  I’m excited to get to know him more.
That night we stayed in a hotel in Belo Horizonte.  The city is seriously nuts.  Its huge!! People are everywhere.  Ok something different about Brazil and maybe the rest of the world is that people who are crossing the street don't have the right of way and cars do not slow down at all for people! It’s like playing real life Frogger. Drivers are crazy but still really good.  Cars and busses drive as fast as they can wherever they go because there are no speed limits and then there are motorcycles that are weaving between the cars and in-between busses. The motorcyclist put Jesus Christ stickers on their bikes to keep them safe. I’ve only seen one accident since I’ve been here though so it must be working.

My companions name is Elder R. Souza.  There are so many Souzas in Brazil that they use his first initial for his tag also.  He is from Belem Brazil and doesn’t speak any English or when he does I can’t understand him because of his accent. That must be how he feels with me all the time.  We live in a cool apartment in the Vale da Jatoba.  It’s a suburb of Belo Horizonte. There’s a picture of the view from our window attached. You can see that it’s seriously just houses everywhere.  Most stores are run out of the garage of people’s homes. The first 3 days here were the hardest of my life.  I thought that I knew Portuguese pretty well but when I actually started talking to people my thoughts changed.  Every sentence in Portuguese sounded like one really long Chinese word.  I honestly felt like I was going crazy because I was so lost. When people saw that I didn’t understand they would try to use the little English they knew but that basically sounded like jibberish so then we both felt like crazy people haha.  It’s ok though because I’m learning pretty quickly out of necessity.  Now I can separate all the words in the sentence, which helps a lot, and usually communicate fairly well.  It’s rough but it’s better than nothing. The only person I can’t understand is my companion because he has this accent and talks so fast!
We had a baptism this Saturday!  Yeah I seriously hit the jackpot! Gabriela was baptized by her brother Matteus who was baptized only 2 months ago it was awesome.  People are great here--so humble and willing to give you anything you want or don’t want. haha They just give you stuff. 

That other picture of my face that looks like I have bad acne...those are mosquito bites. They ate me alive one night. Everyone laughs at me and says “they must like American blood”   haha whatever.
I love you and my companion is standing over my shoulder waiting so I better go!

Elder Marsh

He has arrived!

First Saturday in Brazil.  Baptism of Gabriela by her brother Matteus.

Mosquito bite acne

Brazilian feathered friend!

View from apartment window in Vale de Jatoba

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