Monday, January 27, 2014

January 20, 2014

It has been a rough week adjusting to the new climate (e.g., wet snowing below zero Fahrenheit [in Tennessee before I left] to humid 50 degrees Celsius [in Brazil after I arrived]).  I have been taking two showers a day - one in the evening after a day of walking in the hottest place I have ever been in my life and one in the morning after sweating like crazy in bed, even though I have a fan and am not using any blankets whatsoever.

I got to Sousa from Natal around 5pm. [Thursday].  I'm walking everywhere.  I'm wearing leather shoes mostly but today I'm trying out my crocs.  There is another companionship that lives in our house, so I have 3 roommates.  Only one speaks English.  The other two are from Brazil, including my companion.  The only English she knows is, "I testify..."  [I’m] speaking Portuguese 24/7.  Actually I had to get up in Sacrament meeting yesterday and bear my testimony (in Portuguese of course).  It went well (I received a lot of compliments afterwards and my sweet companion kept telling other people how well I did).  Maybe too well, because afterwards our Branch President, Presidente Sacramento, said he was thinking about asking me to give a discurso (talk).  It is now kind of weird when other people speak to me in English.  I always reply in Portuguese.

It has been a pretty crazy week. I have learned a lot of new things. For example, in Portuguese the word for coconut is "Coco" while the word for poop is "Cocó".  Don't want to get those two mixed up. We actually live by a Rio de Cocó.  It doesn't smell too bad. It just doesn't look to good.  It's green.

Sousa is pretty big.  At least the area is.  We have 4 Ultimo Elders (1 is new like me and is from Curichiba).  He had his first baptismo yesterday!  I didn't get to see it, but in Sacrament Meeting he was sitting with the little boy he was going to baptize and he let him wear his tie when he found out that the little boy didn't have one.  So cute! [The Elder] put on the white tie he was going to wear during the batismo.

The church here is beautiful!  It almost looks like a temple.  And it is the place where all church members hang out during the week.

My health is great. The food is good.  At every meal I've had at someone's house so far, we have had rice, beans, spaghetti with salsa, some type of sausage, and juice. Guarana soda is awesome.  Also, they have really good juice here, but they also have very different fruit that I don't know the names of.  Guava is actually pink on the inside here.

 Sister Dyer and Sister Acosta

Sister Dyer, Sister Acosta, and Sister Vilanova at bus station in Natal

They do have [certain imported and other products] here. They just come in small packages and are very expensive – same with peanut butter.  I brought 3 things of peanut butter.  Yesterday the Elders in our branch called Sister Acosta and I and asked us if we could bring them some food. We made them some toasted peanut butter sandwiches brought some cookies, and cold juice.  They couldn't thank us enough.

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