Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And I'm Once Again Brasilian!

Hello dear family, I will apologize in advance for my weird English. I'm struggling with any language today. My poor companion. The morning is rough for me to begin with....

Well, things are just going great here. Nothing super special happened this week, pretty much the norm, but it was a good week. I went to the office on Thursday for the first time since October and it was really nice to see some people that I'd not seen in a long time. It was great to see Irma Oliveira again. Apparently, she had felt that she was coming here too, and had even written to President Terry to ask to come here to be with me. Funny how that happens, isn't it? Things have been going great ever since. It's been weird for both of us to be with someone else with experience in the mission. She just finished training. But, we've been laughing a lot and laughing at our bodies' falling apart.

Irma Oliveira is from the northeast of Brasil, Fortaleza and is a convert to the Church. She's the only member in her family and joined when she was 11. She was studying accounting before the mission but will change and study human relations after. She also has two sisters and they live with her mom. She's super tall and thin. Seriously, she's taller than the elders. It's funny. We bought bottles of water yesterday and it was a very tall and skinny bottle, Irma Oliveira, we compared it against one of me, shorter and a bit wider. I got a good chuckle out of that one.

We've decided to be very adventurous with our cooking this transfer, since neither of us could really cook before the mission. We made rice pudding last turned out surprisingly well, considering we had a wrong recipe. I really do enjoy cooking. I'm sure I will enjoy it more when I have a dish washer and a microwave. :)

Things are going okay with our investigators and less-actives and members. No one we are working with came to church, which was disappointing, but I feel confident that things will work out. We had a great lesson with Leide on Monday and I really felt like I needed to talk to her about either getting Sundays off or getting a new job. She was very humble and said that she would pray about it and would make a change in her life. She is incredible.

I gave my last talk (probably) on Sunday. I had prepared my remarks based on Elder Perry's talk from Conference, but as I sat on the stand, I felt like I needed to focus solely on retention. So I talked about the Prodigal Son and about the importance of home and visiting teaching. I really felt the Spirit testify through me as I spoke. I don't know why I needed to say that, but I think it went well.

So we are preparing a musical fireside for the last week in July focusing on the Savior. I have an arrangement of Beautiful Savior that we sang last year. Normally, people are pretty chatty during choir, but as Nuno played the music of this piece, a calm entered the room and no one spoke. It was amazing. We all really felt the Spirit testify of the divinity of Christ. I am super excited for this fireside. It will be great!

So...I have been speaking only Portuguese with Irma Oliveira, other than when I am helping her with her English. She's said some things grammatically that I've wondered about, so I asked. Every time I've asked, she's had to stop and think about it and then say that she'd picked up a bad habit from one of her other companions that was learning Portuguese. At the end of the day she told me that my Portuguese was better than hers. This is FAR from the truth, rest assured, but it was funny to see that we really do rub off on one another. My Brasilian accent is coming back a little bit. I have to make a concerted effort to stick to Continental Portuguese. It's amazing.

Oh! I forgot to mention our diverse district. Three Americans, a Brasilian, a Portuguese who lives in Belgium, and a Columbian. Last week Elder Fernandes taught us a little French and this week Elder Valencia (who now lives in New York) taught us some Spanish. I really want to learn more languages. I really love it.

Well, sorry, nothing really new here. It's been a good week. Sorry for the rambling. I hope that you are all doing well. I love you!

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