Things are going a lot better for me this week now that I´ve had some time to adjust to the culture, mission, companion, and everything else. Definitely still like some things about Indiana, but I´ll get used to things. The thing that helped the most this week is a mini explosion of frustration to my companion. I just told him everything that had been bugging me, and just venting really helped me settle down and be excited to learn the language and the culture and serve here in Brazil. Still struggling a little bit with starting completely over, but with time, I´ll learn the language and culture.
So a couple more culture things about Brazil. Everyone lives in cages, okay, not really, but the houses are all completely walled off with huge gates to let you in, so to knock houses we just clap outside the gate, which is kind of annoying because usually people just poke there head out the door and say they aren´t interested. I kind of miss having a nice house with a yard, but oh well.
We go through investigators a lot faster here. Everything is within reasonable walking distance, and people´s schedules are a lot less busy, so it´s not uncommon to find someone and then drop them within a week since we can meet with them every day. We kind of cycle through quickly. Right now we don´t have anyone commited to baptism, but we found a couple great people yesterday. We met Fernando at almoco (lunch) yesterday. He´s a friend of some members, and we taught him the restoration and invited him to baptism after. He didn´t commit, but wants to come to church and read the book of mormon. We also found a family, Jose e Ana. They are a little more religious, and it will be a little more difficult to help them accept the gospel as the only fulness of truth, but I think with time, their hearts will open up.
The goal for the mission is that every area has a baptism every week. So far it seems a little unrealistic, but hopefully I´ll figure out how to meet expectations.
Portuguese is coming along. Mostly, I´m back to speaking sportiguish. A lot of Spanish is still engrained in my head, but usually people can understand me. My biggest struggle is pronunciation. Letters just make different sounds here, and a lot of times I still pronounce things like I´m speaking Spanish.
Now for a little about Elder Barbosa. He´s a great guy and a great missionary. The language barrier has been a struggle, but we manage to communicate. He´s actually serving as district leader right now, which is kind of cool considering how new he is. I think worldwide missions are struggling with the influx of new missionaries, and a lot more is being asked of the newer missionaries. He´s only been out about a month longer than me, but obviously speaks the language and knows the culture a lot better. He´s the oldest of 4, loves music, and is learning as much English as he can while I´m trying to learn portuguese. Whenever I´m done with my flashcards, he takes them and learns all the English which is pretty cool.
I guess the only thing worth noting this week is I gave a talk in Church this week. It was a struggle, but hopefully I was at least able to invite the Spirit. I´m technically serving in a ward, but it´s tiny, smaller than the branch I was in in INdiana. I´m guessing a lot of inactives as well, but becaue of the language barrier, a lot of times I´m left kind of clueless.
Hope all is good at home. I´ll try to respond to all your letters. Thanks for writing! Love you all and have a wonderful week!