Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adjusting to life in Brazil + Long Beach mission photos

There are lots more photos on Elder Henry's Facebook page.  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000495023415

Elder Henry forgot to tell us he'd performed a baptism!  Such a joyful photograph!
Elder Henry with Elder Dixon and some of the wonderful people in Whittier
Elder Henry with President and Sister Bubert

Departing Missionaries from Long Beach Mission at the Newport Beach Temple
Looks like a zone meeting
Elder Henry at the Newport Beach Temple

Dear Mom,
My first week and a half in Brasil and I've acclimated a little bit.  I finally saw a V6 in a truck and felt just a little bit more at home last week.
I guess the first thing you want to know is where I am.  I'm currently serving in the Chácaras das Pedras ward in the north part of Porto Alegre, just a little south of the mission office.  We cover a large area spanning from Petropolis all the way out to Monica Quintana all along the Protasio Alves avenue.
My companion is a native Brasilian named Elder Oba.  Fortunately he speaks English as well as Português, but its really helped me to learn really fast because he's always using it.  Of course there are good days and bad days for Português but its improving a lot.  A lot of the vocabulary I've never heard or used before because I was in the MTC and we only used missionary words like Baptism and Holy Ghost :p.  Elder Oba is Brasilian/Japanese and he's a little bit shorter than Kelsey.  This is is last transfer in the mission and will be going home at the end of the month.  Fortunately for me he doesn't act like it at all.  Its just business as usual for him.  Unlike most Brasilians he's not obsessed with Soccer, and we get along great.  Today he made us Sushi and just an all around great guy.
I live with two other Elders, Elder Persinger and Elder Caridade.  Persinger is an American from Ohio, and Caridade is a Brasilian.  They are the Zone Leaders for the Porto Alegre zone which makes things pretty convenient for us.
Missionary Work is pretty much the same down here except the fact that I now cover an area about the size of a stake in the States, on foot or by bus, and bus fares are expensive.  It costs R$2.85 or just under two American dollars to ride a bus, which really doesn't sound like much, but when you rely on it for your transportation and can only really afford to take it once a day...  well you walk a lot.
At times feel really useless as a missionary.  I've learned a lot about how to teach and what to do, but not being able to speak/understand is a huge barrier (duh!).  But I'm learning quickly and just keep telling myself that I'm not going to understand everything after 9 or 10 days, and just keep trying.  I try and talk as much as I can to practice and get better I'll be able to be back up to speed.
Let me tell you, the food here is outrageously amazing!  Rice and Beans and Meat and Fruit, I couldn't be happier.  Its really different having Lunch be the main meal of the day, because you really aren't hungry around dinner time, so we usually just work through it.  Which is great for missionary work, because you gain an extra hour of prime proselyting time!  You don't have to worry about me starving here, the members always feed us TONS for lunch and we have lunch appointments every day but P-day.
One last thing I forgot to mention before I e-mail President Pavan.  Elder Oba and I are white washing, or rather we are both new to the area just like Elder Dixon and I were in Whittier.  So right now we don't really have any investigators, but we have tons of appointments this week so hopefully we'll be getting started up pretty quick :).
I love you all very much, thank you for your e-mails :)
Elder Henry

From Right:  Elder Henry, Elder Persinger, Elder Oba, and Elder Caridade

Elder Henry at the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple!!!!!!!

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