Monday, March 25, 2013

Advice from Elder Henry to newly called S.Brasil missionaries

Dear Mom,
Like I would ever forget your birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'll eat some cake with you when I get back okay?
Before I forget, tips and guidelines for a missionary coming to Porto Alegre North Mission (Lisa's good friend Melisa's son was just called to the same mission!):
Shoes: Don't buy Eccos. Everyone says eccos are awesome and comfortable and last a lot of time. They are, but they just don't hold up to the environment here. I've had numerous companions with eccos that have holes in them. Also you can't buy shoes bigger than size 12 here, Brasilians have really small feet, so if your shoe size is bigger than 12, you'll have to wait for a replacement package with shoes for about 2-3 months, IF they get here. Shoes are also really expensive here in Brasil, so its best to bring a pair you won't need to replace in two years of walking.
I recommend my Missionshoes that you got me. There is almost no wear on the bottom, and the only trouble I've had with them is the leather. They are also waterproof which is great. The leather doesn't hold up all that great, and one of the pairs has a big hole in the side where the leather wore out. Fortunately I was able to repair them because they have people here that repair shoes, only problem is its not waterproof, and the repair left them pretty ugly.
Suits, you will only use your suit at Zone Conferences, and to go to church on Sunday. Also Suits are pretty cheap here, so you can get by with just bringing one suit even though your call packet says two. If you need another one, you can buy a suit with pants here for less than $50 US Dollars
Weather: The weather here isn't colder than Washington. The coldest it gets here is 25 degrees in the winter, but bring some long-Johns because it will be like camping in 25 degree weather as your apartment will not have a heater. It does get REALLY hot in the summer, so you are going to want pretty much all Polyester blend short sleeve shirts. DO NOT BRING 100% COTTON SHIRTS. You will die.
It also rains here quite a bit, so bring a jacket that's waterproof and can be nice and warm in the winter, but also not too heavy for the other seasons. One coat I've seen that's pretty cool, is one Mr. Mac sells, that has a button-in liner that you can pull out when the weather's not very cold. It's also waterproof which is perfect.
Food/Culture: Well this is probably the best part of serving in Rio Grande do Sul, because there is a strong Gaúcho culture here which is a ton of fun. You'll drink Chimarrão, eat a ton of churrasco (the best churrasco of Brasil) and you'll notice that Rio Grande do Sul looks more like Europe than it does Brasil. In our mission we only have a handful of areas that are REALLY dangerous, so you won't need to worry too much about being assaulted, and also we good running water and not really any dangerous viruses around here. Bring all the medications on your call packet, I've used all of them. Sunscreen is really expensive and really bad here, bring it from the states.
I'm pretty sure that's the advise I have to give. All the other stuff you learn when you get here, lol.
That's great news about Duck Basketball! I doubt they'll make it to the Championship game, but at least they are at sweet sixteen for the first time in I don't even remember how long lol.
I'm glad to hear that the Life of Christ event was a success! Good job mom :)
Anyways I have to get wrapping up this e-mail. I spent way too much time talking about what to bring on the mission lol. Before I go I'll talk a little about the week.
We worked super hard this week with a family that I've talked about before, S (less active) and Ju (Investigator).  We have been passing by every day to teach them to help them get to church this week, and then J, S, B (J's Sister), B (Daughter), M (Step-mom) all went to Church. It was so great to see the whole family seeking the peace the gospel brings, everyone together. The church really is for Families. To bring together families and build the relationships of the family to last for all eternity. We went to their house yesterday after church, and  everyone was sitting together chatting, and having fun one with another.  The fruits of the gospel are settling in, moving the future of the family from separation, to resolving their problems and moving forward. I love to be a missionary.
I love you guys!
Elder Henry

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