Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 16 - 3 January 2011

Olá Família!

This week was pretty tough too.  I’m coming to realize that Oriximiná is a pretty tough place to do missionary work.  In Brasil, they have something called Carnival, which is where they have a lot of partying and craziness, basically.  It’s in February, but for some reason in Oriximiná it starts at the beginning of January …haha  This town is like their own little world.  They do things differently here and the way they want haha.  But yeah, with New Years and the beginning of Carnival, there is a lot of craziness in the streets here, and it’s really hard to find people to teach.  Everyone is either drunk, doesn’t like the missionaries, or is already a member haha.  We’ve seen multiple people passed out in the middle of the road, and there have been a couple fights.  And now that I’m kind of starting to understand a tad more, I’m realizing that a lot of people here don’t like us haha.  A lot of people tease us and ask if we want coffee because everyone knows we don’t drink it.  And as crazy as it sounds, there was a parrot perched on a fence of a house that said, “vem ca, quer café?” which means “come here, want coffee?”  Haha  Oh man, that was funny.  I don’t know how it knew to say that, but it did. Haha. 

So for New Years, our ward had a party and dance at the church.  Remember when I said the members didn’t help much with activities?  Well, I’m not really sure what happened, but now they are doing like everything.  So they put on a cool dance and white elephant gift exchange and stuff.  Lots of people showed up, and it was good for the ward, I think. Also, we met a man on his motorcycle who wasn’t a member but knew some Elders in São Paulo, and he could speak English!  He showed up for the dance activity, and we talked a little there.  He would talk in English, and I would respond in Portuguese haha. But he taught himself, it was cool.  One thing he said to me right before we had to head home was that “it’s not so hard.”  It gave me a little confidence booster with the  language.  But another thing that I realized is that I really took for granted being able to talk without even thinking too much back home. Haha  When something came to my mind I would just say it, but here I can’t quite do that.  So lately Elder Costa and I thought of a great idea to boost my growth with the language.  I started sleeping with my dictionary! Haha  One, because I don’t have a pillow or anything to snuggle with haha, and two, we’re hoping that I will soak up some of the words during the night.  We’ll see if it works J  Elder Costa is predicting that it’ll make me fluent in just 2 weeks haha.

So I translated your latest letters I received through missionties here.  The one from mamãe e papai was surprisingly pretty easy, but the one I got from Rio is super hard haha.  She used a lot of expressions and little words that I noticed we use in English that can’t be translated very easily to Portuguese.  Oh and this is for Dad, if you thought it was hard to remember names in English, you should try here in Brasil in Portuguese!  Oh man, they have the craziest names, and it is so hard to remember or even understand them haha.  Elder Costa even had a hard time.  He says that the names up here are extremely unusual compared to other places in Brasil.  Well tonight I’m going to take a boat to Santarém to do a division with the Zone Leaders then return on Wednesday.  Divisions in our zone are really complicated because we have to take a 10-hour boat ride one way just to do one division haha.

But love you guys!  Estou preserverando ainda, então não se preocupam.

Com Amor do Amazonas,
Élder Andrus

Flippin huge thing...I don´t even know

We took this boat thing back to Orixi from Santarém instead of that
big boat thing. It´s way more cheque and faster. Called a lancha :)

View of Orixi from the lancha

A cool house on the Amazon

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