Hello my wonderful family, friends, and everyone else!
I´m going to take a bit longer on typing this email because the keyboard here is super different. Well...I feel like it´s different. I´ll just go ahead and write a narrative.
So y´all know everything that happened up until I left for Sao Paulo. Well, when I got off the phone I ran up with Elder Daines and everybody had already boarded the plane! We were super late. I guess they had been paging us but we hadn´t heard them.
The plane ride was pretty mentally exhaustive. I couldn´t seem to sleep. There were about half Brazilians and half Americans on the plane. I sat next to Elder Daines. The lady on my left held a baby who sang songs in Portuguese and the man on the right of Elder Daines was a lawyer headed to Uruguay for work.
We arrived in Sao Paulo (which was very crowded and a bit dirty) and we found our flight to Belém. I had no problems with my overweight backpack, my overweight carry-on item (violin), and my overweight suitcase. I think all those restrictions were made up or something.
|Arriving in Belem!|
On the flight, I sat in between two Brazilians who spoke nada English. We had a good conversation about music, religion, work, and lots of other things. It was fun! Looking back, I bet they thought I was a bit crazy.
President Scisci met us in Belém. I don´t really know what to think of him because I really can’t understand him. He spoke really fast and it all went over my head. He seems really nice, informative, and President-like.
|Elder Gale with President and Sister Scisci|
We went to the mission home after that and met the other missionaries who are new in the transfer. Off of the top of my head I remember missionaries from Brasil, Bolivia, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Capo Verdi, Cuba, and other places I don´t remember. The culture blending was really quite humorous.
From what I´ve seen, the majority of missionaries here are not American. It is really cool to see the missionary force from other countries that I haven´t seen before.
We had trainings, dinner, and so on. Then we received our companions, or everyone else did. My companion was in an area very far away and was not able to attend the transfer meeting. The next day, I traveled with some other missionaries who were going my same way and they dropped me off at my area.
To get there, we had to take a bus, a boat, and another bus. The boat was really crowded but cool. People kept looking at me like I was a gringo or something.
When we arrived at my area, Pioneiro 2, I met my zone leaders, Elder Ashby and Elder Gondim. Elder Ashby is from Arizona and Elder Gondim is from Sao Paulo. I was told there that due to certain travel costs, my companion wouldn´t arrive until Monday! So I worked with the Zone Leader until then. They work Pioneiro 1, so it was the same branch that I would have in the future.
They are both very cool! Elder Gondim speaks very little English and Elder Ashby doesn´t really like to speak English, so it´s all Portuguese. I am usually able to understand them, but when I talk to members and investigators, I have no idea what they say. The people here have a very thick accent that makes it very difficult for me to understand them and them to understand me. Regardless, I love them all. The people here are incredibly generous and understanding. They will help me with sentences and laugh with me when I don´t understand something.
So I’m amazed at the faithfulness of the members here. We get fed lunch (the biggest meal of the day) every day except for P-Day. Every Day. These people have almost nothing and they´re feeding us 2-3 times more than we got fed in Chapin! We live in one of the poorest areas in Para, so everyone has very little.
As for food here...I love it! I´m not sure if I will be able to go back to regular fruit and juice when I return in the future, because here it is so entirely fresh and delicious. I´ve tried multiple fruits here that are only grown here in Para. They are so delicious! The thing that everyone raves about here is the acai. Acai is a berry that can be ground into a kind of juice-soup thing. Elder Ashby gave it to me first without sugar as a joke. I nearly spit it out! I later put in sugar and it was delicious!
|Elder Gondim and I eating acai for the first time!|
I wish I had more time to write! I´ve gotta go. I will meet my companion, Elder Ramos, later today. He is from Sao Paulo.
Love you all!
Chamado para servir,