September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving in Manaus (Email 11.25.2009)

How are you all? I´m doing just dandy. My feet are just light red but don´t hurt from the sunburn anymore. It's the mosquito bites on my feet that irritate me.

I haven´t seen it rain here yet. I just missed the rainy season.  Going into the dry right now.

Cool thing!! You know how the moon in the US, when it goes from full moon to new moon and stuff how it goes from left to right or whatever? Well, here, it goes from bottom to top, so the crescent moon was on the bottom and it looks like a smiley face!!

We had our "Thanksgiving Feast" today at the house of some other missionaries in my district. Another district came too. We had lots of meat and a big fish. Really good stuff.

We have a baptism this Friday. Her name is Marceleia. She is married to our ward mission leader. She was Baptist, but didn't like something the pastor did, and decided to come to her husband's church. She hasn´t missed a meeting in 6 months now. My first time meeting her, she was selling hotdogs and said we could have some cake. E. Gannon asked cake for what? She said cake for her baptism. E. G,"When?" M,"I don´t know, when do you want?" EG," Next Saturday?" M,"ok, sounds good." Super exciting! Elder Gannon had been teaching her for a long time. I helped teach the last few lessons. Fun Stuff.

By the way, for the whole mission, you mail me at the mission home. I don´t get the letters until zone conferences or transfers. Tough luck, eh. I have a few letters to mail out, but generally I´m just going to be doing email. We have as long as we need to email, but generally keep it to one hour, but I´m not as rushed as I was in the CTM.

So far, I´ve seen one monkey, one pink dolphin, 3 giant, (and I mean GIANT) cockroaches, lots of bugs, and eaten 4 kinds of fish. Yummy! We may try eating monkey sometime this transfer.

Supposedly they scan boxes/packages sometimes and memory cards can get wiped, so I´m going to try to find a place to upload memory cards, but I also have another idea. I´m going to keep the memory cards the whole mission, but every once in a while can you send me a new one and when I come home I´ll just have a whole bunch of memory cards with me. Don´t worry.  I´ll send pictures home. I can upload and print them too and mail those home as well, but I don´t think its safe to send the card with the only file of the pictures I´ve taken. Too risky.

The language is coming along very well. I´m still not able to understand a lot of it, but I understand the general idea of what's being said. The only scary thing is when I´m asked a question and I don´t know what to say back because I don´t know what was asked. Elder Gannon translates for me, and then I feel stupid because I know how to answer most questions in Portuguese.  I just don´t understand when I hear them... I´ll have it in a couple months.

The ward I´m serving in is the Castanhera Ward. It´s pretty cool. We have to wear our suits to sacrament meeting, and the electricity went out this last Sunday. It was so much fun.

I have been deeply humbled by some of the houses.. homes I´ve seen here. Some of them only have one or two old beds, a small stove and dishwasher in a little shack. It´s really sad to see the poverty that a lot of the people here live in. I feel so blessed to have had so much. I took way way way way way too much for granted. Even having as much food as we have is a miracle. Clean water. AIR CONDITIONING. Right now our apartment has 4 fans. Only one works. I enjoy its presence. If we lost it the mosquitos would have a feast. Elder Tenney would be sad.

OOH! I forgot! Something awesome about Manaus! NO SALES TAX! What you see is what you pay! And in Brazil they don´t make the 1 centavo (1 cent) coins anymore, so they just round it to the nearest 5 centavos. I like that better.

Thank you so much for the box! Hopefully I get it at the zone conference next Monday or transfers next month. Doubt it, but I can dream.

Well, I think that´s about it. Have an Awesome Thanksgiving y'all! Love ya!