September 2009 - September 2011

The Journey from Beginning to End

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Week #33: Cowboy Country in Acre (Ah-Kree) Brazil!

So here I am in Acre. I found out my area is the 3rd furthest area from the Staff building in Manaus. The 2 areas in Cruzeiro do Sul are the only ones further than me. I am extremely close to the Bolivian border, and more or less Peru, also. It’s cold here. It feels like end of September in St. George kind of.

I haven't had the chance to take any pix yet of the area, but I´ll describe it later. I am actually in the coldest area of the mission. It gets freezing at night with the fan on the lowest setting. It was quite chilly this morning too, at about 85 F. (Still got his iconic sense of humor:)

Right now I am in Rio Branco, in the City Center. Not many people here. It's a small world. One of my teachers at the CTM said that there are only jaguars and anacondas here. He was partially right. I have seen about 5-6 snakes in my area so far. Only one was still alive. All the others were road kill. Also, there was a 30 foot sucuri (Anaconda) that the people caught somewhere nearby. It was massive. It was on the news. Pretty cool. Haven’t seen a jaguar yet, but let me explain how to best describe my area.

I am in Miami, Texas (Elder Tenney's mom's hometown in the Texas Panhandle - population 588:) with strange jungle trees and everyone speaks Português instead of English! That’s right, I am in cowboy territory kind of. There is only one other difference. There is more than one stop light. I think 3. No, kidding, but seriously, there aren’t that many. It is super flat out here, lots of cows, cowboy hats, and a funny accent. We went out to a colony out of town for lunch on Sunday and the house felt just like Granma’s and Cecil’s house. I got a little homesick. It’s just the wide open spaces feeling that I had been wanting after being stuck in São Paulo and Manaus with all the houses crammed together and buses going every direction all day and night.

27 March 2010: Typical Bus Ride

So, it is an hour bus ride to get into Rio Branco from Quinari (Senador Guiomard - it has two names, one indigenous and the other official).  That means another hour just to go back.  I got quite the headache last Monday because it was ride in for district meeting, stay for a couple hours, then quickly grab another bus back. Lots of bouncing around and I was not feeling too chipper the rest of the day. To make things better, I had an amazing lunch. It was all good, until near the end I noticed that the little spices I thought I was eating were really ants that accidentally got cooked in with the noodles. I was hungry, so I just finished it off.  It was actually pretty good.

The people here are extremely nice. All the ward members are ready to help. We got a ton of references last week, and we already have a bigger teaching pool than what I had in Castanheira.

The wall outside Elder Tenney & Elder Fox's front door in Senador Guimoard
We are in Rio Branco right now and Elder Fox brought me to a LAN house that has super fast internet. It is really expensive, but oh so much more powerful. I just threw a chunk of pictures into the email. Most of them are of the bus ride to Presidente Figereidoododsoiausdfpoaisndf (I forgot how to spell it).  There are a couple pictures of a wall that is right outside our front door. Everything else is super old.

Our washing machine isn’t the best in the world. It really just churns water for a bit, then we have to drain the water, and then rinse the soap out of the clothes and then hang them up. We are just starting to do it all by hand really. It takes a while, but clean clothes are better than smelly.

I stopped doing that marking thing that I challenged Sam to do. I am going to continue later, but right now I really just want to finish the Book of Mormon soon. I just started the Book of Alma the other day. I have to check the dictionary less and less these days. It is really cool. First you read Portuguese, then you understand, then you speak.

Doesn’t Elder Poulton enter the CTM in a couple weeks? Oooh! Exciting! I can’t wait to see a familiar face! I hope I end up in the same zone as him at least sometime this year…

Our zone conference is going to be next Wednesday, so our P-day here in Acre is going to be on the Tuesday before, or the Thursday after. We don’t know yet. Just to let you know when my emails come early or late next week.

I am at 7.5 months right now. This means I am almost to 1/3 of the mission done already. What on earth is happening? Time is just flying by! Every day feels like an eternity, but it feels like it is Sunday, then P-day, then Friday, and then Sunday again. I already have a whole week here in Acre. (Ah-Kree)

Well, I think that’s about it for now.

Love you mom.

Élder Tenney

*Here is the info for the Mother's Day Call:  (YEA!!!)

I will be at the Bishop's house at 4:00 (16:00) in the afternoon, waiting anxiously for the phone call. I don't know what the time difference is between here and there, but last time you nailed it on the spot. Only thing is, you had daylights savings time, so yeah. Here is the number. I think I have the country and area code in it. The last 8 numbers is the house number. Good luck.

When you call, just say something like this --- Hey. hey. oi? Élder? and just repeat "elder". If I am there, I'll answer. If not, you will hear some Portuguese and the phone might hang up. Good luck. I hope it's the right number... If not, I will call home really fast then hang up. Don't pick up, or it will charge them a bunch.
Vós amo.

Élder Teni

(P.S.)  I withdrew R$50 today this morning because I was out of money and our allowance didn’t fall yet, so . . . just FYI.

Things to send:

A stick of deodorant. Rip rolls. Just fill the box to the max with goodies really. I had something else, but I forgot to write it down…


Tootsie Rolls

Rip Rolls

Pit Rub



A Jar of Peanut Butter