Monday, November 11, 2013
6. I have been sent to Rio de Janiero
I have been sent to Rio de Janiero. I am staying in Campos and our mission is huge. We have to walk everywhere and it takes over 5 hours to get from one side to the other. It doesn't help that our housing is in another area. We start every day with a 20 min walk to our area. My companion is awesome. Elder Mitchell. Yes, he is american. But, he has been here almost a year and speaks fluently. I am learning pretty quickly but it is still really hard to understand what people are saying. I can understand almost everything that my companion says know and some of our investigators.
It is less hot here that in Vitoria but still hotter than Sao Paulo. But, the mission schedule is kinda different than in the handbook. Missionaries take about 2 hours for lunch during the hot part of the day 1-3, and we work straight through dinner until 9. We dodge most of the really hot sun but it can still get really brutal. In almost every part of this mission the members are really good about feeding us. It is hard sometimes to arrange the meals but we always end up with food. Almost anyone in there house will give us water too. Elder Mitchell likes to use this strategy to talk with people. If we can't come in then we can talk for like 20 min over a glass of water. We have gained about 10 investigators so far but have had to make some cuts too. It is really hard to have to tell people that we cannot help them anymore unless they either go to church or pray for themselves.
Another difficulty is the couples that only live together. It is not so much that they don't want to get married. It is actually a long process here to legally marry. It takes over 3 months and costs $500, which is really hard for a lot of people. It found out if we give up our bimonthly allowance we could pay for one marriage a month. But, that we require us to basically starve to death.
Our house is actually kinda big but not very clean. We get rats at night and I have just learned to ignore the ants that are everywhere. We live with 2 other Americans so I get plenty of English in the house, but my companion speaks almost all Portuguese. He is a good trainer. I have only heard good news about him.
It is also really hard to get people to go to Church and the Bishops here require 2 visits before a baptism. I don't know why but the Portuguese language doesn't really have a word that really means a commitment. the direct translation of (I will) really means (I will try kinda maybe wishy-washy) We challenged 8 people to go to church all of which said they would come and none showed up. it was kinda sad, but on the bright side, someone else came and talked to the bishop about marriage and baptism.
With our huge area, my companion said that they typically pick a section of the area and focus on that area for 3-4 weeks and then focus on another area close by. That way we do not have to spend 4-5 hours of our day walking. Instead it is only 2-3. I was told that excising is also not a requirement here because of the walking. I just do stretches and try to stay awake. I have never felt to tired day after day and I hear it only gets better (worse) hurray! I cannot wait to be right along side my companion teaching and feeling like a contribution. As of right now I mostly testify after he teaches and occasionally add a comment. My goal this week is to talk to people on the street and get addresses.
I finally get to send pictures so that is going to be awesome. I just have to figure out how.
Well, I apologize, I forgot my USB cord and can't send pictures until next week. I will make sure to take lots of pictures today and send you a flood next week. Soooooo Sorry.
Elder Jacobson (Andrew)
P.S. I have been missing some things from home and was wondering if you could send them maybe as like Christmas presents. I was wondering first if someone wants to reorganize my iPod into a mission approved iPod. Anything churchy is awesome. I can also listen to like just instrumental music as long as it is reverent. I was thinking like Lord of the Rings. I also would love that soundtrack that Dad listens to with all the songs about Christ. The forgotten carols. .... and I am going to talk to president to see exactly what he will approve.
Also, they don't have deodorant sticks here. Weird I know.
Finally, I have a pair of black pants in my closet that were getting too small but I need another pair of black pants to match my suit jacket.
PSS. Happy Birthday BREALYNN. I hope you enjoy the part they will be having for you in Jerusalem. I miss you too. I will need a picture of you also. haha.
Posted by JT&Crew at 5:59 AM