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Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 43 - Learning Japanese

The heavens opened up today the streets are rivers right now…

Elder Farias drying off
Transfers are tomorrow and I will stay here with Elder Farias for another transfer!!!  I’m pretty excited.  It would of been hard to say goodbye to Elder Farias so I get to at least stay with him one more time! We are like legit brothers.

I know how to cook some stuff. Elder Farias says I should open a Brazilian restaurant when I get back. To make Brazilian desserts all you need is sweetened condensed milk. They use that in literally EVERY dessert.  The cakes here are different. They actually use bread for the cake part but it’s a special kind of bread and it’s super moist.  I learned how to make arroz carreteiro the other day. Its rice mixed with a bunch of meat and stuff. I like to make farofa.  Homemade farofa is great!

I’m learning Japanese from some of the members which is fun. This week I was thinking about someday working as a translator. I would like to travel.  It would be fun. I hope to come home and become poly lingual. I want to learn Italian, Danish (so I can talk with my brother, Brady), Russian, and German. I find learning languages is super easy especially after already learning a second one.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 42 - Tender Mercies and Joy

This week I told President Andrew the heat isn’t bothering me anymore.  The prayers from the people back home are the reason why.  I’m dealing with the heat better then my native companion, Elder Farias.  I'm grateful for the tender mercies the Lord has blessed me with.

Elder Farias and I baptized a young man this week, which brought great joy. It was someone we have been teaching.  It was just way special.  He is already wanting and preparing to serve a mission  -- and he has Pokémon cards!

Speaking of food, Elder Farias and I have eaten out a ton this week -- just because life is great and we want to celebrate but now I’m broke.

We went to the fanciest pizza place after the baptism with four Elders and the branch president's son. It had a pizza buffet and we just ate so much pizza. One pizza to take home is like $58 reis!  [With currency conversion, that is about $22.00] The desert was chocolate pizza with ice cream on top.  It was so good!  We ate out so much that week I probably gained every kilo that I lost when I stopped drinking soda.  Ice cream is nice but what is nicer is the air conditioning in some of the stores.

Today I went to São José dos Campos.  One of Elder Farias’ friends wanted to go to the Nike store to get shoes so we went to the mall there.  Afterwards we went to this famous restaurant that’s super good and famous for their açaí.  I bought more than 2 liters.  I almost didn’t buy a drink there because drinks are so expensive.  They make natural juice but one cup without refills is about 6 reis [$2.25]. That’s the only downfall here in Brazil.  Anything fluid is so expensive.  It’s an arm and a leg to eat out.

I like the city of São José but I prefer places that are more “jungley.” On the bus ride to São José we passed through some cool little towns in the middle of the jungle.  I saw an iguana and a capybara. It‘s the world’s biggest rat like animal.

Our branch mission leader teased us Sunday.   He said he bought an air conditioner and how he has been sleeping like a baby. He is glad he doesn’t live in our house which is so hot.  It was a joke because we always talk about how hot it is.

[As Dallen was writing, a good sister surprised them with a gift.]  MOM AND DAD WE HAVE AN AIR CONDITONER NOW!!!!! A MEMBER GAVE IT TO US TO USE!!!!  I’m almost crying!!!! Apparently this sister had it for a long time and never used it because it was so complicated.  It was still in the box.  Transfers are the 27th I think.  Watch me get transferred now.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 41 - Heat and tragedy

It has been really really hot.  There is not much we can do other than to try and stay out of the sun.  I’ve tried freezing towels and stuff and laying on them but it isn’t really worth it.  There isn’t much you can do except buy an air conditioner -- and that isn’t a possibility.  We just deal with it and drink lots.

We have a baptism this week.  The branch president's wife gave us a referral and he has chosen to be baptized!  We still don’t know if the branch president will baptize him.  He hasn’t chosen anyone yet.

The small branch we serve in is a year old.  Last year there were three baptisms.  We visit the members and are often fed lunch.

Elder Farias with a dog.
My companion, Elder Farias, bought a guitar today.  It's great having him as a companion!  I would like to stay with him for a few more transfers.  He is a great person and I’ve learned a lot of things from him.  I’ve been lucky.  I've liked all the companions I've had so far.

Remember when I talked about the fighting kites (pipas)?  When kids fly them they put broken glass on the string to cut other kite strings.  A young man lives up the street from our friend who’s house burned down.  This past week he was riding his motorcycle.  He ran into one of these strings and died.  It nearly severed his head. It was so sad.  I’m grateful for the gospel, the plan of salvation, and the knowledge we can see our loved ones again.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 40 - Portuguese Pokemon and lime trees.

On Christmas Eve we went to the branch secretaries home and ate.  They had a beautiful meal.

Gorgeous Christmas Eve dinner
Today for p-day we went with the  branch president's son to the mall and out to eat at a fancy restaurant.  Then we went to a cathedral. I didn’t know if could take pictures so I didn’t out of respect. We went to a music store and a card store.  Guess what I found?   Portuguese Pokemon cards which I bought.

I found a lime tree.  I figured out the hard way not to get lime juice on you and then go into the sun. It leaves a bruise on your skin. You don’t feel it but apparently it last for 6 months...

Lime tree
For New Years we went to a home and had churrasco.  We watched the fireworks from the house which was on top of a hill.  We got to see all the fireworks from the city of Suzano.  It was way cool.

Barbecuing inside?
I want to go back to the farm.  It was way fun.  We fished with bamboo polls.  The polls didn’t have a fishing real, just some line.  It was way simple, but only took a maximum of three minutes to catch something.

Elder Farias with a fish he caught.