Hey, I get an hour to email you guys now, but part of that is eaten up by a letter to the mission president.
Well, I guess I’ll start with the beginning. We had to wake up at like three in the morning to leave or something ridiculous like that, from the MTC. All of our travels went fine, and everything went ok. Rio is not much more humid than São Paulo was, just a tiny bit more. The mission home was really nice looking all decorated for Christmas already. We ate there and stuff but did not stay there. The mission President and his wife are nice but they don't speak any English!! It's really hard to communicate right now. I'm doing my best though to learn.
Alright so after we ate and had interviews with the President we left for the church building to get our companions and watch this video or whatever on training missionaries. My first companions name is Elder Ferreira. He has only been on his mission for 7 months and I am only his third companion! It was a little scary to learn that fact but he seems to know what he is doing. He speaks English pretty good, but when he is tired or something he has a hard time understanding so I need to learn Portuguese fast. Our first day was mostly travel. It took three hours to get to our area. The name of my first area is Galeão. The main part of Galeão where we proselyte is a favela called Vila Juniza, and it looks very much like the favelas look in Fast Five Lol. The houses are crazy and the streets are all broken and trash and dog feces are everywhere. But there are quite a few members here and almost all of our investigators are in there.
So.... my apartment... if you can call it that. We do not live in our area, unfortunately. This means we have to take a bus every day to and from our area. This costs about 35 reais a week, and we only get 260 for the month. Over half our money is spent on travel to our area. We also have to pay for our utilities and house payments. We get reimbursed but it takes like 10 days so we have to have enough money saved to pay the utilities first, so not much money is left for food and things. I basically buy a few snacks and some cereal for the morning. The main meal in Brasil is lunch, not dinner, so the members feed the missionaries lunch. We have a lunch appointment everyday so don't think I'm starving or anything. My apartment is really small. We live next to the bishop of the Ilhã ward, which is the ward that meets in the same building as us. We also live with our district leader and his companion, so four of us in a tiny place. A lot like The Best Two Years. We have a small fridge and very small stove and sink. Our washing machine is very small and hooked up to the sink to get water from. It's very humble place to live in. We do not have a dryer so we need to hang our stuff up to dry. The bathroom is small. The shower is basically a spigot from the wall. There is not curtain and no walls, other than the corner it is in so water is always everywhere on the floor. We never go anywhere barefoot.
The second night I think, my feet were almost completely eaten by mosquitoes. They itch all the time now. It was partly my fault because i had my feet uncovered, but that’s because it's so darn hot. I spray with bug spray now every night before I sleep.
OK, a have little time left so I will tell you the things I think you need to know. No, you cannot send letters to me at my address. I don't know why but that is what my companion said. You must send them to the mission office, not the mission home. This is where packages are sent as well. Unfortunately this also means I won't get letters very often. I only get real letters every six weeks, at transfers. It's lame and sucks, i know. I also have not heard anything about using the pouch mail system. None of the elders in my district are American and only my companion speaks any kind of English. Also, for me to send a package to you is very expensive.... like 50 reais or so. I'm not sure how many times I can send my camera memory cards.
We have a meeting with Elder Bednar this week. It's pretty exciting. I can't wait to hear from him.
Well, I'm out of time. I love you all and will write again next week. Send all your questions again!