Yesterday I had my first Baptism!!! It's the same lady I wrote about last week who didn't get baptized. We worked with her a lot this week and she got baptized yesterday! Here in our area we baptize on Sundays because it is the day that members are already here for church, so people can watch the baptism. Everyone has to pay for transportation to go to church every Sunday because the building is not in the Galeão area, so expecting them to come Saturday for baptism and Sunday for church is pretty much out of the question, cuz everyone is so poor.
Count your blessings that it is getting cooler up there, cuz down here it's only getting hotter. Lately it's been raining so the real heat has been held off, but all the Brazilians I talk to say that it's not really summer until December, and then the heat lasts till February. Already I sweat all day every day, mostly because my area has a ton of hills and we walk all the time. I carry a little towel with me to wipe my face with, but it's bad.
Don't worry, I always wear flip flops. I have two pairs with me just in case and I never go barefoot. Living conditions are... different than America lol. No one here has screens on the windows, even the rich people. I have no idea why. But it means mosquitoes and flies can have free reign of the house if they want. They are only really a problem if we don't clean the house (which no one does cuz I live with three Brazilians) but all is good. It was hard adjusting to living here but now that I have the hang of it I think I can make it ;). I hope Thanksgiving was good! Everyone is gearing up for Christmas though. It is weird seeing Christmas lights on houses, and it being like 90 degrees outside.
Everyone in the wards here ask me for pictures of my family. It's funny, they all say I have hair of Gold and it's so pretty. I tell them they should see the rest of my family ;)
If you send packages to the mission home it will get to me eventually. That's all I really know. Eventually is used for a reason. It sometimes takes 6 weeks to get to the mission home, and 6 weeks to get to me because the home will hold it until transfers or something. Don't feel like you need to speed it up to get to me. I will get it eventually. OH! And very very very important: do not use any other system to send stuff to me other than United States postal service. If you send a package by FedEx or something, customs will hold it until I pay them like 200 dollars or something.
To be honest I'm not sure what the streets are called down here... we don't use the names too often. Or at least I don't. Signs are hard to find, they aren't like the signs in America. They are obscure and like stapled or something to the sides of buildings, rather than on the streets. So we kind of explore and look where to go. The church is not on the same street as us and it is an actual building, not an apartment.
But we live in a house... sort of. It's ridiculously small. I'm taking pictures. We live behind the Bishop's house of the Ilha ward (the other ward we share a building with) so I'm not sure if you can even see where I live. It only takes about 30-45 min to get to my area. It just gets expensive after awhile, and if we have extra meetings to go to in the two weeks we get money then we often have to skimp on things. For example, in the past two weeks I have had to make three extra trips to places pretty far away, like when we had a conference with Elder Bednar. I won't get money until this Thursday, which means I won't be able to buy food to eat lol. I'll have to survive only on the lunches the members give me. But it's all good, and part of being a missionary, and I am starting to really love it.
The ward is decently sized, but there a few that are inactive. As I said in a previous letter it is hard for them to go to church every week cuz it's so far and they don't have the money. When we eat lunch usually it's the wife and kids, but it all depends on if that dad works nights or days and stuff like that. Lately the people we have eaten with, the father's have been home.
Alright well have fun, and tell everyone I love them. Pray for me to get the language, it's coming slowly but surely. I love you all and pray for you every night.