From Elder Chandler Hyer
Soooo. There is so much to talk about here In Padre Bernardo, I hope I remember everything.
First of all My companion´s name is Elder Lafiete he is an awesome missionary, been out about a year and is learning English which is really helpful for trying to talk to him. We also live with a second companionship Elder Nascimento (a really tall Brazilian who is just awesome) and Elder Deleray who is from Florida and has been here in Brazil two weeks longer than I have, and has been on his mission one transfer less than me. He served one transfer in the Farmington, New Mexico mission. He´s way cool and a huge nerd so we talk about Star Wars and, well, nerdy things all the time. I´m trying not to take advantage of the fact that I can speak English with him and speak Portuguese as often as possible.
Padre Bernardo is a small town with wild dogs all over the place, amazing people, and a really really hot sun. We walk everywhere which is fun, but sweaty is probably the best way to describe it.
Everyday we wake up at 5:40 get dressed and walk to the gym and work out until a little after 7:00. and my companions all work out hard. I've never been this sore my entire life, but it´s good. Afterwards we eat breakfast and shower (the showers have these weird electric shower heads to heat up the water but it works pretty well and I love having hot showers.) Then we basically have our studies (1 hour of personal study, 1 hour of companionship study, 1 hour of training in Portuguese, and 1 hour of studying the language.) After that it´s lunch at Silo´s house everyday with his wife and kids (Eva, Isaac, and Rebecca.) They are the best family ever, Silo is amazing and they are all so nice, the kids are just great.
The food is amazing here, that is the last thing you need to worry about. The only food we ever buy are eggs for breakfast which are dirt cheap. Other than that we are fed large lunches every day at Silo´s house, and we are fed constantly by every random investigator/recent convert that we come in contact with.
After lunch we head out and walk all over Padre Bernardo teaching everybody. Lessons are kind of hard because I can hardly understand anybody, and some people I literally can´t understand a single word. But we have had some really cool experiences. We were sitting on the curb for a minute one day making a phone call when this Brazilian asked us what church we were with. We told him and he just started asking question after question and gave us juice (everybody has fresh juice) and Ice-cream. Something about Brazilians is it doesn't matter who you are they just feed you and give you everything. But we are going back to teach him this week.
Knocking is incredibly different than in Washington. Here every single house has a wall with a gate surrounding the house and you simply stand outside the gate and clap, and so far I haven't gone two houses clapping without being let in, fed, and teach a lesson. It´s amazing!.
Every Saturday we also host an English class for anybody that wants to come, and the Americans teach it. Elder Deleray teaches the kids and I teach the adults. It´s way fun.
Then after teaching English we spend the entire Saturday inviting our investigators and recent members to attend church the next day. We invited roughly 15-20 people to attend church and we had 4 show up which is very normal. Between both companionships on Sunday we had 10 investigators attend and a total attendance of 28 people which is pretty decent.
Church is really small but awesome, we only do 2 hours, sacrament meeting and gospel principles and we do it at the local elementary school outside under a pavilion. We bless the sacrament and Isaac (Silo´s son) passes it, and then usually some of us missionaries will give talks every week and sometimes a member, then we split up the adult and kids for the second hour and once again we teach the adults, or really my companion teaches.
We email from a local internet place with way slow internet and the keyboard I´m using is awful, I keep on misspelling words but I've stopped caring.
This has been one of the hardest things I've ever done physically (Because of the workouts and walking) and mentally (because I´m just mentally exhausted trying to understand Portuguese). By the end of the day I collapse on my bed and fall asleep every night around 10-10:30. But spiritually this has been amazing.
We had a great experience with an investigator who came to church yesterday. She wasn't feeling very good that morning and kind of didn't want to go, in fact she almost didn't but we decided to go wake them up that morning before church. She decided to come with one of her daughters and she loved church. Afterwards we went to her house and talked with her and she said while she was at church her cough was gone and it was just really neat. She will definitely be baptized.
Today was insane and we ended up doing service all day and had no p-day. This resulted in me not being able to get my cords for sending pictures or downloading recordings. So one of 2 things could happen. 1- I download the recordings and send the recordings at Silo's house tomorrow. Or 2- I wait one more week and send everything then. Sorry about the frustration but it´s really not a big deal. I love you guys a ton and just know that things are great.
I have to go but I love you all, until next week, bye.