I´m sorry that it took me so long to write to you! And I´m also sorry that I didn´t call you in the airport. Things have been nuts here!
So I was sent to my first area, which is Franca, Brazil. A few facts about it: it has one of the largest shoe manufacturing industries in the world, is a lot more cooler than Ribeirão Preto (temperature wise) and barely anybody speaks English! It has definitely been an interesting experience up to this point.
My companion is Elder Rock, and he is super cool. He´s from Colorado and has been on his mission for a little over a year. He´s American, so he is very understanding of my situation, but he told me that I can already speak pretty well, I just need to learn to understand the different accents that people have here. Everyone has a differrent accent, so that can make things difficult, but all in good time.
Willy Tomaz has been helping me a lot, too. He is a member here that pretty much chills with for the majority of the day, and he speaks a little English that he learned from the missionary. I´m beginning to understand him a little bit more, more than I do other people that randomly come and talk to me.
My experience so far has been as Brazilian as possible. When I got off the plane, we went to President´s house to eat, driving throught downtown Ribeirão. Here zoning laws don´t exist, so houses borders stores which border houses which border factories and so forth. It´s kind of weird. But cool, nonetheless. When I got to my area by bus, driving through the country and seeing a ton of sugar cane, we were picked by Daniel, a member. It was legit, he was driving a fusca, which is one of those old bugs that are all over South America and everyone in the US wants. Traffic laws are basically non-existent here. Daniel was driving all over the road, and signals and signs are more of suggestions than laws. It was super fun.
The food is super good, too. So far I have had rice and beans at every meal with members, but it´s always accompanied with something else. We tend to eat less here, it´s interesting, you just don´t get hungry as much.
Last night we had a cockroach massacre. They were everywhere. We went wild on them with chemicals because one flew out of Elder Rock´s towel onto his face. We woke up this morning when it was light and swept all of them up, so I´ll send you a picture next week.
he trash system is different here. Instead of nice, clean cans, all we do is stack our trash on this little raised pad outside our house. And then dogs come and eat it. I´m not even sure if a trash man really exists.
Well, I´m sorry if this seemed rushed, but I´m only allowed an hour to write here, and we´re running a little bit lit. Know that I love all of you and am so grateful for all that you do for me. I´m super grateful for all of the prayers and blessings you send, and the great pictures, always! Love your guts!