I probably am catching you off guard right now, because last week I wrote at about 5 pm and today I´m writing super early in the morning. Sorry to keep you on your toes, but that´s kind of the way that it goes here, you do things when you have the time.
So currently I am not in Franca, I´m in Ribeirão Preto. We are going to be having a Christmas concert here tomorrow, and my companion, Elder Rock, is participating in a Christmas choir, so we´ve just been chilling here since yesterday evening. I´m gonna pass my P-day here, not really sure what I´m going to do, but it should be fun.
Something that´s pretty funny here is that in a lot of cases there aren´t Portuguese words for American things, so they just use American words. For example, we might be going to the mall today, and the word for mall here is "shopping". So literally we are going to "the shopping" today to shop, obviously.
The language is coming along pretty well, too. I can speak decently well, the hardest thing has been understanding people. Good heavens, I swear everyone speaks differently here. There are some people that I can understand with no problem at all, and others where it´s like someone´s southern accent from Florida followed me here and lighted upon some random Brazilian. It can be super hard. For example, we have this one lady who we are working with, Irmã Renata, who is super hard to understand. Missionaries have been working with her for a long time, and she seems to finally be coming around, but it´s going to take some time for me to understand her. She really nice though, she makes us eat just about every time that we go over there, and the food here is pretty darn good.
I remember that I thought it was a joke when people told me that I was going to eat rice and beans every day, but they weren´t kidding. I don´t think a single day has passed without me eating rice and beans. But the food is always good, and the fruits are delectable. You can literally just be walking down the street and pick some fruit off a tree. They have a fruit here called acerola, which is about the same size and taste as a cherry, but is shaped like a bell pepper. All sorts of stuff that you´ve never even heard of that are super good, too.
But they also have a type of food here called lanche. A lanche is basically like a burger, but way better. They only put like a small beef patty on it, but then they just load it up with all sorts of meats. It´s probably the worst thing in the world for you, but food is super inexpensive here, so who could resist! I attached a picture of us at the house of a recent convert family. We ate the strangest lasgna ever there. It had a creamy chicken sauce, almost like a soup, and then was layered with mozzarella cheese and ham. Dang good.
I´m sorry that my main focus has been on food today. When people talk about food that´s like the only time that I can understand, so that´s what I felt like talking about today. Food and the gospel, two things that I can understand in Portuguese.
The culture here is very relaxed and friendly, which is awesome. I think working in the office for a while in Florida kind of stiffened me up, but now I have a good companion and the people are awesome, so we´re gonna have some fun.
Well, I love you all and hope you have an awesome day!