Here's the sign outside of the old church building.
I'll send a picture of the new one soon! I love you guys!
Hey there, Minha Família! Tudo Bem? Okay, the first order of business is explaining why I didnt call you while I was in São Paulo. The pay phones there were wierd, they werent accepting my calling cards (Btw, theres no apostrophe button on this keyboard. Sorry about that!). So, I tried paying for it with my debit card, but I forgot to tell Wells Fargo that I was going to Brazil so they cancelled the transaction. I didnt have any Brazilian currency with me, and there wasnt a place in the terminal where I could go to exchange what I did have. I tried calling collect to Moms phone, the house phone, Dads phone, and Sheelas to give you the number that I was at and call you back, but all of your phones are blocked to collect calls. Im so sorry about that, I was really looking forward to talking to you all! I still get to talk to you all on Christmas though, and Im pretty excited for that! Dad, whats your skype name? Send it to me in an Email, and Ill check it right before I get on to skype. Ive told the member that is letting us use their computer for skype that 4:00pm (everyone uses a 24 hour clock hear, so 16:00) is good, so thats 11:00am for you guys I think. Let me know if that works. If any changes need to be made, let me know as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary changes. Letting me know through Email will be fine, just make sure to send it the night before so that I can see it when we first get to the members house.
Okay, about my trip. Overall it was pretty uneventful, except for one totally incredibly crazy awesome thing that happened! When I sat down in my seat for my flight from Atlanta to São Paulo, a young looking guy from Brazil sat down next to me. He was probably in his late 20s or early 30s. I talked to him in Portuguese, and got to know a little about him. I found out that I had the honor of sitting next to someone who had recently completed his Ph.D. in Number Theory! I thought ´´Okay! I dont have to worry about entertainment for this flight anymore!´´ I picked his brain for a good 3, maybe 4 hours, and he was so cool about answering all of my questions! Man, it was so much stinkin fun! His name was Marco. Our conversation was all over the place, mathematics to science to philosophy to logic and then back to mathematics! We talked for quite a while about infinites and infinitesimals, the different kinds of operations that you can do with them, and their application in probability. He told me that he was on his way back from a Mathematics conference that he had in Montreal where he met with another Mathematician who was working on the same problem that he was, but who was attacking it with number theory whereas Marco was coming at it with Probability. He briefly explained to me the problem that hes working on, and I understood absolutely none of it lol! That was so cool though! How on earth do I get so lucky? :)
Okay, about Brazil! So the first thing that I did after President Kuçeki picked me up from the airport was try some fresh coconut water and cane juice. President stopped at a stand on the side of the road and bought me one of each. The lady selling them pulled a coconut out of a big metal cooler, chopped the top off with a Machete, and handed it to me. It was so good! Then she took some sugar cane and put it through this machine that pressed it and shredded it, kind of like a juicer but for sugar cane. She collected the juice in a bottle, and gave the bottle to President Kuçeki. He poured me several cups, it was really good! There was a really faint taste of fresh cut grass, but overall the juice was delicioius. We had Brazilian Pizza from Pizza hut for dinner that night at Presidents house, and a Christmas party the next day with the whole mission! I got to see Elder S., my MTC companion, there too! It was so cool seeing him again.
We also figured out where were being assigned and who with at that meeting. I dont mean to brag or anything, but I got the best area in the mission. Ive been assigned to work in Itumbiara. Its a town with about 100,000 people in it, and one branch. A brand new church building will be dedicated there next month, and in preparation for that President Kuçeki has decided to hasten the work in Itumbiara. The entire city is one area. As most of you know, there are usually 2 missionaries per area. In order to ´´hasten the work´´ here though, President has assinged 8 missionaries to work here. We have one Sister missionary companionship, the 3 assistants to the President, my trainer and I, and another Elder named Elder M. Im so excited! Its going to be really unconventional, well be going on splits with the assistants basically everyday this transfer. The people here in Brazil are so amazing! When we talk to them on the street and ask them if they want to hear our message, most of them say something along the lines of ´´ Yeah! I love Jesus, you can share your message!´´ Its actually really rare for someone to turn us down, its pretty different from Arizona in that sense. The people here live in far more humble circumstances than we do in the US too, its helping me to realize just how much we have!
Well, I've got to go. I'll send some pictures really quick, and talk to you all on Christmas! I havent taken too many pictures so far because Ive seen enough of Brazil to know that carrying my camera around at night is a bad idea, but when I can I'll take some more to send you. I love you all so much, vai com Deus!
Here's the view outside of our house!
Its a bit different from Arizona,
that's for sure! I'm learning to love it though :)