Hello everyone! I am in Brazil now, it is very exciting and was a very long journey.
I should have sent everyone my mission address before I left with all the information on it. If not it should be on my blog. But I will give you my address for my house. I will be here for three months so only use this address through February:
Rua Sigueira Compos, 57A
Prado / Gravatá - PE
So first my email and spelling might be even worse now, because of this computer. We are in this store place which is more like a small garage that does not have a door so the keyboard is full of dirt. And the key board is a bit different to.
But I am not in Brazil! First I will tell you how a got here. My last couple of days in the MTC were good. It was hard to leave everyone though, because in the last month I had become really good friends with everyone in my zone and my teachers and my branch president, our last Elder, and my companion Sister Harris (which we are in the same mission and now in the same zone so it is good).
I left the MTC at 8am on Wednesday November 1st and did not arrive to the mission presidents house until about 7pm on Thursday or something. We had a total of three flights, on the red eye flight I didn’t get any sleep so it was an interesting first day in Brazil. We were the only Americans on our flight. So once we landed it was hard. Our district, us three, stuck together the whole time, and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. We just followed everyone else getting off the plane. We had to go through customs. We then had to get our bags to put on our last flight. Luckily there was a lady from the church travel to help us get our other tickets and recheck our bags. It was hard for me and Sister Harris to say good bye to our elder, because he was going to a different mission.
I didn’t really know what a lot of people were saying, and then this one lady came up to me and Sister Harris crying - basically asking for money, because we were Americans. It was weird. The lady said good bye to us as we went through security. And that is when we got really confused we were glad we had each other. They changed our gate on us like 3 times and what they were telling us was different than what the board said. It was sooooo confusing. The place we were waiting seemed like a bus station, there were three or four gates and it was a pretty small place and there were about 100 people or more and we were crammed in there body to body. Finally we heard Recife and we ran to the ticket person, we then got on a bus to go to our plane. People here have no personal bubble and again on the bus we were stacked on top of each other. We finally got on the plane and fell asleep. I woke up about and hour later and realized we were still in Sao Paulo. The plane took off an hour and a half late so I got some sleep.
Seeing Brazil from the sky was beautiful. It was all green and blue and then very red, the dirt is red and all the house tops are red too. We finally laded in Recifeand then our bags took forever, there was only one guy loading the bags on for two flights. We were afraid that they lost our bags, they were the very last ones. Our mission president was then there to pick us up! Luckily he spoke English too! He actually can speak like 5 different languages.
We then arrived to his house late and our two future companions were there waiting for us. His wife Sistre Lanius had made a nice meal for us. It was very good. We were so tired though. President Lanius kept saying that we were going to sleep at the temple and we had no idea what we was talking about. The temple was right by his house. We then drove over to the temple and there was a small hotel that we were sleeping at. Our companions kept trying to talk to us, but we really didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying (I still don’t). But President Lanius let us sleep in an extra hour.
The next day, my first day in Brazil was a bit crazy. We woke up and went to the temple though it was good, but the whole thing was in Portuguese. So they gave us headsets, it was funny. Then they had some American temple workers take us through so we could speak English. We then got to eat at the temple, I didn’t know what a lot of the food was. But I ate it any ways.
We then needed to go to the mission home but the taxi to pick us up with all of our stuff took over an hour and a half. So we were able to talk to our companions. My Companion is Sister Leite, from Sao Paulo, she doesn’t know any English. She is very nice and very patient with me, and she is a great companion. We finally got to the mission home and then some elders took us away (I guess they were the secretaries I didn’t really know). They both spoke English though so that was nice.
We needed to get a Brazilian ID, and a picture for it first. The place closed in like 2 hours, so we got in another taxi and went to 3 different stores trying to get a picture taken and the taxi left us at the last. But that store didn’t take any either. So we basically ran to the mall. I don’t know how far away it was. I walked through the poorest place I have ever seen. I guess in Recife you have your rich people and then your poor people who live right next to each other. Their one room houses were made out of plywood, and there was trash in the dirt street/walk way. It was a bit scary, but we had the elders with us. We finally got to the mall took our pictures, which because we ran in the really hot weather we were really sweaty, not cute. Then we hopped in another taxi to go back to the airport to get our ID right before they closed.
We then went back to the mission office and filed our paper work and got in another taxi with our companions for an hour and then on a bus for an hour to my my new area - Gravatá. I had to then say good bye to Sister Harris the only English speaker. We live with two other sisters, who are both Brazilian.
Really quick because I don’t think I have much time left. I am living in Gravata and everyone says its really nice because its not as hot as Recife and the people are nice. We have visited lots of people here and I don’t know how to say much. My dictionary is my best friend, so I just bear my testimony. The people here are really nice and welcoming. I will tell you more about it next week because I am out of time. Sorry...I guess I only get 45 mins. And with this bad key board full of dirt, I can’t type fast at all.
I love you all, and want to tell you so much more. I am doing well, and even though I can’t really speak I have been trying my hardest and am just very humbled but not frustrated or anything so its still good. :)
Sister Rebecca Nelson