Tuesday, October 9, 2012
we get mail once a month here, so snail mail will work, its just going to be a LONG wait...and the responses will be even slower....I bring my camera with me to the wifi lab here in the Bento Gonçalves shopping center to take pictures of the emails, so the e-mails work just perfectly. you may also post on the blog (that is, if it´s alright with you..) that people may send letters in the form of a word document, email it to you, and then you will email me the attatchment..that´ll work too
also, send letters/packages/love to ONLY the Caxias address, the other one only works half the time.
So, Bento Gonçalves, the wine capital of Brazil...yeah, word of wisdom is a wonderful challenge here... IT is amazingly beautiful here, you thought the forests of virginia and the carolinas were thick?? BAHAHAHA, yeah, I did too...untill we got here.. after a 3 hour plane ride, to Porto alegre, where the mission home is, I took a bus with another greenie from my district at the CTM out here to Bento Gonçalves. The people here are uncannily friendly...even the people who reject our message when we knock doors always offer us water if its hot, or Chemarrão if its not swealtering...sometimes both. XD Chemarrão (i´m positive that i´m not spelling that right, but whatever) is a drink that was origionaly against the word of wisdom, but has been revealed that it is not....basically its green hay, crushed up, and drunk with boiling water through a filter straw...it litterally tastes like wet hay. not too appealing, but it starts to grow on you after you drink it every lesson you teach... speaking of lessons, we have investigators who have attended church over the course of the last month, so our hands are extremely full trying to get around town and teach and figure out who is really interested in the church, and who is just doing it to recieve the benefits of being a member... the vast majority of the town makes elder Grigsby look like a king...the poverty is unreal, actually just the opposite...its EXTREMELY real, but people accept it, and everybody is trying to make their situation better, which I find absolutely incredible. We are teaching a whole slew of investigators who love the gospel and are attending church every week, but are living together unmarried because they just cant afford the marriage...it costs about 160 R$ to get all the legal fees done for the marriage, (that equates to about 85 USD). The only thing we can do for them is teach them about the benefits of the laws of the fast, tithing, and chastity....we did have a set of our investigators get married on friday though! what a party :D they´re getting baptized this saturday! man, this email is becoming difficult to write because about half of the words i want to say are just in portuguese.... To answer your questions mother...
1- no, my first area is not in porto alegre, it is in a decent sized town about 3 hours north (by way of bus)
2- there are approximately 150 active members, many many more who are semi-active or nonactive
3- there are no missionaries here in porto alegre n. that have cars except the mission president (he has a minivan)
4- there are none of us who have bikes either, they would be stolen and parts are EXTREMELY expensive to replace here
5- My first companion is Elder Bryant, he´s from Spokane Washington, he´s been out in the field for 20 months. He´s apparently the legend of Porto Alegre N. So I´m super pumped to be trained by him.
I don´t know how to attatch photos....okay, I just looked at the computer...and it doesn´t have a SD slot, but it does have a USB hook-up, so i´ll find an SD to USB transverter and I´ll try and send pictures next week. Last night was the elections for the state governments, and let me tell you, more people are excited about the state elections than the presidental elections of the US... there were fireworks and horns honking all last night just as the results were announced. Also, I got bit by a dog on my first day...fun stuff, drew quite a bit of blood actually, I was quite supprised...I took a picture of my pants afterwards because you can see the saliva where the teeth chomped on my ankle...full teeth impressions...but luckily none of the teeth went though the pants or the socks so there is no chance of infection from the bite...made my companion laugh though...he has yet to be bitten by a dog... the food here is incredible, we get lunch EVERY day from a member...or an investigator, they love too cook, but only lunch, very rarely will we ever get dinner...and even more rarely will we even try to make a breakfast, usualy it consists of a handfull of rice. One of the things I love to eat for either breakfast or lanche (post dinner-snack) is a bowl full of rice, covered in milk (cold-cereal style), and then a spoonfull of sugar and a bit of cinnamon, it´s SO GOOD!!! you can eat it cold or Hot, I like it hot, I think it brings out the flavor more...if you want to make it more of a dessert, which people do here, use sweet and condensed milk instead of regualr milk. also, milk only comes in boxes here, and is good forever untill you open it.... we usually buy 3 percent because it´s the cheapest, you can get 1 per, but its almost double the price, or you can get 6 or 12 per....also more expencive, but VERY DELICIOUS...Rice rice rice....everywhere I love rice, i´m so lucky i like it, because if I didnt, I would be hosed.....there´s this drink here that everybody loves, it´s orange juice mixed with soy milk....oh my heavens, it´s almost like drinking a creamsicle....never mind, it´s like dreaming a super smooth orange julius. mmmmm.....
Also! General Conference!!!! AWESOME, watched it in Portuguese, so I only caught a little bit of what they were trying to say...but what I did catch was that women can now serve missions at age 19, and that men can serve at 18!!!! oh my heavens, so is Brittany going to try and do what i did and serve a mission after 1 year of school? I know she wanted to serve one...do tell all :D
Pdays are now on Monday, sorry for not writing last week, I didn´t get an opportunity, in the CTM, pdays are wednesday, here they´re on monday...transfers are on Tuesday... :/ oh well, i´m here now. There are so many hills here, you know that really steep hill in cali that everybody knows about...well most of the roads here put that one to shame...and people drive straight up and down them in cars and on motorcycles...motorcycles are EVERYWHERE here...its awesome. also, there are security guards here in the mall with full body-armor and m-16 rifles...makes me laugh. My roommate from the CTM was from Farropilah? I have no idea how to spell it, but that´s the area right next to mine, and when we went to district meeting last week, there was a picture of him on their wall...made me smile :D go Elder Brito! (he´s the armored car driver)
Anyways, I love it here, we had trouble sleeping last night because people were lighting off homemade fireworks around our appartment all night long...(you can tell which ones are home-made because the factory made ones make it more than twenty feet off the ground before they explode) Brandon blake would LOVE it here XD also, all of the (non-main) roads here are made out of cobbelstone, which I absolutely love, I don´t know why, but I do...it also makes it extremely dangerous and difficult to go up and down when its raining...which it does almost every night here....that´s why here is so perfect to grow grapes it´s super sunny all day, and then when the sun goes down, it rains.
So long, farewell, ciao....
Elder Tyler Eliason
P.S. the fact that we only get mail one time a month does not change the fact that I want letters.... ;D