Friday, December 9, 2011

It's hot, but I haven't melted yet

Dear Family,
I am more person than puddle, most of the time. I have yet to find a love for the heat or the humidity! We walk 10 to 12 miles a day, in this heat of the equator, but at least I don´t need moisturizer!

So my area is Junco, which includes three neighborhoods just outside of Sobral. These neighborhoods have lots of hills, up and down, up and down, and then up and down some more. I very much appreciate a flat road now days. The people here are mostly nice, and when you ask someone if we can meet with them later with thier family, the answer is almost always a yes. Keeping comittments is the problem most often, because everybody says that they will come to church, but few actually do. This week we must have had 30 people say that they would come, but 4 came. That is okay, church is really cool, and the ward is here is very nice. There are many teenagers who are the only converts in their families and the youth group here is huge. I would say that the ward has about 100 active people, with quite a few that are less active. As missionaries here, we do not work too much with less active families which bums me out, but the work here is different.
My poor trainer, I struggle sometimes when we do things that I don´t understand. The other day, she asked someone to return the Book of Mormon we gave them because they weren´t progressing as an investigator. I would have never known that that was acceptable, and I still don´t know that I like it too much. There are so many people here willing to hear our message that those who aren´t right away ready aren´t too much of a worry. This is something new to me, but I will adjust, and it just means that I need to work harder to make connections with people in the first visits to make them stick.
My trainer´s name is sister borges, she is from São Paulo. Her family was baptized when she was 13, and she will be 14 on the 17th of november. Speaking of birthdays, happy birthday Auntie Rae yesterday! I hope your day was fun and relaxing. My trainer just transitioned from being a junior companion to being a trainer, so I think that the change is harder than she thought. It can´t be easy to go around with a confused white girl all the time that you can´t talk with too well. So, keep my companion in your prayers, because I think she needs the extra boost. I worry and feel awful that I am not more help, but with the temporal distractions of heat, language, hills, and all that other new missionary adjustment, I am just a mess! We will get there. here in the mission the training program is now 2 transfers, so we have a while to figure it out.

The ward missionaries are just outta sight wondeful. There is one girl, Glacie, she is 18 and the only member of her family. She will go with us for hours when we need member present lessons. She is such a trooper and reminds me of brooke and alexis. I just love her to bits.

We live in a 3 bedroom house with another sister companionship. Sister Johnson is from tooele, and she goes home in 2 months. She is a big help when i have a question that needs to be clarified in a langauge other than portuguese. Sister Viera has been a member for 2 years, and a missionary for 1. The missionary that baptized her was my MTC teacher, small world huh? She is amazing because her desire to continue on is so strong. She gives me hope for the young people of this ward and the people we teach.

I am adjusting. I am only slightly sunburned and have only a dozen bug bites so far. We can walk around with umbrellas here to shade from the sun, which is a very good thing. Oh, the sun rises here everyday at 5 am. I still think that this is really weird.
I am a little less confused and lonely than I was last week, and I am starting to get used to the idea that I get to do this for a time. Hopefully one day, I will come home not just having endured another day, but having enjoyed it too. I just have to remember to be patient until that day.
I love you all and thank you for your prayers and emails!
Sister Smith

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