Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hey everybody!!,
Our computer time limit is very strict, and I have 26 minutes and 20 seconds left, so I'm going to just put it all in one email.  I'm sorry I can't send back any pics right now.  I don't think the computers work with cameras... Oh well.  The flight was uber long, but enjoyable.  On the way to Atlanta, I was able to talk to a Catholic lady that sat next to me.  She noticed that I was reading my scriptures and told me how happy she was to see somebody young that believed in God.  Her father and husband had just passed away, so I was able to tell her a  bit about the Plan of Salvation.  The flight to Sao Paulo was even better.  And by even better, I mean that it was nine hours with a chair reclined so far my legs were pinned so I tried to ignore it and learn some Portuguese from the lady that sat next to me, better.  I ended up giving her my Portuguese Livro de Mormon I bought while I was in AZ.  She seemed really interested and read it for a good hour.  Well, as you can imagine, Brazil is gorgeous.  It still is a bit surreal.  I keep thinking if I hop on a bus that I could be in AZ in a couple hours.  6000 miles sure does seem weird.  The MTC president, President Degn, is super nice.  He gave us a great seminar about the atonement for one of our classes.  He talked about how even though we think it is hard, we are not the first ones to ask "If this cup can be removed from us."  It gave me a whole new perspective about the little trials we go through.  The food here is kind of weird.  It definitely isn't the Canon center back at the Y.  I learned to stop asking what it is and just sniff it.  If it doesn't smell rotten or have a bug in it, then it's usually half decent---except the pizza.  I swear they took the cheese from a camel and then left it in the sun and mixed it with mucus.  But, every Wednesday night I get to eat it!!  So, I guess I better get used to it.  There is this stuff they serve in the morning.  I call it rice spit.  And yup, it's what it sounds like.  Rice milk with the consistency of spit.  It doesn't taste bad, and I'm almost to the point where I can eat a whole bowl without feeling like throwing up.  :D  I love my companions.  They are like brothers to me.  The Americans Elder Palmer and Elder Nascimento and my actual companions, and we had two Brazillians who were roommates with us.  They just left this morning to go out into the field.  Sammy would have liked one of them...he looked like a carbon copy of David Archuleta. 
I figured I'd give you a Taylor story because you guys must be so unhappy without my beautiful face to look at.  So, every night we have snack, and it has an apple, a sandwich, and a cup for hot chocolate.  Elder Nascimento likes to try to talk to the Brazillians to get better at Portuguese, so he was trying to tell them that the hot chocolate is very good.  (E chocolate quenche e muito bom!)  He said "E cocoa quenche e muito bom!)  Little did he know that coco in Portuguese means poop hahaha.  The Brazillian he was talking to gave him this stare as his jaw dropped open.  In his thick accent, he asked bewildered, "Hhhot poop???"  I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time :D 
I miss hanging out with my friends back at institute, but I am getting my volleyball at gym time each day!  I'm grateful for all of my buddies back there pushing me to go...perhaps more than they realize.
The language is coming along pretty well.  We have taught a couple of lessons so far, and my companions and I have both of our fake investigators commited to baptism.  I was really nervous about Portuguese, but I can tell you with a surety that I know the gift of tongues is real.  My prayers are now completely in Portuguese, and I can understand the majority of what my instructors are saying.  Small steps, but I've only been here six days!!! 
So, I had the challenge to write back the tender mercies that happen on my mission.  I thought about including them, but I realize that they may be a bit personal to share.  I know the person who asked me to send them will understand.  Just thought that I'd let her know I write them every night. :D
Well, my time is just about up.  Eu sei que a igreja de Jesus Cristo e verdadeira.  Eu sei que Joseph Smith e um profeta de Deus.  Eu grato por oportunidade servir meu Salvador Jesus Cristo e ser um missionario.  Eu sei que O Livro de Mormon e umas palavras de Deus.  (Sorry for teh conjugation errors :D
I'm so glad that everything is going well at home.  I miss you guys, but I know I'm in the right place and that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do.  I'm off to enjoy the rest of my P-Day.  I'll talk to you all soon!!
Until then,
Elder Stinnett