Ryan has been "tagged" in some Facebook pictures by some of his Brazilian friends so be sure to check out his Facebook page as well as this blog.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11 November 2012 The Lombas!
Hello Friends and Family,
This week out here in the field was kind of difficult mainly because I'm trying to become accustomed to this new way of living. First off, my area is well known for the lombas, or hills, in Português. My legs are taking a massive beating. At some points my tie is just about touching the road! That's a little bit of an exageration but you know what I mean. Elder Queiroz has a bunch of knee problems because of this so we spend a lot of time at the doctors office. There is a chance I could get a new trainer at the end of this transfer, we'll see. Also, the humidity was so bad this week. Two minutes out in the sun and we were drenched in sweat. I guess this is the life of a missionary it makes me way jealous of missionaries who have cars, and bikes back in the states.
Life out here in Rio Grande do Sul is very different than life back home. No air conditioning in the apartment just a bunch of crappy fans. No dinner! This one kills me, Brazilians in this state just have a gigantic lunch and then little snacks throughout the day. I do not know how any missionary in this mission could possibly stay fat you only really have one real meal and you walk the whole day, in my case you walk vertically! And there is a bunch of other little things I wish I had but I will stop complaining because I knew what I signed up for. The American missionaries all feel the same but they say you get used to it. Oh I have noticed that there is not very much variety in food here. There is like 5 things and all includes meat, rice, and beans. If you get lucky a member will make lasgna for us. I'm sure soon this will all be second nature.
We did a lot of walking this week, taught a few lessons, and did a tiny bit of contacts. My compainion does not like to do contacts and neither do I, but I think we should man up and do a little more this week espically in our down time when we dont having anything on the go. We taught Renata again this week. She is super stoked to be baptised. She knows everything we tell her is true and she lives up to all our commitments we give to her. Pretty much the perfect investigator. Also, I think there might be two brothers of a less active member that want the lessons. We have an appoinment today so we will see how it goes.
The Português is slowly coming along. This week it was a lot easier to understand what was being said. I can pretty much get the main points of what people are talking about. Speaking is difficult because of the little rules and such. There is a lot of conjugations and other things you have to worry about while talking. I know with time it will get better. I will take dad´s advice and just talk about anything with anyone. Try and be their friend first.
I enjoy getting your emails and letters and I will be on the lookout for some packages. Now on to some questions, Elder Taylor in the photo is just one of my good buddies I made while in the MTC. And the other photo was of my district. I have a lot more pictures in the MTC but I can only send like 2 pictures at a time through email.
Some Elders here wait until they fill their camera full of photos and then put it on a zip drive and send it home in a letter or something. Tell me if thats a good idea or not. Lots of missionaries accidently delete or misplace photos so this is one way to have a back-up.
My apartment is this little 3 story building with a few rooms on each floor and we do have a stove. Yes, my companion can speak a tiny bit of English. He took a couple years worth of classes in High School, he is like me he can understand whats being said but talking is difficult.
Anyways, that's it for now. I will try and take some photos this week.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
5 November 2012 - First week in the field
Hello Family and Friends,
So I have finally arrived in Porto Alegre, my home for the next two years. The flight was fine and we all arrived as scheduled. Elder Beary, Gagnon, Tapp, and Russell all got to sit with each other on the flight. We had to wake up very early in the morning and get into this very sketchy van which took us to the airport. It was very weird because the driver took us to the airport and just dropped us off and we had to figure out where to go to find our flight. I have found out this is to be expected here in Brazil, it is not like the good ole' US of A where you are pampered wherever you go.
Our mission president, Casto, greeted us with his wife, son, and the AP's at the airport. When we arrived at the mission office we had interviews and were given the run-down on all the mission rules. A few hours in we got our trainers. I got Elder Queiroz, a missionary that has been in the field for 8 months. He is from Manaus aka the Amazon, but he is definitely a city boy.
My area is called Glória, it is in the Porto Alegre zone so I'm basically in the city. The place is more or less a middle to lower class area. There are some favelas here, or really poor areas that we have gone through a couple times. My ward is really nice , the people are really friendly. We have lunch with the members almost everyday. We eat alot during lunch because we dont really have that much to eat back at the apartment. Oh! The apartment... needless to say it is kind of a dump. When I first arrived with my companion I was kinda shocked. I think he could see that I was pretty stunned so he started cleaning while I unpacked. When I finished unpacking I helped him and now the place is habitable. It makes me really appreciate what we have back home.
On to my companion/trainer. Elder Queiroz is a very likable guy. He teaches well and he has a genuine concern for helping me learn Português. Im a little disappionted at times though because he likes spending a lot of time talking with members at lunch when we could be doing something that matters. I think this is my first trial which is to always be doing something productive. He has been in Gloria for a little more than half his mission so I think he is a little tired of the area. I asked him if we are going to work hard this week and he said we are going to do alot of contacts so maybe he was just taking it easy on me the first week.
This week we visited a few people. We even had a baptism! haha of course I wasn't here for when Ântonio was been taught but it was nice to have a baptism in my first week. Elder Queiroz has had 5 baptisms thus far on his mission, I hope I can get more than this. All the missionaries here talk about is baptize, baptize, baptize. I got to teach some of the Restoration to a 17 year old girl named Renata. I asked her if she would be baptized when she recieves an anwser to her prayers and she said YES! I was super happy and I hope we can teach her quickly and get another baptism. She has really good feelings when she reads the BOM so this is good.
To anwser moms question last week, yes lots of missionaries get robbed here in Porto Alegre. This week some zone leaders were robbed. I feel like a prime target out here with my blonde hair and nice clothes. I make sure not to carry anything I don't need. I will be fine, Elder Queiroz is really street smart.
The weather and food are both awesome out here in the field. The field is very different than the mtc. I will try and put some pictures in with this email of the mtc and my trainer.
This whole week Brazilians have been asking me about the hurricane in New York, and things about Romney. I keep on telling them I have no idea whats going on back in the States. I read your emails and it sounds like things are pretty hectic back in the States. I hope Romney wins!
I have come to realize that Português is very difficult. The people talk at lightning speed and I can't really keep up. Also, there is a ton of vocabulary I need learn/study. Hopefully in a couple months I can hold my own out here. Right now I'm just sort of staring at people while they talk and then Elder Queiroz tries to simplify it for me haha.
My mailing address is the mission office. I live close to it so I can get mail just about everyweek.
Elder Ryan Allan Miller
Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission
Av. Princesa Isabel, 342-B
90629-000 Porto Alegre - RS
Once I'm transferred to another area far from the office I will have to wait along time for mail. I will try to send a real letter off to you today.
Anyways, that is pretty much it for now. I hope we can work hard this week, get lost in the work.
Love you always,
Saturday, November 3, 2012
24 October 2012
I will start off by anwsering some questions. Yes, there are 5 Elders in my district that will be going with me to Porto Alegre this coming Tuesday. Yes, we are flying out of Sao Paulo airport early in the morning. I will try to send some photos through email to you once im in the field, as of right now I have not taken that many because we arent really allowed to because we dont want to look like a bunch of tourists. But I have taken some with some friends of mine and some Elders from my district.
This past week was very eye opening. We went and proselyted near the MTC for a few hours. It was difficult at first because we were all a little timid about talking with people, especially since our Portuguese is still very much in the works. Our companionship ended up handing out 4 books of mormon. I found myself stumbling all over my words with the people so I think it is a miracle that we handed out that many books. I realized I have a long way to go before I can be the missionary I want to be, but I'm willing to put in whatever work is necessary. Elder Russell had a cool experience talking with a guy that was very knowledgeable about Christ's ministry. At first he didnt accept the book we gave him but after talking with him for awhile he seemed interested, we think that maybe he was a church member or something haha. Our next time proselyting is on Monday and we will go into the center of Sao Paulo. I think this will be better because everyone around the MTC has like 3 BOM's already.
Thank you for all the letters you have been sending me. My whole district is really jealous because the quantity of letters I have been recieving. I got 2 more letters from Dad and 1 from Jessie. Also, I got a bunch from the Lofstrands. I wrote letters to them and Jessie, so be on the look out in a couple weeks. I will try and write letters to Mom and Dad when I'm in the field.
Love Elder Miller
P.S. I dont know exactly when I will be able to email again. It might be on my first P-Day in the field