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,