Tuesday, May 28, 2013

20 May 2013 My first Brazilian  Adventure

Hello Family and Friends,
This first week of the transfer went very well. Our teaching group is increasing which is great. We are meeting a lot of new interesting people. I think it is due to some changes my companion and I have made within the companionship. I'm a lot happier than I was the past month which is important. Of course we could be doing a lot more, nevertheless things are going well. I hope that I can get another baptism or two before I leave Butiá this next transfer.
So I got my first lick of a Rio Grande do Sul winter this week, and it was COLD!!! It has heated back up a little these past few days, but I now know what to expect this coming month. It is a type of cold that you cannot escape, a humid cold. It seems to penetrate everything no matter how much clothing you put on. However, the cold met its match against my $200 sleeping bag that we bought before the mission. The sleeping bag is a total beast! Sometimes during the night I even open the sleeping bag in order to get a cool breeze, its that warm! Whoever invented that sleeping bag deserves a medal of honor, seriously.
We had a really cool experience this week. Sister L the owner of the house we live in, invited us to the school she teaches at to have a little culture day. The school is located in Minas de Leão another small city next to Butiá. Minas is located within our area Butiá, but missionaries never go there because it is about a 2 hour walk and we don't have bikes or cars. So we went to the school Friday morning and participated in 5 different classes ages 14 to 21. It was so cool! All the students were really interested in what we had to say, none of them had never seen missionaries before. I talked a lot about Texas and all the differences between where I lived and Brazil. The students were stunned/amazed. It blew their minds that we go to school from about 8:00am to 4:00pm
more or less. L explained that is why Brazil is in the situation it is in, the kids go to school from 7:00 am to lunch time and that is it! Also, only 50 minutes of English a week which Lizete teaches. It is such a blessing to have the kind of education that we have in the US.
Elder Leal talked a lot about Chile which was also interesting. In Chile the go to school from 8:00am to 6:00pm no exceptions! It is pretty rigid in Chile and that is why the country flourishes among other countries in South America. They don't really have a poor class and government corruption is among the least in the whole world, according to Elder Leal.
We mentioned what we do on our missions and the principles we teach people in order to be happier and more successful in this life and the life to come. Everyone was pretty impressed. Even some other teachers stopped their classes so that we could talk to them as well. Overall, it was super fun and cool to have so many people interested in what we had to say. In total we talked to over a hundred students.
I felt like a real rock star leaving the school. Everyone was waving at us and shouting words in English in order to get my attention. When we got on the bus to go back to Butiá I waved to a big group of girls leaving the school and they all started screaming ha ha! I felt like I was in a Beatles movie. L told us that the teachers could not teach the rest of the day because the students could not stop talking about us. L is going to get their addresses this week and we will plan to travel back to Minas to start teaching there.
Other than this there is not much to report. P one of my investigators turned member was called to be part of the leadership in the Relief Society. That was cool, so she now has a friend, calling, and is being nutured by the good word. I'm sure she will remain firm in the church.
We are traveling a lot now because Elder Leal is District leader and thus we have to travel to others areas of our district. The closest area is 40 minutes away from Butiá. So we now have less time in our own area and are spending a lot of money buying bus tickets. I will have to use my personal debit card these next few weeks, because all my allowance will be used on buses.  Oh well.
Happy Birthday Oupa!!! 74 and still good looking, what a blessing! Sincerely, you are one of the people I look up to most in this life. When I think about you I see success and love for your family. I want to be half the man you are one day.
My Birthday package has not arrived yet and even if it arrives soon I won't be able to pick it up until the next zone meeting which will be in about 2 or 3 weeks. Being 20 is going to be weird, no longer a teenager. I'm not really looking forward to it, the 26th is going to be pretty sad ha ha. Birthday on the mission is not the same as at home! Maybe someone will give me a big plate of rice and beans with a candle in the center!

Much Love,

Elder Miller

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