Well this week was by far my favorite week in São Paulo thus far. And yes, I am aware I have only been here three weeks, but I loved it. The weather is definitely warming up here, haha I am beginning to roast and wonder why missionaries cant wear a really nice pair of shorts or something, but that´s ok, I can do hard things. This last week during District Meeting we were doing practices for teaching lessons and I realized that I can actually say a lot of the things that come to my mind. haha that was an exciting thought, I really am enjoying portuguese more and more, and i have a renewed motivation to learn it and to speak like the Paulistas (people from the São Paulo) so that they can focus on what I am saying, not how I am saying it. This week i also was trying to have a renewed effort to stay positive in all that I do, which most of the time is not very hard for me, but when I cant understand what everyone around me is saying, haha at times it is easy to get down. But I am staying positive and smiling to just about everyone! Some details about where I am serving! São Paulo is absolutely huge. So huge. And very modern, but mainly in the central parts of the city. I am on the northern edge and the houses here are very different, everyone has a gate of some kind and we have to clap to get their attention, so they can come out of their house and come to the gate and unlock it. The streets are absolutely crazy, but I am used to that now! Haha we were on the bus last week and I saw a bunch of cars driving really fast on the wrong side of the road which made me a little worried but apparently that is pretty normal! It is also very humbling seeing the conditions that a lot of people live in. There is trash seriously everywhere, and a lot of the houses are really really small or in pretty destitute conditions. Our area has some favellas (slums) but also has some pretty wealthy areas, but these areas are pretty much just like suburbs in the US, but down here they are really nice.
I found out from President Mecham that my mission in Montana is now being a pilot mission to use ipads in proselyting efforts... haha but that´s ok, I am loving Brazil more and more, although that does sound fun!
Like I said, getting hotter here, right now I am absolutely roasting in a Lan-house (little internet cafes they have here, haha this one doesnt really have fans or anything hence me dying.) It is pretty cloudy here a lot and the air is extremely polluted, as are all the rivers. Seriously, I am positive if you go in the rivers here in the city you will come out with two heads or dead. I am pretty sure that they would make Dad cry.
We have a ton of different accents here as well, people come from all over Brazil! Also, it is interesting because a lot of times we will say hi to people and they will completely ignore us, just stare past us and keep on walking. Apparently a lot of the churches here teach that they aren't allowed to even talk to people from other religions which I thought was very interesting. But I usually think it is pretty funny because we are saying hi pretty loudly and they are very determined to not acknowledge us! Ah well! Most other people are very friendly and will accept any type of message about religion.
This last weekend we had three baptisms! I was so excited, Emanoel and Mariana, an old couple I told you about, and Matteus, a twelve year old boy of some less active members of our ward here. It was a great experience for everyone, the ward was super supportive and a lot of people came and Elder Mussin baptized Mariana and Matteus, and I baptized Emanoel which was a really cool experience for me. As we were leaving the font I felt the Spirit so strongly and loved it as he told me how good he felt. It was a sweet experience, but then after the baptism on Saturday we were trying to find more people to teach since three of ours had just gotten baptized, we hadn't had much luck that week, but we were working hard and ran into a family who had tried to contact before but we never could run into them, well we taught them a lesson that turned out great and we really felt the Spirit, and then they came to church on Sunday!! It was so great to see, and they loved it. It is pretty hard to get people to come to church here and so we were so grateful that they came and they said it was a blessing that they had come.
Last week we had to go to the Policia Federal to register as an official resident of Brazil, so we had to leave at like 5:30 AM since we were taking the bus and we traveled there and met up with a bunch of other american missionaries here in our mission who had to register or renew their time here. Well as I was being processed, I found out my visa says I am only here for 90 days... which is not correct obviously. So the lady said a bunch of fast Portuguese and talked to the missionary in charge of us there, and he joked with me saying I was going yo have to go back to the US. Thank goodness he was joking, but he said he would try to fix it and we would have to return in a couple weeks to register with the police. So that was interesting, haha I am still not official here in Brazil, and I hope that they can fix it and everything will go smoothly. I am sure everything will be fine and it will work out exactly as it is supposed to. But it was interesting all the same!
Fun story, last week we were on the street trying to contact people and right as a woman was opening her gate, I saw a cockroach crawl onto Elder Mussin´s shoe and dissappear, well I started to freak out, stopped when the woman opened the door, but I didnt know how to say anything in Portuguese about it to Elder Mussin so as soon as she closed her gate I motioned for him to stomp his leg and when the thing fell off and ran away we both freaked out and got the chills. haha it was pretty funny but it was the first time I saw one down here and we both didn't like it very much. Also there is this one bar in one of the favellas down here that has a live band every night and whenever we walk by it in between apartments there is always this older woman who just stands there in the street and jams by herself to the music, it is hilarious because she dances very interestingly. But overall I felt very much so lifted up this week as I felt many times guided and led to people who had been prepared to hear our message. These people had met with the missionaries before but we had no record of them and all of a sudden we find them on the street, and their lives are in a place that they are ready to hear the gospel, it is very humbling to see us being led to these people. I love it here! Mom - that´s ok that you cant send ibuprofen, I don't really know, candy or little things like that from the US are nice, haha I don't really need much else, but any kind of snack or candy like sour patch kids or snickers or I don't really know what else oh, actually gold fish if you can, I love those things so much and miss them! Congrats Bradley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was praying so hard for you this whole last week that things would go well for you and I will continue to do so! Love you all, until next week!