Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Serving in Aracaju Brazil

Tanner with his companion Elder Godoy.

This week I was able to finish the book "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage and that ruled.  My understanding of the life of Christ has improved and it helped me a lot with the doctrine He taught.

My companion is Elder Godoy.  He is from Parana, which is one of the southern states in Brazil.  He has been on his mission for about eight months.  He doesn't speak any English except for phrases such as, "They will be baptized!" and "Headshots!", but it's all good.  I am learning Portuguese at a really fast rate.

Mom, you asked what a normal day is for me (they use military time down here):
6:30   wake up
7:30-12:00   shower, study (I love studying, it is so sick!  I learn so much and I always finish wanting to know more.)  Go buy pão doce (sweet bread) at the local market and get ready for the day.
12:00-14:00   Have lunch at a member's home.
14:00-21:00   Work.  We tract and teach lessons all day.
21:00-21:30   Plan
21:30-22:30   Take another shower and realize how exhausted I am.  Flip a table out of the severe lack of English.  Pitifully sob.  Pass out.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

So this week we were able to go into downtown Aracaju for Conference and that ruled.  Downtown Aracaju is within walking distance from our house, but we decided to take the bus.  Buses here are FUN.  You get about 75 people in a cramped bus and the buses go flying down the road and they take turns hard so it's like riding the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, except with the actual probability of physical harm.  Our stake center is in downtown Aracaju and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend some of the sessions in the "Gringo" room with the rest of the American missionaries in our zone.  It was soooooooooooo awesome!  There was air conditioning, comfy chairs, ENGLISH, and we were able to talk and tell jokes.  It is hard to be funny here.  My kind of humor does not really translate into Portuguese too well and Brazilian humor is different than American humor.  My only opportunity to really tell jokes and stuff is in letters and emails.  Anyways, Jeffrey R. Holland's talk was amazing, as usual.  All the missionaries didn't like Elder Falabellas talk about marriage (he gave a talk in the MTC when I was there) and I learned there are two types of relationship status' you can have on a mission - Single or Trunky.
Downtown Aracaju on our way to Conference.

I have also made friends with the Brazilian kids who play futebol outside our house at night.  A few of them speak English and they like to practice on me because there aren't really any Americans up here in the nordeste.  Two of them actually came with us to conference so we are hoping for some progress there.  They are so cool and I love talking with them.  They tell me we live in the Bronx of Aracaju and they like to talk to me about cars, snow, and death metal.

The people here like to call me "Johnsons Baby".  Apparently it has something to do with a Johnsons & Johnsons baby shampoo commercial and so that has kind of become my nickname.

Dad, an answer to your question - I am not sure if I can buy meat from the slaughter house across the street from our house.  Whenever people leave, they are usually holding a screaming goat by the legs and throw it into the trunk of their car.  Weird.

Lanches.  That is what they call hamburgers down here and they are an abomination to all things American.  They like to put corn and chunks of hotdog in them.  I mean, they are actually really good, but they are still an abomination.  So, a typical Brazilian lunch here consists of rice, some kind of meat, and either beans or lasagna (go figure).  But, the lasagna down here is easily my favorite thing to eat.  It is different, though.  They don't use any red sauce or cheese in the center.  Instead they have lasagna noodles, hamburger, and they smother that bad boy in a ridiculous amount of cheese and let me tell you it's divine.  They also have pizza down here, but like the hamburgers, they like to put corn and peas on them.  They are still good, but it's different.

That is about it for this week, I will try and send some pictures!


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