Jordan in Rio

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hhhheeeeeeyyyyyyyy Family Letter from RIO

I hope you guys are having a fun time! I found out that I can only do email letters with immediate family-so I need addresses...I have some cool pictures to show you all in next email and you can relay them to whoever-Robin and Savannah will want to see them for sure.

My trainer told me I have experienced about everything out here already. The buses (more dangerous then Mexico), cabs, kombi vans (the mystery machine from Scoobie doo), 100 mosquito bites, been shocked by the shower, walked 45 minutes to an appointment in hot weather just to turn around becuase they weren't home. I got to talk in church, where a lady was breastfeeding in the front row, not covered up, I walked in on a missionary in the shower, I slept in the baja with a bunch of trunky (ready to go home) Brazilians, saw turtles mating, got tackled by a Tongan, got hit in middle of street by drunk guy, got hit on while teaching a lesson, and I know there is more, it just isn't coming to my mind but I will think of it later....Getting green pranks (new missionary stuff)now and then, and witnessing an emergency transfer. All of this in less than 7 days, I wonder if next week will seem boring to me? It is all cool and looking back on these experiences makes me laugh now.

My trainer is Tongan, he is a very cool guy named Elder Tautaua and he is almost at his year mark here and has already baptized 90 people. Our area is Jacarepagua which means alligator and something else. It is kind of a middle class area, our ward is very cool and we get teaching referrals every time we sit down to talk to somebody, way cool. We have taught two very interesting lessons. One was to a lady who told us about a dream she had 20 years ago where her ancestors came to her and told her she needed to do something for them- The next was to a true lamanite descendant who told us a story that had been passed down in his family about an ancestor who saw a star come from the sky that was like Jesus, who did all these great things for the people. He was almost reciting 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. We gave him the book, and he was really excited about it but was going to Brasilia and not coming back to Rio for a long time.

My area is so cool, it is like taking an Urban nature walk if that makes any sense. I also found a good definition for favela...a Brazilian trailer park! In many ways it is similar to that, the people have nice TV's and sound systems and things, but they don't live in a nice area, but they are fine with that. All Brazillian people are on Hawaiian time, it must be a lamanite thing. You can make all the appointments you want but it is the same thing as if you show up unexpected, there is a 50 50 chance someone will be there. I can understand some people better than others; I can't understand old people or quiet little kids. Sometimes I understand everything and other times I can't put one sentance together, but I am learning and learning. I was a little shy when I first got here but found out that I was offending the Brazilians so I had to lighten up and things are much better now.

Brazilians are nothing like Americans, you can talk and talk and talk, it is just part of their culture. Even if they hate Mormons they will have a half hour discussion about how much they hate you, it is pretty different. I am already excited for winter (It is fall there now) and can't wait for a day of lots of rain, I will most likely run around like a little kid, and it won't make much difference anyway because I don't think I have been ever been dry since I got here.

One of my favorite things is teaching lessons or watching my companion teach. I love it when he teaches, he gives me a little part to talk about but he is so amazing as a teacher, I have no idea how he does it but in time I will probably learn, when I understand more and can speak better Portuguese. I am excited to be here and I am going to learn so much. I love you all and I will send pictures next time. It is nice to not be in the MTC or CTM anymore. It is time to share what I have learned.. Love, Jordan

Monday, April 11, 2011

Letter from 4-6-2011

Hi Family, This has been a cool week for me, there are many interesting things about Brazil. I just got back from the temple in Sau Paulo and it is a really beautiful place. All the wood there is Brazilian Mahogany, which is illegal now, but it looks soooo beautiful and the stained glass works on it are way cool as well. This is an interesting place. There are sky scrapers everywhere here, and it seems that if you are not in a sky scraper or a huge apartment building, you are in a middle class home (called a nice favela). They even have their own L.A. River here, but I think it is bit less santitary then the L.A. river. Friday I got to go to the center of the city. The place where I was at is the Brazilian equivalent to New York Times Square. The people were so friendly, completely different then the US. People would walk up to you, it was very cool. I think one of the things I love about this place is that everybody speaks Portugeuse. In the US the Chinese speak their languages, and latins speak theirs and so on, but here everybody is from everywhere and they still speak Portuguese, no matter what other languages they might also speak.

One of the Brazilians in our room is from Salvador Brazil, and he looks just like Obama. I will have to show you a photo when I can send pictures in a week or so. So now we know where Obama is really from, beacause he still has not showed his birth certificate, I believe; he is not a Muslim or Asian or whatever else.. he is definanately a Brazillian like my roommate. There are many cool things about this place, the food is much better here and I talk with the Brazilians as many times a day as I can. When they talk about something I don't know about, they explain it to me until I understand. My companion left yesterday for his mission, so I am once again back to 3, for the 3rd time in the MTC. I have now had 6 companions in the 8 weeks. Today is the start of my 9th week so that means I leave next Tuesday, April 12th, for Rio. There are a big group of Brazilians leaving to Rio with me. Elder Jones got his visa and there are 3 others waiting in Provo to go to Rio..I hope it works out for them.

I will write you a nice big letter when I get to Rio and have more time. I hope that my mission address was posted on Facebook so people can write to me. I hope grandma got my postmarked package. I will see you later, I love you all and will write again...have a wonderful day!..I still can't find the enter button on the keyboard.

Jordan's Letter 4-1-11 Brazil

Hey Family,
How are you doing? I am here in Brazil and I got to email you today because I missed my P-day. I will get one more email from here and then I will be in Rio. The computer keyboard is weird, the letters are the same but it is different. I can't find the return button, so it will be one long paragraph. (except I will edit that-Mom note).

It is my second day here and I get to learn so much about the language here. There are 6 of us in the room and 2 are "Brazileros" so I talk to them as much as possible. There are many different accents here, some I understand completely, some I have to pay close attention to, and others I only get about 1/3 of what they are saying. I am one of the best American Portugeuse speakers...but I sill have lots I need to work on. Today I get to go to the city and practice being a missionary, giving out information and sharing messages, I am so excited. I hope it goes well. Today is the hottest day we have had since I have been here, I hope I doen't turn red as a tomoto while I am out there. Brazil is very cool, it is like Mexico in many ways...they even have Montazuma's revenge, go figure! It even smells like Mexico here and it is so humid, I love it! When I get out of the shower here my skin doesn't turn into flakes like it did back in dry Provo. It is nice to be in this wonderful weather. I don't know how it will be in Rio because I will be in the sun for hours every day, but for now I love it. The MTC here is not in a beautiful part of the city;it is almost like we have a 5 star hotel in the middle of shanty town. I love it, I am looking forward to serving the people and will do whatever I can.

There is a different attitude here towards learning compared to Provo. In Provo you were almost forced to learn, here you can see which missionaries are lazy and which are more studious. It is more unorganized. Much of what I am learning here is a review of what I learned before but I keep practicing my Portuguese and ask whatever I can think about in the language, so that I can get something out of my classes. I am always finding ways to learn. I am now at the point where I can read my Preach my Gospel with only looking up a word here or there, that is really nice. I am greatful for the gift of tongues that I have been given. I was talking to one of my Brazillian roomies yesterday and he asked me how long I had spoken Portugese; he was amazed when I told him 8 weeks. I told him when you only have 9 weeks total to learn something and the Lord is helping you, many things are possible. We had a nice laugh, but this experience is so good for me because I am always having to step outside of my comfort zone.

I hope you have a wonderful day, I tried telling you everything and my thoughts are scattered, but I hope you will understand. Now it is time for me to go-I love you and I am doing my best to serve the Lord. tchau is good bye- I hope it was spelled right...Jordan