Tuesday, December 10, 2013

(130) alrighty. BRAZIL!!

Alright. So last week I only really had time to email about the freaking crazy driving here, and it really is just the most ridiculous thing ever. But let´s see what´s the next thing that you notice about Brazil... oh, the smell. It smells funny here. Not like a bad funny, but just a different kind of funny... it´s probably all the pollution/smog...It took me awhile to get used to it... But yeah it smells weird... Ít might also just be my companions deodorant...they have weird deodorant here... I haven´t figured it out yet... hahaha
     Anyways but yeah those were the first two things that I noticed... you know, other than the Portugues... Yeah I still don´t really have any idea what people are saying... I just kind of nod my head and smile and hope they aren´t asking me a question... which they usually are. Seriously, I am just not getting it yet... It´s getting better, but I am still just so lost all the time.  And I swear half the time it sounds like they are speaking straight up chinese... And I don´t mean like the phrase or whatever, I mean they straight up sound asian sometimes and it´s just weird... but you know whatever, one day i am going to be one of them! =D
    My companion´s name is Sister Viana. I don´t remember if I talked about her last time or not. She´s Brazilian and speaks very little english and is pretty cool.
    Oh! and we have a dog! Well the people we live behind has a dog. A big ol´black lab named Bobby.  I have to manhandle him everytime we go to leave our house cuz Sister Viana is scared of him, but he´s a sweety.
    Let´s see what else....?? Oh yeah. The sidewalks here. Ohmygosh. They all slant.  they all slope down towards the road and are uneven and everybody used different cobblestone for in front of their own house and I can´t even count the number of times I've almost twisted my ankle a day. It´s so ridiculous. Seriously, I am going to be so buff by the end of this thing. I´m gonna have the greatest looking calves ever. I´m gonna come back and people are just gonna stare at the legends that are my calves. =]
     But yeah. So now for a rundown of this past week.  So this past Tuesday was pretty awesome. I got to hear from all of you guys and finally figured out how to flush the toilet properly.  That was a pretty big deal... only took me a week. haha.  Wednesday was pretty much the worst day of my life.  I don´t think I have ever been more miserable or lonely in my life. Seriously. You don´t know misery until you are sitting in a tiny bathroom in Brazil trying to sob as quietly as possible so your companion wont hear, all the while drenched and dripping with sweat, to the point where you can´t tell the diference between your tears and your sweat. Seriously. You know that saying that floats around the internet,´Í love the rain cuz no one can tell I´m crying´... yeah that was me. except the rain was my sweat... so yeah that was great. BUT it was later that night that I met Claudia. I honestly just spent the whole day praying, just praying with every step.  I didn´t really know what I needed, I just needed something (not to die, really, if we´re being honest, but that´s beside the point...) And we end up at this house and I figure out about 10 minutes into it that the lady is a member and that her daughter speaks english. and so I talk to her a little bit and that was nice, and then they all talked together and then Sister Viana starts in with the teaching. And I really do try to pay attention. I really do. It´s just so incredibly hard to be interested in a conversation you cannot understand, but I was trying and then Claudia, the daughter who speaks english, interupts Sister Viana in the middle of her, I mean, our, lesson and tells me that she is worried about me and felt bad that I couldn´t understand and had been praying to know what she could do to help me, to help me understand and she said that if I read the book of mórmon out loud it would help a lot. Which I already knew, but I´m not gonna lie, i kind of completely lost it. I tried so hard not to cry in the middle of that lesson in these stranger´s home and I failed. Just the fact that this lady who didn´t even know me, had seen how hard it was for me and how much I was trying and had been worried and praying for me... She was the answer to my prayers all day. It was the most love I had felt since getting to Brazil, other than from President and Sister Tanner.  Heavenly Father answered my prayers and gave me the comfort I needed through Claudia and she made the most miserable day of my life so much more bearable.
    But yeah, so that was Wednesday... Thurday it was super hot (It´s been fairly cloudy the whole time so far... they must have known I was coming =]) and so I just kind of offhandedly prayed for rain as we were scaling this street. And about 20 minutes later the clouds started rolling in... and it stormed. Basically, I´m a prophet. hahah no. never. But yeah, it was quite the storm. The wind was crazy. My skirt was all over the place. All these people seeing my knees. It was quite the show. =]
    Hahah oh and speaking of shows, I saw my first Brazilian prostitute on Friday. And let´s just say she was showing a little bit more than just knees... as in she had no pants on... yup. no pants. a shirt, but no pants. Welcome to Brasil. hahah
    But yeah, those are the highlights of this past week. Pretty dang exciting huh? But I guess to move towards a more spiritual side, I´ve been thinking a lot about the condescension of God lately and His atonement... is that weird? Maybe it´s just because it´s close to Christmas or probably more likely because I´ve been needing His help more than ever lately, but it´s been on my mind. And I think I am finally starting to have a baby understanding of it.  It really is just mind-boggling and just incredible to think of what the Savior did for us.  The choir diretor in the MTC told us one night that he had heard somewhere that if you took all the intelligence and creativity and just goodness of every single person on the Earth, who has ever been on the Earth or will be, and put it all together, you wouldn´t even be able to begin to touch the glory and majesty of the Savior.  And then when you think about Him having all that glorious power, and choosing to be born on this Earth as a small mortal baby to live a mortal life... it´s not really fathomable. He was a small child. He got sick. He went through puberty. He had to go to the bathroom...  The Creator of this world and everything in it and all of us, had to use the bathroom because of His mortal body... And then He was tortured and killed.  That alone is too much to take in and understand and then when I think about the reason why He did all these things, it just really becomes even more unbelieveable beause He did it all for me. And for my Family, and my friends and everybody on this Earth. He did it all simply because He loves us. And I think learning Portugues and walking up some hills is hard... I have a very basic understanding of the atonement, but I have felt it so much in my life these past two weeks.  I have felt that love so much these past two weeks. His love and your guys love.  There are days (everyday) where all I do all day is pray. Just pray with every step because I really honestly don´t believe I am going to make it through. But yáll believe that I can and He believes that I can and so I pray for that strength. The strength that everybody else believes that I have and He gives it to me and I have never been more grateful in my life. 
     Thank you all for your prayers and support. I feel it everyday. I love you all so much . I´m gonna try to send pictures real quick in the couple of minutes I have left. Love you so much! Talk to yáll next week!

-Sister Rice

(123) SO BRAZIL!

I am in Brazil yáll! Freaking Brazil! I have a Brazilian companion, Sister Viana, who only speaks portugues! I have no idea what is going on at all times and I never have any idea where I am, or who anybody is... hahah pretty much I walk when Sister Viana walks, and stops when she stops and testify of what I think we might be talking about in broken horrendous portugues when she stops in the middle of a lesson and looks at me...  It´s the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life... But it is getting better. Honestly, in just a week I see improvement. I am understanding people more and I can walk faster and I´m not playing nearly as many movies in my head anymore... =] hahah No but honestly Sao Paulo is so different! It´s crazy! I can´t believe the thing I was worried about the most was flying here over actually being here! The flying was a breeze! The hardest part was trying to ignore all the movies everybody around me were watching... The guy next to me was watching World War Z and the people in front of me were watching Monsters University and they had the Great Gatsby! The Great Gatsby! and Midnight in Paris and pretty much every movie I have ever loved... the worst. 
     No but seriously Sao Paulo. Goodness. How do I even begin to describe this city...?? It is crazy. the first thing you notice riding from the airport is the driving. I now understand 100% why the missionaries down here do not drive. We would all be dead in seconds. Seriously, this is some of the craziest driving I have ever seen in my life, and I lived in Utah for 2 years... =] I think I´ve seen a total of like 10 stop signs here and pretty sure I have never seen anybody use them.  Pretty much if your car fits, you go. Doesn´t matter how many cars the road was originally made for.  I have almost gotten run over by many a car and bus.  And ohmygosh! The buses here in Sao Paulo are just as bad! I have never experienced something more terrifying than zooming through Sao Paulo, up and down these ginoremous hills at like 80 miles an hour in heavy traffic... you think I am exaggerating. and the hills here are killer. It´s like this group of people saw a mountian range and thought to themselves, hey let´s build the 5th largest city in the world right on top of that! yeah that sounds like a good idea... ughhh seriously...
But I am out of time. I didn´t even really get to any of the good stuff and have so much more to tell you guys but it´ll just have to wait until next week! I love all of you! Thank you so much for your support and love and prayers! I can feel them all. Sorry this is so short! Talk to yall next week!

-Sister Rice