My trainer is Sister Coelho and she is Brazilian (from Rio Grande do Sul) but she speaks a tiny bit of English. She is very patient with me and I´m grateful for her. We had to stay in Natal for a few days to go figure out everything with my visa with the police, so we did not arrive in our area until Friday. I´m in an area called Sousa, and it is really poor and super duper, ridiculously HOT. I can´t even describe how hot it is here. Everyone tells me how white I am, but that´s not going to last too long at this rate :) I have never loved cold showers more than I do now. Well, I never used to love them at all, but now I do.
Everything here is so different. There are animals everywhere; cats, dogs, goats, pigs, cows, horses, donkeys, walking around in the streets. The food is really good, and I have had only had a couple of sketchy pieces of meat, so that´s pretty good :) We had this amazing dessert called dulce de leite that is this caramel stuff that you eat with a spoon. It is SO good. We also got this chocolate brigadeiro popsicles that are covered in chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate covered pizza. I love that Brazilians love chocolate. Also, Brazilian children are literally the cutest thing on planet earth. I can´t understand a single thing they say to me, but they are precious.
In our area, people are very kind and receptive of missionaries. We have already had lots of chances to talk to and teach people. I don´t contribute a lot right now, but it´s still a cool experience.
The hardest thing by far is the language. In the MTC, I think I got a little bit overly confident, but it is so completely different here. It´s really discouraging to have no idea what´s going on 90% of the time and not to be able to really bond with anyone because I can´t communicate. I have never missed English so much. Everyone tells me that I´m speaking really well and that I´m speaking a lot better than other Americans, even the ones who went to the Sao Paulo MTC, but it´s hard to believe when I feel so incompetent. It´s very humbling, and I have never had to depend so fully on God for help and comfort when I feel alone. I know these next 3 months are going to be hard as I adjust to this new culture, language, and way of life, but I´m grateful to be here and I´m grateful for everyone´s prayers and support.
I also might not send pictures this week, since I really am not in love with the way I look (sweaty and ugly, in other words). Maybe next week :)
All of my love from Brazil,
Amy said that Sousa was a nine-hour bus drive from Natal. (But the bus was not full of chickens as her Dad and I predicted.) So far, so good.