I hope everyone has had a great week! It was so great to hear about David’s baptism, and all the support he has in his new ward. It’s kinda funny. After learning so much about missionary work and realizing how important the members are, I feel terrible for how lousy I was as a member missionary. Hopefully I’ll make up for that out here and then fix that when I return!
I got your Halloween card exactly on Halloween actually! I don’t usually get mail on Mondays, but I was at the mission offices that day to do stuff with my passport (and I was there again today; these past two P-days have been pretty hectic). On the bright side, I got to see Sister Robinson again each time, and it was really neat to catch up and compare our first weeks out in the field. And to speak English. I think I really needed some time where I could speak my mind with more ease, even if it was just for an hour or two.
Oh and another letter I got on October 31st was a letter from Elder Brooksby, which he had sent AUGUST 31st! Remember how the first letter he sent to me got to me in 4 days in NY? Yeah, apparently he had used up all his luck on that one. I wrote back to him today, but I’m not totally sure where/how to send letters yet… I’ll work on that.
Teaching in Portuguese gets to be pretty tough at times, but it’s improving! Actually since the very first day Elder Bispo has had me teach a pretty decent portion of each lesson, although usually he repeats everything I say afterwards just to make sure the investigator understood. Which I realize makes what I say more or less pointless in the lesson, but either way it’s good for me to practice speaking! I’ve been able to understand better as well, which was something that really bothered me at the very beginning. A huge part of teaching is obviously listening and understanding the needs and questions of the investigator so that you can meet them. But I’ve been learning patience as I slowly start to be able discern what the people are saying. And as I’ve been doing that I start to be able to help more in the lessons.
The newest challenge is speaking so that people can understand me. Originally I thought it was because I was saying words all wrong and not making much sense. But today I was talking with one of the assistants to the president (American) and he said that it’s mostly just the accent, which will come with time. He told me that my grammar was great and that I was speaking really well, it’s just that while investigators are listening, they hear my accent and the only thing going through their heads is “He’s American He’s American He’s American.” But apparently with time that goes away!
Most of the people we teach are either contacts from members or people we met on the street. We’ve never actually gone from door to door (or gate to gate), because usually there are so many people all over the streets or just sitting in front of their homes. Oh and also I’m teaching an English class every Friday! Which feels a bit strange when I’m still trying to learn Portuguese!
Oh two things before I go: One, basically everyone here has a fruit tree. At least one. There are so many different types of fruits that grow here and they grow everywhere. And they are all really tasty too! It turns out that every tree here is some type of fruit tree. Our house somehow doesn’t have a fruit tree, but that’s okay because people always have so much fruit coming from their trees that they keep giving us their fruit. And two, turns out the rainy season is coming! It’s definitely started raining harder and more often, had to wade through a few floods already! Brings back good memories of running in the rain: You can try to avoid the deep puddles, but it’s going to happen eventually so you might as well just go in the first one.
Have a great week, love you all! I’ll send a picture next week! And there will probably be a fruit tree in the picture.
Elder Scott Maughan