So this week flew by in anticipation for conference. This week our district set a goal to make 1,500 contacts. Our area took off and ended up doing over 300 compared to 46 the last week. We had splits with another district and one of my Hispanic friends from the ctm came to our place. We made a bet that whichever companionship made more contacts wouldn't have to buy pizza that night. So my comp and I took off running talking to everyone and made 53 contacts, we would have done more, but we had 2 hours where we went to a far away area. We got back that night and 9:30 came and the others hadn't shown up. So we called them and told them that for every minute late they would lose a contact. Eight minutes later they ran in and they had 60 contacts- minus the 8 and so my comp and I won, but they didn't agree to the rule and so we had to buy the pizza anyway. Our zone ended yesterday with 1,081 contacts, which was the secret goal of the leaders all along. I don’t know if I have already talked about the pizza here. They don’t use tomato sauce, but it’s so good. Our favorite is called “portuguesa” with an accent in there somewhere. It has cheese, onions and hard boiled pieces of egg on top. For dessert we order a border filled crust of chocolate. Oh my goodness! It is so good. I know it might sound a little weird, but it is so good.
I finally started to read the letters that you guys wrote for me before I left. Sorry. I haven´t had any time at all, you literally have to schedule in time to use the restroom, that´s how busy we are.
Conference was so amazing! First one that I stayed awake for the whole time! We had investigators show up. Our sessions are at 1 and at 5 with priesthood at 9. The four English speakers watched conference in the relief society room on a tv. I loved all the talks about missionary work, especially Elder Nielson and Elder Ballard. Did y’all hear the shout outs to the Santos mission next door (during conference)? And the elder that gave the last prayer (in General Conference) was in our ward last week and is our area authority. We had to wake up before 5 to get to the rebroadcast at 6 in the morning. Then we went to the bishop´s house to have lunch at 11, which was "feijoada", again with an accent somewhere in there probably, and if y’all don’t already know about it I will describe it. First, you have black beans, which by themselves are great, add in some sausage, even better, and then just dump in the rest of the pig while you're at it. I still don’t know exactly what I ate. My comp is convinced that ear was in there, and I think I saw an eye. There is a lot more in it, but I couldn't identify it. It was the first time here that I only managed one plate.
Everything is holding up great. We have enough food, don’t worry, we just work a lot. The ward I am in is called Embu das Artes and is also the name of the stake. Our building is the stake center. We also had transfers yesterday. The comp of the other zone leader in our house got transferred and so we will have a new missionary in our house on Tuesday. I didn't get transferred this time, but I will next time because with the zone leaders they are always training and you don’t usually stay with your trainer anyway.
A weird thing about Brazilians- a lot of them have problems with their hands and fingers because of work. Almost every third person that you see either has a piece of finger missing, or a broken arm. I met one man a couple weeks ago that owns a tire shop, he is missing the tip of his right middle finger and you can see the bone. It doesn’t bother him at all though. He uses that hand to move tires and acts as if nothing is wrong. One other quick thing about Brasil is that “Anderson” here is a first name, already met two people with that name. It’s pretty cool. Sometimes people just assume I am Brazilian because of it!
The mission is small when compared to the others in Brazil, but to get to the mission home is still 2+hours and we are pretty close, mainly because of traffic and things. Language is great, understanding and speaking more every day. It’s getting a little hard to write and speak English, I still think majority in English, but when I am typing my fingers move to the Portuguese words. Sometimes I dream in Portuguese. I dream I am teaching lessons. Trying to switch over all thoughts to Portuguese too, but when I speak I don’t have to translate in my mind I can just speak it now. Still need to learn a lot but I can testify that the gift of tongues is real. I know that it would have been impossible to be as good as I am now without the help of God. It’s incredible to see it work in your own life and in the lives of other missionários.
We drink a lot of guaraná because the water here is sometimes not good to drink so we usually have guaraná or another type of soda for lunch. We didn't have another baptism last night, but we will have a couple this coming week, so excited. I don’t think that I need anything, will think about it and let you know this coming week though. Thanks for sending the package, will tell you when I get it. I get to go to the temple this week! Will send pics. Good luck with everything this week!
Love you lots,