Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fakin It Til I Make It

So yeah, Portuguese is hard, but Brazil is amazing!!! I made it here safely! Sorry if this email is a little scatterbrained. I have to type really fast. 

Uh the gift of tongues is real. At least for speaking. Not necessarily for understanding everything that everyone says. Like I can speak and people understand me (kinda haha), but everyone here has a different sotaque (accent) so it's really hard to understand everything. Sister Wootan basically has to repeat everything to me in order for me to understand...But Sister Wootan and I can totally converse in Portuguese so that's good. I just smile and nod with everyone else.

Haha also nobody knows how to say my name here. Earls is really hard to say in Portuguese so it kinda just sounds like Eus or Ears. I just respond when I hear Sister.

So it's really really really really hot here. Always. I guess it's a little better here in Sao Mateus (my area) because we have some wind. 

This week has been really good. Really hard, but really good. There is definitely a lot of adjustment.The people are so different, but it is so easy to love this place and these people. 

I was definitely struggling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this first week. But Sister Wootan is the best companion ever and she has really helped me a lot. I'm just really glad that I like walking. It's definitely been an adventure so far. 

There were so many tender mercies this week, but there was one that really stood out to me as a miracle. We were having a really tough day on Saturday and we were both exhausted and hot. Most of our plans in the afternoon and the evening fell through so we ended up walking to the centro to get addresses and contacts. To be honest, we were feeling pretty discouraged so we called Elder Hidalgo (our district leader) and he just recommended that we say a prayer. We sat down in the centro and prepared to say a prayer. I was starting to cry because it had just been a really really hard day and I was hot, tired, thirsty, and discouraged. But, Sister Wootan said a very sincere prayer and as soon as we opened our eyes, we saw members walking toward us. We were able to visit with them and it made me so happy. It seems like such a small thing, but in that moment, it was the most amazing event of my entire life.

The scriptures have really helped me this week. One that I read this morning that was a great comfort to me was John 14:25-27. It talks about the Comforter and about how things will be brought to our remembrance through this gift. It's been difficult adjusting and getting used to using only Portuguese again, but I know that everything will be brought to my remembrance through the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it can constantly comfort us if we allow it to always be with us. 

Hmm what else...oh I sent my address last time, but here's the one fully in Portuguese that you should use:

Sister Alia Yun Earls
Missão Brasil Vitória
Avenida João Batista Parra, 633
Salas 1501/1502
Edf. Enseada Office, Praia do Suá
29052-123 Vitória - ES

Um Brazil is great. My area is kinda like San Fran, but a lot dirtier and smellier and in the middle of a jungle kinda haha and we have parts that are like little villages by the river. 

Oh and the church building is more like a big apt on top of like a school called academia de something? and it's right in the middle of the centro. 

Oh and lunch is the main meal here which has been weird for me.

Sorry I wish I had time to tell y'all more!

Eu amo vocês!

Com amor,
Sister Alia Yun Earls
 More crazy Christmas lights. Star Wars!

First weird food that I ate in Brazil! Sister Wootan gave me this on the bus to the Aguia Branca station. It's kinda like a really slimy kumquat, but it tastes like those little Korean jello cup things.

This is at the top of a really big hill that we walk up and down like every day to get to a little village by the river.

My feet are getting killed. It's great. Also, spot the bug bites right by my band-aids :)

 You probably can't see this very well, but my arm is covered in bug bites. Actually, not just my arm. This side of my arm and the other side as well as my other arm and my legs and my neck and my face. I'm basically getting eaten alive...Apparently I'm a little more allergic to mosquito bites here than in the US so they're kinda starting to swell up, especially when we walk outside in the heat. But it's all good. I'm alive!


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