Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Week 1

Boa Tarde Família!
First off, I apolagize- my Pdays are on Wednesdays, not Mondays.​ Second, computers in Brazil do not auto-correct for english, so please excuse all the grammatical mistakes to come. Third, they only give us 45 minutes to email, so I'm going to take pictures of all the emails I got today so I can repsond next week!
It's so great to hear all that´s going on at home!! I miss you guys.
My companion for these 6 weeks is Elder Silfies! He is from Oklahoma and we will be going to Belo Horizonte together. We are the only Americans going, but there are two hispanic Elders and on Sister that will go to Belo Horizonte as well. And the Brazillians going to our mission will show up on week 4 because they only spend 2 weeks in the CTM. Elder Silfies and I get along well! And our district is super great!! It´s made up of 7 elders, and we basically do everything together! We are probably the smallest district though, and may get extra missionaries if more come from Provo. Yesterday we did a jejum de Inglés (an Enlgish fast) and went a whole day speaking only Portuguéz.
I´m coming along with the language! I can introduce myself, carry a basic conversation, pray, testify, and teach a bit all in Portuguéz! And I have the pronunciation down for the most part.
A lot of what we do here is centered around teaching our "investigators." We taught our first lesson in Portuguéz to a man named Vinicius on only our second day here. It was mostly done with notes and broken sentences, but Elder Silfies had quite the experience with the Spirit. He was able to speak in Portuguéz confidently while bearing his testimony. And during that first lesson, I was able to understand everything that was said. We taught Vinicius about the First Vision. The next day, we taught him the Plan of Salvation and invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized! He thought about it for a minute, and accepted!!! It was a happy day. Today is our 5th and final lesson with him :( But we pick up two new investigators tomorrow!
The food here is amazing. Every meal whatever I eat is so delicious. Breakfast is always some types of meat and cheese with bread, along with this sweet rice soup. Beans and rice are served every lunch and dinner along with other Brazillian dishes. The fruits here are nothing like in the states! It seems like I drink a new type of fruit juice every day- and it's all super fresh! They always have a ton of pulp in them so they're more like smoothies. We just had mango juice, which is probably my favorite.
This place is also a lot smaller than I thought it would be! There are ~160 missionaries here. I really like that it's not huge and I recognize most everyone! It will be very exciting to see Brigham in a couple weeks! (:
This morning we went to the São Paulo Temple!! It was amazing. I really want to send you pictures of it, but we aren't allowed to hook up cameras to the computers here. Once I'm in the field you will get an email with a ton of pictures! We are only allowed to take them on Pdays though, and can only birng our cameras outside when we go to the temple. Also, we can't take pictures in the cafeteria, so unfortunately I can´t show you how good the food is.
One really cool thing I got out of a lesson this week- There are 3 "firsts" in the gospel, and they make a triangle. Faith, the first principle of the Gospel; Obedience, the first law of heaven; and love, the first commandment. Those 3 things are what I will be centering my life around these two years, and they are the things everyone should focus on throughout their lives. They are the most important. And inside the triangle that they form is the Spirit, because nothing is possible without the Spirit, especially when you're on a mission.
We get to go explore São Paulo a little now! I'm so excited :) If I don't get to your email today, I hope to next week!
Love you all lots,
Elder Searle
p.s. I'm going to be keeping track of how many steps I take according to my pedometer, as well as # of mosquito bites during these 2 years
Steps this week - 42,664
Mosquito Bites this wek - 0

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