I´m so glad to hear you´re all alive! I told Sister Owens last week that no one emailed me and I said, ´They better all be dead.´ But I didn´t mean it and I´m glad you´re all alive and well! Thanksgiving sounded fun, fight with Grandma Johnson included. Good to hear all the same things are still happening.
Let me answer some of your questions. Bowen: 1) Yes, I speak Português. I´m still learning every day, but if you left me on my own I´d be fine. Miracle huh?! 2) gangs...theres gangs and a lot of violence here but its only happens to people who are involved. Its funny you asked because a lot of people have been telling us to be careful because a man and a woman were killed right by our apartment...but they were drinking at 8am (which sadly isn´t too uncommon) and were involved in some drug deal. Plus I´ve got the Lord and if I die...its straight to the Celestial Kingdom baby! 3) No, we don´t have sacrament bread...we have to use Doritos...yes, we have sacrament bread and every Sunday its different, but its not like the sliced bread its more like sub sandwich bread...I don´t know how to describe it...but it renews my covenants! 4) part of my mission is part of the State of Rio but not the city. But my Brazilian family is from Rio and when I come back to visit we´re having a party down there! You´d love this family because its OUR family...complete with a grandma johnson. Jenna: 1) I don´t get really homesick to where I cry or am sad...just when I talk about one of you guys or something funny we do I just say, ´Que saudades!´ Which basically means I miss them. So far so good with homesickness. But I do love you and miss you and sometimes wish I could see what you´re seeing with the girls and HD and all. 2) If you want to Google Earth or whatever you´re doing I think you´d have to look up Vila Velha and I´m in the area of Santa Monica, Araças, Jockey, Coqueiral (where I live)...around there.... :D
So, Thanksgiving they don´t have. But we were lucky enough to have lunch with my Brazilian Family and she made a chicken...like a turkey and went all out. It was perfect. And we stayed there and ate a little longer than we should have so that was my Thanksgiving present. :D I told Sister Owens the other day that I´m getting to know this area so well that I feel like George Costanza...I know where all the good and bad bathrooms are here. But, I´m still praying I stay for the Christmas transfer.
Mom: Set up Skype because I think whatever area I´m in I can Skype...but I won´t be able to plan the time until Dec. 12th and I know if I´m staying or going. And if you´re sending a package I just need Clean and Clear benzoyl peroxide. I´m emailing a picture so you know which one to buy. Thanks!!!
This week I´ve never walked through so much rain in my life. The streets are RIVERS here! I think I´m getting a little cold because of it too. For the most part Sister Owens and I just laugh at how drenched we get...its better than the heat...that I know is coming!
My elect family is doing great. Geter is the new teacher in Priesthood and Sunday he gave a lesson on the Millenium - his first time! I know right?! Julia, their daughter, gave her first talk in church too! Tonight we´re having Family Night with them. Woo hoo!
Our other elect family isn´t so elect anymore. We kept trying to visit them but they were never home and when they were home, she´d send her daughter out to say she wasn´t home. So....Friday we called and she said we could pass by 8pm. So, we grabbed Isabella and went to her house 8pm.....yeah.....she moved. There wasn´t a single thing left in her house. First thing Sister Owens said was, ´I think she forgot to give us her new address...´ Hahaha. I think so! Hopefully the missionaries will find her in her new home.
So, other than that we´re still searching for the people prepared by the Lord to hear and accept the gospel. All this searching and teaching and no results is teaching me to be more bold and testify better. I think being bold is my mission goal, but still be polite and proper...but I think I´m starting to firgure it out. We were teaching a lesson the other day and the man asked what we think of other religions. I said all other religions try to teach good things and from the Bible but they´re lacking all of the truth, which leaves them teaches wrong things and through the restoration we have all the truth again. I think he understands better than a lot of people our message because the people of Brazil are very simple and many aren´t very educated that we have to teach at their level. So, teaching according to the needs of our investigators is priority and I´m learning every day!