WOW WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN??
First, I´m so sorry I didnt call in Atlanta, there were literally no phones and I wanted to cry!!
So, after 20 plus hours of flying, I made it to Fortaleza! I wasn´t sent to the Brazil MTC because they didn´t have a companion for me there, so I went straight to my mission! I met up with Elder Quintanilla who I knew from the Provo MTC in the Atlanta airport, and we were able to fly together all the way to Fortaleza. Once we got there, we had 3 days of training which was super nice except for the fact that everything was in Portuguese. Lol no they actually had a translator (an American missionary) for us most of the time. When they didn´t, I tried to understand but some people talk so fast my brain starts to hurt from translating. I can usually pick out words and sort of put together what they´re trying to say. Our AP´s led most of the training, and one was American so he was easy to understand but the other was from some Spanish country and he had a thick accent and talked super fast so I had no clue what he was saying. Also it was so cool because all the Americans who translated for us literally could not think of some of the words in English and I was like, I want to be like that one day!!!!
So, my companion is Sister Santos. She´s super nice and is from Sao Paulo. She does not know English so that´s fun! We live with 2 other sisters who also don´t know English! I´m going to be real with you guys, this is so hard. The people here also talk FAST so I CANNOT understand them when they talk fast, or when they mumble, or when they get quiet at the end of sentences, you know? Also if there´s other noises around like motorcycles (it´s literally like The Bourne Legacy - there are legit that many motorcycles and more) or music or other people talking I can´t understand what people are saying. The saddest part is when I can´t understand kids lol
At church we bore our testimonies (I WAS SO NERVOUS) so I did and it probably wasn´t all right but afterwards people were so nice! They all said I speak very well and almost everyone (not just at church) say my accent is very good and I already sound like a Brazilian!! (#thankstexasandspanishclass) after sacrament 3 girls came up to me and were telling me my hair was pretty and then they kept talking and I legit had no idea what they were saying lol omg then the cutest little boy came up to me and smiled. So I asked him how he was, he said he was good then asked me what my name was haha so I told him then he told me his then he stood there and I just kinda looked at him lol then he smiled and shook my hand and left lolol then after church he came up to me two times and said bye hahaha
Anyways, sorry this so jumbled I feel so rushed!! Also, we´ll probably usually email earlier than this so send your emails Sunday night so that I have everyone's when I get on in the morning!
So! Brazil! I love it! If we excuse the fact that I can´t understand a lot and it´s really hard not being able to say what I want to say, it´s great! I think because I´ve had so much time to prepare for Brazil, I don´t have any culture shock. I still look at things and think, wow this is different from America or wow this is poor, or wow this is different, but I´m not like freaking out haha. The weather is huuuuuuumid. No AC (except in the chapel at church), just fans. We can´t drink the water even with a filtered water bottle so thanks for nothing filtered water bottle! We can only drink mineral water so we have to buy those huge jugs they have at like offices, you know? And that´s our water. We ask people at houses for water usually though. They love their Fanta here and their famous soda Guarana (idk if i spelled that right) a loooot. We have lunch with members which has been good so far! Rice and beans for every meal is so true though. We´ll go grocery shopping today so I hope I can find food lolol. Breakfast is usually bread and cheese or eggs or just normal cereal. We usually go without dinner too which is strange haha; I get hungry but I push it aside and just wait till we get home. Package ideas: american snacks!! and President told us to eat like 3 bananas a day. He also said we can´t wear normal flats because the roads are so uneven so I'm glad I have my chacos! My feet and legs still ache by the end of the day though.
Missionary work here is so different! And they work hard! The mision goal is 4 people on date for baptism EVERY DAY. I was like.... WHAT?! So crazy but he says it´s possible! The ward here is great; we had 90 people there last Sunday which was awesome!! The people here are so so nice. They help me out and listen when I speak and say they understand and that I speak very well (probably not true haha but they´re too nice to say otherwise).
Sister Hannah Marguerite Parks
Brazil Fortaleza Leste Mission
Rua Republica da Armenia, 765 Agua Fria
Yes, put my whole name. Never write on the customs that what's inside is more than 30 dollars even if it is. I´ll be taxed a lot if you do. Put religious stickers on the outside too haha; that helps people not touch or open them.
I love you all so much and I miss yáll a TON!!!! This is hard, but I´ll get the hang of it, I know! Please keep me in your prayers this week!
EU AMO VOCÊS!!!!!
- Sister Parks