Monday, August 10, 2015

Jose Walter, Brazil - Hard yet humbling!

Hi family!!!
This week has been a lot better, but still hard of course! President wanted to meet with me to see how I was going and then wanted to give me a blessing! Haha so that was pretty cool getting a blessing from him! He blessed me with the gift of tongues and that I´d be able to understand people and speak the language quickly. And I´m sure he said some other stuff, but it was in Portuguese so who knows! Haha he´s pretty cool; he knows a good amount of English but not fluent haha. He said that every day I´ll be disappointed in myself and every day I´ll feel like I´m nothing, but that this is the best time of my life! And he was like, crazy, right? And I was like, yup! Then he said but it´s true. Because every American that comes feels this way and so they beg for help and they become so humble and grow more spiritually than anyone else. They grow so much in their first 4-6 months, and in 4-6 months I will know the language. So crazy to imagine but I´m praying and trying my hardest to make that happen! I´ve been trying to rely more on the Spirit in lessons and not think about what I want to say next. Even if it means I´ll speak bad Portuguese that´s not conjugated correctly! 
We´ve had some awesome lessons this week, though! We have this awesome girl Thaina who's on date for baptism and is 18 and is just accepting every single thing we teach her, she´s awesome!!! We have another guy Eduardo who is less active and has the Melchizedek priesthood!! His whole family are members except his last son so we´re trying to help him come back (which he really wants but his wife not so much, though she still joins us for lessons) and have him baptize his son! How awesome would that be?? He´s a super cool guy!
Also, it´s been interesting. I don´t understand all the words people say when they talk to me or ask me a question, but I guess what they´re trying to say/ask just from contex, ya know? So I respond and they´re like ohhh!! Haha even though I really don´t know what they may have said. Good times. People have been super nice though and saying my Portuguese is very good for only being here 3 weeks! What would I do without these wonderful people? :´)
Some notes that I took this week for my email:
People usually ask where I´m from so I tell them United States then they usually ask, What city? But when they ask that they really mean what state haha so I just say Texas and they usually know Texas! They think cowboys though (just like the rest of America) but I´m like no no no I´m from the city! 
Our ward mission leader has the CUTEST little niece and the other night we were all chatting in a meeting that she was joining in on and she was playing and styling my hair it was so cute! I´ll try and get a picture with her this week. Also, this past Sunday my cute little menino who´s crushin on me came up to me after church and said tchau irma with the cutest little smile! I´ll try and get a pic with him too haha!
A recent convert, Gustavo, joined us a few times this week for almost a full day! It was awesome because he got to experience missionary work in preparation for his mission! Also he speaks English so he helped me a lot with how to say things in Portuguese.
This week we´ve been going through the ward directory and trying to contact all the less actives/update the directory. We´ve come across lots of interesting things! Lots of people have moved, never even lived there, or have DIED! We were like, oh ha ha okay thanks tchau!
Oh man Brazil is pretty. I don´t get to see much of the prettiness in my poor little town but when we have to take the bus to the mission office I get to the pretty skyline of Fortaleza and the beach in the distance and all the pretty trees! The trees here are probably my favorite. So many different kinds and all with interesting fruit! They love their fruit here, and they have a lot we don´t so it´s been fun experimenting. People usually drink fruit juice (suco) for dinner so I´ve had lots of interesting and very good fruit juices. 
Also, I do NOT understand peoples' names here! Lol my companion can tell me their name a billion times but I will not understand it until she writes it down and I'm like omg THAT name?! For example, Robert, Arthur, Diana, are all names we have, yes, but they´re pronounced COMPLETELY different and they don´t sound like how we pronounce them hahaha it´s a little embarrassing. Oh well. I´ll get it eventually!
I also got Corn Flakes to have some American food and the box literally looks like the original box Corn Flakes made. Kinda tasted like it too haha. Oh well! I´ll try their version of Coco Puffs next time. Sister Barbosa (another sister we live with) always has them and they look pretty good. Also Nutella here is soooo expensive it´s so sad!!  We also got McDonald´s which waaaas 20 bucks so WOOH! Oh well. It was nice to have a hamburger and fries regardless. 

Anyways, here´s some pics!!!!!!!! Lol sorry only two.
​me and my companion Sister Santos!
​me, another sister, and my companion Sister Santos! Helping Hands or Maos que Ajuda!
I love you all so much and I appreciate all the prayers and love and emails this week!! Yáll are the best! I have the best family and friends :)
EU AMO VOCES!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sister Parks

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