Monday, February 17, 2014

Missionary Monday - Week 1 in Cocaia


My new companion is Elder Knetchel and he is from Colorado and is like 6' 5". He has five and a half months on his mission, but has spent all of it in Brazil. We are opening a new area in Cocaia, which is right next to Noronha. I used to come to Cocaia at least once a week for a trade off. Here is the best part though, I am in the same house and ward as Elder Shaw! Ha ha. We have both changed a lot though. I don't mind sharing a house with him at all, but I am definitely glad I am not his companion. He speaks super good Portuguese though. He was learning really slow in the MTC, but that is just because he has to learn everything there is to know about every little principle.  He has been in Brazil three more transfers than me, but I am really impressed. He has really good grammer and a HUGE vocabulary. One thing that I am noticing about Portuguese is that it is really easy to speak, but really hard to speak correctly. The sad thing is that quite a few missionaries never learn to speak correctly because 1. they don't study the language very well and 2. They learn how to speak in the favela which I don't know what to compare that to because the standard of literacy in the U.S. is so much higher. 

But anyways, one of the things about being in the favela is that I see a bunch of crazy stuff. And sad stuff. The first day here I saw a little girl get hit by a motorcycle. She got up by herself, but it didn't look good. Everyone just acted like it was normal. You can't really understand the poverty until you see it for yourself. Half of our lunches are accompianed with a swarm of flys. On the up side the people are way more acceptive and love Americans. The problem is that they never do anything that they say they will do so you have to hold their hand for everything.

I was super bummed to leave Indianopolis because both there and Michigan I felt like I was doing things there that only I could do. Here in the favela a monkey could do what we do. It is just a matter of hard work whereas Michigan and Indianopolis required problem solving and thinking outside the box (a.k.a. skills). But that's okay I guess. It wouldn't hurt me to learn how to be more dilligent.  I can handle pretty much everything that the mission does that I don't agree with because when it comes down to it I can do whatever the heck I want in my own area. BUT, I can't stand being transferred so much. I can't build relationships in six weeks. 

That's mostly it. I'll send some sweet pictures from Indianopolis as soon as Elder Figueiredo sends them to me. 

Elder Beck