Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Porto Velho, Rondonia

Farewell Family Home Evening with my friends in Manaus!
Well, this week was pretty hectic. I don't really know where to start. I should say first that I was transferred. And not just a little transfer. I'm now in a completely different state. I got sent to Rondonia and, needless to say, I still don't really know what's going on. We found out on Saturday and I was a little bummed that I didn't get to stay with Christensen until he went home, but it's all good. I'm companions with a little Brazilian guy named Elder De Jesus. Yes, Elder of/from Jesus. He's a nice guy and I'm his first junior. He wants to work hard, obey all the rules and really just go to work. We ended up teaching the first lesson last night and it went well. I was a little worried since we had never taught together, but pleased how it went. I've gotta admit though, I miss Christesnsen--actually just an American comp. Now I HAVE to speak Portuguese all day. This should make for a good transfer.

My transfer to Rondonia was by plane. It's a little ways away. (629 miles SW of Manaus and close to the Bolivian border.) It was a fun little trip and the airport here is surrounded by jungle. Rondonia is different than Manaus. First, there are no hills and all the roads are straight, it's not as hot and not as developed. There's a lot of unpaved muddy roads and a lot of trees. Our area is pretty big and from what I've seen, it looks pretty cool. Oh yeah, I'll only get packages/letters one time for each transfer, so it will take awhile to respond. The people have a different accent. A lot of them are from other parts of Brazil. I don't hear the Manaus accent, which is sad because it's cool and I'd been working on it. Funny, I said something last night to my new comp and he said, "you speak like all the people in Manaus!" This transfer should be really good for my Portuguese.

Our house is right next to the stake center. Apparently, we've a pretty big ward that will probably split soon. Oh yeah, guess what we have this weekend... a wedding. And one more marked for December. I love weddings- but sometimes they can be a lot of work. I think I understand why some missionaries get married so quick after their missions. After 2 years- full of weddings for other people, they probably just want to finally have their own and be done.

I didn't expect it would actually be sad to leave my last area. We ended our transfer really well with a wedding and baptisms. It was solid. Both were well attended. When I told people I'd be transferred, some of them started crying. It took me by surprise. Monday night, we had a big family home evening and invited a bunch of families from the ward that were my good friends. For a while I thought it was my funeral. You know the hymn that says "every life that touches ours for good", the one that's sung at funerals? Yeah, they sang it. It's not a funeral song here. They had me give a message and bear my testimony, even I cried a little bit. Then they all went around in a circle and said stuff to me. Mas rapaz. It was like a cry-fest. Some of my favorite baptisms took place there. But, I was a little surprised, I was only in that area less than 3 months and thought the people would think it's normal that I was leaving. It was pretty cool. Especially the people I taught and baptized, cried. I would see them looking at me sometimes and they would tear up. I felt like I was dying or something. So, I kinda miss the old area. But, I'm stoked to be in Rondonia and go to work here.

So, Então. até mais. Love you guys, have a good week, and tchao!

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