Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Learning the language!

Hello My Dearest Family . . . (*with Sarah's one squinted eye*)

Just another week, basking in the sunlight and living it up like a King! Psh . . . I wish. I'm pretty sure that the studying alone is making me more white. I hope you got my monster letter last week. I apologize in advance for how short this letter will be because I hardly get any free time. And not a whole lot of exciting has happened. I've noticed that since I've been here, I'm slowly forgetting how to spell the most simple words. This is the start of forgetting the English language. I'm sure you guys will get a bunch of laughs when we Skype and when I get home.

So on Thursday we went to the Brasilian Police Station to register with the police. When we got there, we saw a bunch of other elders that are serving in San Paulo who were renuing their registration. Most of them were about a year and a half in and it showed because they were so excited to actually have an English conversation with other Americans. I'm so glad we met them because they taught us a lot of slang that we should and shouldn't do. Like "da hora" (pronounced exactly how it looks in Spanish) which means "that's sick" in slang. The funny part about it is that it literally means "you give the time/hour" if you translate it. I'm sure Sarah and Alyssa will know what I'm talking about for this next one. It's a hand gesture. It's when you snap your fingers with both hands, one right after the other, and then opening up one hand (like a high five) and closing the other (like a closed fist) and then hitting them together. And then you repeat that over and over. I hope you understand what I'm trying to get at because that was really weird trying to describe that on paper. Anyways . . . it's really bad because it means you're trying to call-in a prostitute. Hahaha. There were a lot of things that they told us not to do, even though Americans do them all the time.

Things are starting to even out between my companion and I. We're definitely teaching and communicating better. My district has the tendency to go off, out of nowhere, and start singing songs. It's been super frustrating because our District Leader doesn't really do anything about it because he doesn't want to come off as a dictator-of-a-leader. I've talked to him and told him that you can still have everyone like you, but still be stern and keep everyone on track. He has the hardest time with this, but I've been working on helping him. There have been a couple times where the messing-around has gotten really bad so I've gone with Elder R or Elder W to another quiet room to study. We're definitely the three that has the hardest time with the language. Like it's not super bad . . . we're just learning things slower than everyone else. It's seriously ridiculous how much I've learned. If I was in school taking Spanish, I'd still be learning about colors, the alphabet, and the numbers. I honestly don't think I'm learning that slow, everyone else in my district is just learning crazy fast. It's absolutely stupid how much some of these guys have learned and how fluent they are in only three weeks.

Last thing. I learned a great way to mark and organize my scriptures. You take those skinny colorful post-it note tabs that are kinda see-through and you put those in your scriptures on the bottom where the footnotes are. You have them popping out of your scriptures just enough so you can see them. You get about five different colors and each color stands for a different subject. This is a super great way to bring up a scripture on the atonement, for example, right on the spot. I'll send a picture when I get them all tabbed out.

Couple of random things . . . I'm on a bus right now on my way to the temple and it's hard to write. It's crazy how dirty this city is. There's literally trash everywhere. And they have a big river that runs through the city, but it is so polluted. There are also a lot of motorcyclists and they're allowed to go in between lanes. I have no idea how people drive around here. it's so tight and full of traffic. I guess about two motorcyclist die every day (only in San Paulo). And I'm sure Dad will love this, but almost every car here is a tiny little Fiat, like the one in Costco. A luxury car here would be a "bigger" car like Sarah's beauty.

Oh, a random side note, this past week I wasn't given a pillow case along with all my other sheets and I didn't feel like trying to get one so I just put a t-shirt over my pillow and it actually works pretty well. Kinda  ghetto, but you gotta do whatever it takes to survive here in Brasil! I love you guys so much! Let me know if you want me to tell different stories or anything like that!

Elder Steed