So, I have received the request for more detail in my letters on how it really is in being in Manaus on a day to day basis as a missionary. So this week, I would like to write a little bit more about the every day stuff.
This week I decided to buy a new flavor to try in milk. Here, it is really popular to use flavor packets for juice, a lot like kool-aid. However, milk here is just absolutely terrible and because of that they have a lot of things to throw into your milk. Nescau is a top favorite by many. Imagine if you will a chocolate looking powder which claims to be very healthy for you, but in reality you were deceived and it tastes nothing like chocolate milk (can't really describe the taste but it is not good). That is Nescau. There are many other chocolate powder competitors, all which fall short of the Hershey syrup and milk combo. Sad really. Anyways, I found a really cool orange mix that I like using in milk, but this week I decided to buy a shake strawberry mix, and IT IS GOOOOD! Yep, I wake up every morning, and after doing some stretchs I drink a big glass of powdered milk, flavored with strawberry oat shake stuff!!!
Oh, speaking of stretching, I get up every day to stretch and I have a goal to be able to touch the floor standing up! I have never been able to do it and today after palying soccer I found I am really close!! Just one more inch!
We had a wonderful change this week in our district!!!!! We now have 3 duplas (doubles) in my district now. I am still with Elder Moreira. Elder Sant is now with Elder Carlos, and Elder de Oliveira went to the new area in Campos Sales with Elder Cidade. Well, in my house now there is a new Elder and he is cool. Elder Carlos is from São Paulo and he is just crazy and hilarious. I already like the guy. He went home for knee problems but has returned to complete his mission and he is just itching to work and make up for the time lost. Elder Cidade is actually a mini-missionary that is from the other side of Manaus and he is a really cool guy as well, though I have yet to really get to know him. Basically, I am really happy for this change because we really need the help to be able to meet our goals.
So, in Brasil there are basically only two shows that people watch outside of novellas (soap operas) and soccer. They all watch "Chaves", which is an old Mexican show that has been dubbed over in Portuguese and it is from the 80s. EVERYBODY loves it. The other I think is quite interesting. "Everybody Hates Chris" is HUGE!!! Everybody here watches it and thinks it is the best show ever, when it really did not have that much success in the states. I am not kidding, almost every lunch the members start cracking up about something they had watched on "KRIS" last night. I have seen bits and pieces and it really is a lot funnier in Portuguese. SO, whatevs.
One morning, as I was studying, I heard a loud noise, and two Elders running around outside of my bedroom. They were freaking out over something but I did not know what. I went out only to find that a lizard had found itself trapped in the hands of Elder Sant!! He found it in the washing machine! Well, we took some pictures and then they thought it would be funny to chase me around the house with said lizard because I was eating and did not want to touch it. They cornered me and then filmed as they started there close-in. Well, as they got close the lizard JUMPED at me and I freaked out running out of the room! I later brought myself back together and took a photo with the little guy. Scary evil lizard!!!!
I bought a new detergent this week which was a big step for me. Maybe you do not know, but I am allergic to a few brands of detergent and I did not know which ones in Brazil I could use. So, since the beginning of my mission I HAVE BEEN USING THE SAME CRAPPY powder detergent that everyone calls the best and it is really expensive. Well this week I found a liquid detergent that was cheap and I decided to test drive it. WOW. Way better. I am sold on the liquid thing for the rest of my life!! Also, it is green.
This week we had a fantastic activity at the church: BOLO NIGHT!!!!! CAKE NIGHT!!!! So, I feel really good because I started something that has really caught on in this ward; these NIGHT activities that we have been doing! I really like them. This last week we did a cake competition to see who made the best cake and I was really excited. We had tons of people show up, including 6 investigators and 5 cakes!!! Yago, who is an 9 year old kid we have been teaching, was so excited that he made his own cake AND IT WAS GOOD!! It was tapioca cake that just knocked my socks off. Really, this kid is so smart for just 9 years old. Well the activity went very well and in the end we played a really cool game where you pass the number and..... well I cannot really explain it but it was cool because YAGO WON!!!! He ended up, after 40 people started, being in the final three! So I was super excited for him and he left super happy!! I have some great photos of the party!!!
Saturday we held another baptismal service and 2 people were baptized!!!! Yago and Widson. I was very pleased, though I really do not like how cold baptism water always is here!! I hate cold water. I cannot wait for endless hot showers stateside!!! We went to the church early and helped clean up the chapel because the cake activity really left a mess and then TONS of people came to baptism!!! I just love it when that happens.
Well, I think I will end this letter with the fact that we played a bit of soccer today and I am getting better. Finally someone taught me how to chute the ball to make goals! I know that sounds like it is something so easy but it is not. There is technique required!!! haha I am good at blocking and defense and passing and all the other stuff, but shooting and juking I stink!!! Well, now I am better. Though, in the process I tore my toe shoes in another spot and I am pretty much in dire need for my new shoes to get here!!!
Life is good. I want everyone to know that this is the real deal. I am not just writing the good and leaving out the bad. I actually do just have great days everyday. I love my mission.
eu vos amo,
Elder Asa Laws